Swindon’s hidden gems are being revealed to the world thanks to local blogger Angela Atkinson, who has turned her passion for the town into a book, Secret Swindon. Angela used the research from her Born Again Swindonian blog, which has a wide following among Swindonians around the world, to write the book.
For anyone who worries that history is dull, Secret Swindon is written in a very accessible style, and you learn a lot about national history through the perspective of Swindon’s story. Even if you don’t know the town personally, it’s interesting to discover Swindon’s surprisingly rich heritage, including how the town pioneered the National Health Service and the lending-library system, and even how the band XTC were inspired by the factory siren.
Secret Swindon covers the pre-railway period through to the present day. There are also many good quality photos and illustrations in each chapter, and Angela’s catchy style and attractive storytelling make you smile and say ‘I never knew that’ at the same time.
About Angela Atkinson
“I moved to Swindon back in the 1990s from a part of the country that had been devastated by the 1980s pit closures,” said Angela, 61, who was brought up in a Derbyshire mining village and now lives in Grange Park, West Swindon. “Coming here was truly like coming to the land of milk and honey. The town has a fascinating, many layered, multifaceted history. It also has work, facilities, green spaces aplenty and great transport connections – and, above all, wonderful people.”
Angela’s first blogs were a guidebook entry on the Magic Roundabout and a piece on the West Swindon sculpture trail, written as part of a module she undertook while studying as a mature student at the University of the West of England. She had decided to get back to education after taking early retirement from her admin role with the Swindon research councils.
After graduating with a 1st Class joint honours degree in English four years ago, Angela set up her editing, proofreading and copywriting business AA Editorial Services which she juggles with her blogging.
Secret Swindon £14.99 is available at Amazon and via Amberley Books.