If you are interested in our town’s proud local history, then don’t miss the brand new Summer 2016 edition of Swindon Heritage, which is now on sale, writes editor Graham Carter.
The 14th quarterly publication is available at a number of outlets in the town, and details can be found at www.swindonheritage.com
However, publishing the magazine is only half the story. The production team also gets involved in a range of other projects and initiatives involving people who work on preserving and bringing to life the town’s past.
We were founding members of the Swindon and District History Network, which is run by Local Studies staff at the Central Library and involves many local history groups and individual researchers and historians from across the town and beyond. We also sit on Swindon Borough Council’s Heritage Board, which meets quarterly to consider strategic and long-term issues relating to the town’s heritage.
This year we are especially proud to be represented on the organising committee of Swindon 175, and, as part of the celebrations, we are staging the Swindon Heritage History Day at Radnor Street Cemetery on Sunday 10 July, 10am to 4pm.
The plan has always been for Swindon 175 to be the catalyst for an ongoing celebration of the town’s heritage, continuing after the 175th anniversary has passed, so we came up with the idea for what we hope will become an annual event.
We already run monthly guided walks at the cemetery on the second Sunday of the month during the spring, summer and autumn, and are using the July walk as the basis for what is shaping up to be a large but still free event.
When we contacted our colleagues on the local history scene, inviting them to put on displays in and around the cemetery chapel on the day, we were delighted that many of them agreed to attend. So if you have a query about or an interest in local history, this is a rare chance to come along and tap into the combined knowledge of experts in the field.
It’s also a good opportunity to share information with the individuals and groups who are taking part, whose areas of interest range from football to photography and family history to archaeology. So if we don’t know the answers to your questions, we can put you in touch with somebody who does.
The history day also includes guided walks around the cemetery on railway and military themes, look-ups of the cemetery’s burial registers and refreshments, and we are encouraging families to bring their own food and drinks – because we think the cemetery is a great place for picnics.
When we founded Swindon Heritage it was with the intention of providing a showcase for the work of local historians, and while the magazine continues to do that, we hope the history day will encourage even more people to join in and celebrate our fantastic local heritage.
Pictured top, Radnor Street Cemetery from the air. ©Neil Loder
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