Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Fletcher's Chocolate Box, Swindon's Best Desert?


Swindon Centric was, like Komadori, invited to two Christmas meals, one at Cosmo and the other at Fletchers.

Once you get past all the hype about Cosmo, it really is just an all-you-can-eat restaurant in nice surroundings. The selling point seems to be lost on most diners, with no-one, on a full Saturday evening, taking advantage of the chefs to cook various dishes from a multitude of ingredients. The buffet choice is wide, but the quality of the food, under heat lamps, is hit-and-miss, rice was congealed to the bowl and serving spoon and curries were watery.

What seems most strange was, even later on, when there were no-more sittings and many vacant tables, the staff asked you to leave according to the 'eating window' you are given. Any classiness portrayed by the surroundings is lost when you have to keep getting your own cutlery after each course. But for the price, what should you really expect?

Fletchers, just a few yards away was full, but service was excellent, with an extensive drinks menu behind the bar. Like Komadori, the starters and main course were good, however, that leads onto the desert. The chocolate box was new since my last visit and delicious, indeed, the only point to linger would be if it could be a bit bigger.

Swindon Centric Says ; Cosmo looks good when you go past it, but all the money appears to have been spent on the decor. Fletchers is the better choice, not just for a meal, but for the best desert in Swindon.

Can anyone better that chocolate box? Or does Fletchers take Swindon's desert crown?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Top Ten Things Heard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 83


Click here for the original and still the best at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. The pardon should be revoked.

9. It's all pre-recorded, but you can't hear the join.

8. Toxic sludge is a stain you I haven't got a lot of experience removing.

7. Surname is Sheen, same as you-know-who.

6. Sun was seen for the first time in ages.

5. Breakfast needs to make a comeback.

4. Going backwards isn't quite what you'd imagine.

3. Making a difference, one scone at a time.

2. Starting again, from clean.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. I bought her a wooden leg, it's not her main present, just a stocking filler.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Top Ten Things Heard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 82


Click here for the original and still the best at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. I ask that they wait and be patient.

9. Give that man a coconut.

8. I'd like to thank you for your thoughts and good wishes.

7. If you want to go before 9.30, just pay.

6. It's going to take a long time.

5. That smell will come back to haunt me in the morning.

4. Out of everyone who appeared on the radio, they were the only ones that didn't pay.

3. There's many, many reasons people buy crap at Christmas, mostly, it's tradition.

2. Allow me to step-aside, before I kill you with my shopping.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. At any other time of year, mince pies wouldn't get past the testing phase.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Top Ten Things Heard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 81


Click here for the original and still the best at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. I can't hear a thing, did you hear me?

9. Well, just think, you'll get to hear all about this at the trial.

8. The governor and Mrs Johnson, is the way they like to be known.

7. I'd usually have to pick two from seven, but I went for all of them together.

6. The turkey thing is getting so old.

5. If it's a girl, Delores is a good name.

4. He's obviously use to being around people with no teeth.

3. I feel like that, the same way a comic book fan feels about a new Lord Of The Rings film.

2. Attach those strings before it gets switched on.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. You can tell that the tree on the Magic Roundabout was put up by a man.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Top Ten Things Heard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 80


Click here for the original and still the best at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. I had to wade through an hour and a half to get to ninety seconds of perfectness.

9. She is thoughtful to a fault.

8. Luminous smocks will be the next in thing.

7. I got hayfever from my lapel rose.

6. As soon as Woolies goes wobbly, everyone gets nostalgic, then feeds on it when they slash prices.

5. His name is Gerald, which is the least of his problems.

4. The council still use the ducking stool on those who haven't paid their community tax on moonlit evenings.

3. I was appalled, cold, but mostly hungry.

2. The bag burst open, she'd bought so much Christmas crap.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. Don't call me a chav.

With thanks to Sean Wilson for contributing this week.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Top Ten Things Heard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 79


Click here for the original and still the best at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. Miming is not singing, no matter where or when.

9. It's a signal to noise.

8. She did it and she liked it.

7. I thought it would be quite rough, but they both smoothed it over by Monday afternoon.

6. Get granulated, it's full of vitamin E, excellent for lots of things.

5. If you can't afford to buy stuff, then don't.

4. The only way he can measure himself is by how much he earns, he's about two decades too late.

3. He's playing an old, militant gay ; he was born for that role.

2. Comedy is the best way of getting through Christmas, the winter and the recession.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. No matter how many times he begged, the director wouldn't let him take off his shirt.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Top Ten Things Heard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 78


Click here for the original and still the best at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. It's culture 'lite'.

9. Everyone else walked, I got on the wrong bus, but still got there before them.

8. On the surface it's all calm, but underneath it's struggling to remain 'as is'.

7. Sixteen minutes left.

6. Let me say hello to him, where is he?

5. A doctor from that university is not a real doctor.

4. The impression I'm getting, is that most people don't know what a recession is.

3. I hit my marks like a gunman on a hit, which is as much as anyone can ask for.

2. I remember the Pob kids show on Channel 4.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. Why don't you say something interesting, instead of just talking about how much money you've been forced to spend?

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Top Ten Things Heard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 77


Click here for the original and still the best at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. They were expecting thousands and, like, ten turned up.

9. You should have just hung up the damn phone.

8. More on that in a moment.

7. I have chocolate for tea.

6. It's surprisingly spreadable.

5. A guide to the book is available, but not the book itself, how mad is that?

4. He'll fall asleep in the back row and wake up when he wants ice cream.

3. That dynamite powered space heater is going on ebay tomorrow.

2. Never trust a woman who can't spell 'Tuesday'.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. Please don't squint, you'll ruin the whole effect.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Top Ten Things Heard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 76


Click here for the original and still the best at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. It's a haven, is what it is.

9. The gates were right next-door to each other.

8. No-one thought to call and report what had happened.

7. It's one election that had very little of people's interest.

6. He forgot to bring the punchlines with him, hence, there was no laughter.

5. Being called 'rugged', is overrated.

4. You've got a third place show on a fourth rate network.

3. People say, 'but you must support the troops', no, if I don't agree with the job they're doing, then, no I don't.

2. I gorged on them and felt awful afterwards.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. I'd prefer a bagel, but if you don't have that, I'll have a vodka and lime.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Paper Surprised At Lack Of Interest In Irrelevant Story



The Advertiser was surprised that more people didn't take part in it's online and ballot box poll about a Swindon directly elected mayor.

That may be because it wasn't that vital and urgent an issue to start with when the Link Magazine began running with it in 2001 (in response to the inability of the parties at the time to work together in the cabinet form on the council). The comments by one MP and the council leader seem to agree that it would make "little difference".

Swindon Centric Says ; A directly elected, accountable member of the council and government? Aren't they local councillors and MPs? Lets get back to stories and issues that matter, instead of creating them out of thin air.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Top Ten Things Heard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 75


Click here for the original and still the best at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. I'm not spending good money to see that.

9. The vicar didn't know where to put his face.

8. That's all very well and good, but it doesn't count for anything.

7. There's going to be a run on fresh ginger.

6. Her boiler knackered out and now she's got flu-like symptoms.

5. They need double-deckers on that route.

4. A public hearing is due to be called.

3. As long as he doesn't make the connection, which I doubt he will.

2. Couldn't someone have let her keep the pieces and just given her the money?

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. I'm starting off calling the 'credit crunch' what it is, a 'recession'.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Mystery Of The Vanishing No. 1 Sunday Bus Part 2


It would have been far more satisfying if it had been found that the vanishing of the number 1 bus had been the result of a wormhole or some other space time continuum phenomena.

However, it wasn't.

In a welcoming move, service numbers 1, 13, 14 and 17 will now be operated by Thamesdown on Sundays. The timetable details on their website make no mention of 'these services are supported by Swindon Borough Council'. So, may we be the first to welcome Thamesdown to seven days a week private commercial operation of services? Never mind that the company is owned by the Council and that technically that means they are publicly operated and that some services are subsidised for the social good otherwise, your head will explode.

So in a welcome move, six town services will increase in frequency on Sundays, combining the Thamesdown and Stagcoach service changes. Great news, except, the finish times for the Thamesdown operated ones don't run very late at all. This means if you're on those routes, you can't get into town past 17.30 on a Sunday.

Swindon Centric Says ; Maybe Thamesdown will soon announce Christmas late evening services for shoppers, including Sundays, could these be made permanent?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Mystery Of The Vanishing No. 1 Sunday Bus


If there was a Swindon based weekday afternoon gentle detective comedy-drama, then this would be a suitable case for them.

As we covered recently, Stagecoach are expanding buses in Swindon on Sundays from the 26th of October. However, the new timetable book for Sundays from Stagecoach includes the following line in the summary page, 'We regret that Service 1 will no longer be operated by Stagecoach.'

Any timetable details on Thamesdown Transport's website includes nothing on whether they may be taking up the Sunday mantle. A glance at the network map for Sundays shows the pale area to the west and east of the town which will be left worse off on Sundays.

Swindon Centric Says ; So, what's happening? Since Stagecoach will be able to run some Sunday services without subsidy, why is the number one bus being withdrawn? If Thamesdown will be running the service, despite their aversion to Sundays, why hasn't it been announced with five days to go before Grange Park and Covingham get a six days a week service?

Swindon Borough Council have been contacted through their not-updated-that-frequently transport website for a response.

Top Ten Things Heard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 74


Click here for the original and still the best at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. There isn't any sunshine, look.

9. The spirits are with us, especially in County Road.

8. He stole a Mars bar in a moment of desperation.

7. Are you plugged in, then lets get going.

6. Does this bus have a flux capacitor?

5. She can't make macaroni, but she's a dab hand with a french horn.

4. What is a hockey mom can anyway?

3. I'm never driving again if they get rid of the speed cameras.

2. They need to run a dedicated bus to and from New College.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. Just 21 days to go, do you have a badge or sticker to wear yet?

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Disjointed Journalism Hits The Window Pane


Yesterday's story about the Adver's coverage of town schools has been vindicated by this story from today.

Brand new modern windows, that fit in with the style of the building is a welcome step forward in standards for the school. However, why wasn't this included in yesterday's lead story to balance things up?

Swindon Centric Says ; Worst of all, no mention is made of yesterday's story in today's. Seems that joined-up-journalism still has yet to reach 100 Victoria Road.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Top Ten Things Heard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 73


Click here for the original and still the best at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. We shall adjourn to the top deck.

9. Look, there it is, the number one stop, I told you so.

8. I do as much as I can to offend as many as I can.

7. Listen to this one.

6. He just hit a van, did you see it?

5. We don't stop in this part of town.

4. The Wispa is back, sssh, don't tell everyone.

3. Walks back, doesn't stop and never looks behind him.

2. I'm telling you, our stops are on the same side of the road.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. Five minutes to go, does anybody want a smoke, or are you all healthy?

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Irony Takes A Walk In Rambling Story


A story about a group of angry ramblers is devoid of any sense of itself.

The ramblers are complaining about the unfinished new footbridge across the Front Garden and the fact it leaves them having to walk an extra mile on their rambles.

Swindon Centric Says ; Rather like a chocoholic complaining that their favourite bar has doubled in size and is heavy to carry home.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Poverty Is Relative ; To How Much You Spend



Any coverage of child poverty, especially if you can localise it to your own town is welcomed.

However, if you find a local example to show this plight, surely you'd listen to what they said and possibly pause and say "pardon", when they tell you how much they spend on their child's school uniform.

Kerry Thomas said how difficult things are for her, with little spare money. But she also said she spent £200 on her five year-old son's school uniform.

Swindon Centric Says ; What is costing her £200 in uniform wares? Did she not hear about the £4 uniform that Asda launched in the summer. It may have sold out, but the 'normal' prices are still cheaper than £200.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Supersize Swindon's Sundays ; Buses Go Big In Town Services



CORRECTION : The reduced Sunday DayRider offer actual began on this Sunday, the 28th, and runs until the end of November. Sorry for the error.

Anything bus related, indeed any improvement in public transport deserves coverage, as does Swindon's Sunday bus changes.

Stagecoach has seen increased levels of patronage on the Sunday services, to the point now where some don't require council subsidy. As a result of this, frequencies are increasing from 26th of October and a promotion will be underway, with a DayRider (use it all day on all services in the town) being cut back to it's old price of £2.50 from £2.90 on Sundays.

The number 8 to Freshbrook will double to every half an hour, number 17 between Penhill and Park North becomes every 20 minutes and the number 12 will take the regular weekday 13/14 route and increase by 100% to half hourly.

Swindon Centric Says ; Well done Stagecoach for taking the initiative, this has been a long time coming for Sunday travel to be better. But, what policy is it that Thamesdown Transport has which means, apart from the hospital 16 service, it doesn't run any other buses on a Sunday. Since it's Swindon Borough Council owned, why is this?

Top Ten Things Heard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 72


Click here for the original and still the best at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. I wouldn't publicly state your position while we're sat at the bus.

9. We have a choice, but I don't understand either of them.

8. Don't eat it all at once, unless you want the bus tires to explode.

7. He's as incoherent as a John Prescott speech.

6. Fuzzy buttons, hooray!

5. He's listening to Kings Of Leon, hmm.

4. Rhubarb tastes better with brown sauce.

3. I hear they're going to sell the Bradford & Bingley bowler hats to raise revenue.

2. What do you expect, there is a war on.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. I've had enough, lets send in the flapjacks.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Regent Place Development Plans Show Area Earmarked


The proposal for the redevelopment in Granville Street and immediately north of Commercial has been made available in online form.

Swindon Centric Says ; Thanks to Komadori's knowledge, the areas shaded blue are 'overfly' right areas for the cranes needed for construction, while those in pink are the compulsory purchase properties.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Economy Doesn't Stop Thomas Homes Churchward Scheme










Stumbled on this, interesting video about the scheme to build on the site of the former Crane Shop. Part of the new build will make use of the 'propped up' southern and eastern walls of the Crane Shop. The traverser, which dominates the site, will be reduced in size. The traverser itself isn't original and was transfered from south of the tracks, previously in use at number 19, the Carriage & Wagon Shop, being moved across the main line during reorganisation at the works in 1966.

Swindon Centric Says ; Hopefully work on this, which has already started, is guaranteed to continue and not be temporarily halted, no matter what the economy does. It'll be strange to see people's living rooms through the disused windows in the propped up walls when work is complete. Talk about a reincarnation.

PS What was the original reason that during demolition at the works site, the walls were left in place? Surely someone knows?

Top Ten Things Heard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 71


Click here for the original and still the best at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. Then take he to see a film like a normal person.

9. Why would you want your two best mates to tag along on your anniversary?

8. They need to open it up to competition, then the whole town would benefit.

7. All those Rugby players and their legs, hmm.

6. When's the equinox?

5. Legend has it he appears at twilight at the edge of the road.

4. Baking it yourself is far cheaper than you'd imagine.

3. How many buggies can we safely take?

2. There was little outrage, which I think they were hoping for.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. The Sunday buses are going to increase in frequency, at, flippin', last.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Front Garden's Grass To Grow Long As Housing Policy Gets Muddy


As expected, housebuilding on the majority of the Front Garden will not start this year, as the council has suspended choosing a developer. 200 low-cost houses will still be built.

A common sense decision; however this illustrates an unattractive part of Swindon's housing policy. There are still many unbuilt and half-built houses in North Swindon, on which work has also been suspended. The sense in waiting for one area to be built and occupied before starting somewhere else is obvious.

Swindon Centric Says ; What's less obvious is why work began on the Front Garden, leaving it to look like a dirt-bike track (with the earth churned up for laying of services) for possibly several years. Let's just hope that it's not too late in the year for the grass to grow back to make the garden green again.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Swindon On Course To Beat It's Own Recycling Target


Over the last few months strides have been made in Swindon's recycling and refuse collection, to the point that it has won an award.

Coverage by the Advertiser has explained that the authority avoids, almost entirely, rejecting loads of recyclables due to contamination. We're not sure how they achieve that, but we're unable to find that section of the story online, which was part of the print edition, which explains it.

On a further plus side, the town is currently recycling 47 per cent of waste and has a ten commandments-style target of 50 per cent by 2010, so it's expected to reach that target early.

Swindon Centric Says ; So everyone who has been committed to the recycling shift,residents and council workers, well done.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Grass Isn't Greener, Or Safer, On The Other Side


The breaking of a promise about saving playing fields has become mired in little clear, honest response from the councillors involved.

As others have reported, saying that "the plans have changed", isn't enough and doesn't explain what's happened to a suitable degree to those residents who received a newsletter saying they were safe.

Swindon Centric Says ; For a conservative controlled council that has it's version of the ten commandments in it's '50 Promises', you can't break a promise and then not give a full explanation. You might like to throw around the '50 Promises' like flashy confetti, but a promise is a promise, whether it's written in a glossy brochure and plastered on construction hoardings (by the new Central Library) or on a single leaf of A4 that's shoved through people's letterboxes.

The people of Stratton deserve a proper explanation. They're waiting councillors...

PS We agree that behaviour of this sort deserves all the ridicule that it has received.

Top Ten Things Heard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 70


Click here for the original and still the best at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

10. I've barely been here an hour, do you mind.

9. She doesn't know what's going to happen in an hours time.

8. Well if you'll excuse me, my friend and I have to catch a train.

7. One stop, near the pharmacy.

6. 'He has our full support', is what normally gets said right before they throw him under the bus.

5. Have you seen that ugly baby on the back seat?

4. When did people start saying 'HBOS', I'm demanding newsreaders go back to using the full name.

3. It's very robust, like oakey old socks; it's wine, drink it.

2. Did you know that potatoes don't count as one of your five-a-day?

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. You can't leave and say 'everything's wrong', then not say what it is that's wrong, that's just resignation-by-laziness.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Top Ten Things Heard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 69


Click here for the original and still the best at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. It'll be drown out by the noise.

9. It's just a date, don't get emotional about it.

8. Your ideas aren't bad, it's just that mine are vastly superior to yours.

7. I have less and less confidence, but I'm not sure.

6. No, the next one.

5. Pork chops, they were on offer.

4. Just beautiful, thank you.

3. Hello boys and girls.

2. Broccoli is cheaper than beans, anyone know why?

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. So let me get this straight, the ex-mother-in-law of the bride is sitting at the top table?

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Big Project In The Shopping Bag - At Last


The Regent Place scheme, which will be built within the Commercial Road, Regent Street area, has been, finally, signed off.

At the same time, someone from the quiet-as-a-mouse, New Swindon Company, came out of hiding to say how pleased they were.

Swindon Centric Says ; Ok, the first hurdle is cleared, now lets see how long before the work begins. The clock is ticking...

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction - In Hong Kong & Swindon


A quick online search for details of the new Central Library reveals more holes than Swiss cheese in the Borough Council system. The main page, here, shows the last update on the construction as the 8th of May. Then, the specific central library page, here, shows the latest July news and an out of date picture.

Seems Komadori's comments about the latest initiative of council services were spot on. With their urge to rebrand, combined with an overdose of administration, (for it's own sake) is leaving the council treading water in a sea of it's own created red tape.

Swindon Centric Says ; We would throw them a life ring, but we don't have the correct form to fill out, plus by the time we get to it, the request will probably be out of date.

In other news... the same search found a book shop in Hong Kong called Swindon Book Company. Spookily, their website looks very familiar to the previous layout of the Borough Council site, in orange and grey.

Swindon Centric Says ; If the council are secretly running a book shop in a former British colony, then we demand an inquiry and possibly a recount.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Top Ten Things Heard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 68


Click here for the original and still the best at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. If only I'd told you yesterday.

9. For the life of me, I can't find that poster, it's either been thrown out or eaten.

8. All she heard was, "I can make the balls go click in the pocket", didn't know we were talking about pool.

7. The course is meant to include absolutely everybody, but that doesn't include me.

6. He thought 'credit crunch' was a type of cereal.

5. This bus now does two rotations of the roundabout, for operational reasons.

4. Several more were left behind, I gave them smug stares from the back seat.

3. I'm trying to make myself look pretty, don't look.

2. I'm attending a convention for conventioneers, it's bound to be as fun as it sounds.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. It's all very well to drive, but you don't have anyone's conversations to overhear.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

The Writing Remains On The Wall - For Some



A clean-up of Old Town has highlighted the poor uptake of the free Swindon Borough Council graffiti removal service.

Despite efforts to highlight the service, many people still didn't take up the offer to make the area cleaner. This is a real shame as Swindon Centric has experience of the service and can't fault it. Often, private property not facing roadways never get cleaned unlike those facing into streets.

Personally, having seen less than three quarters of of the residents of our street walk in or out of the area, they probably never literally look over their garden fence. If they did they would see the side of privately owned walls, fences and garden sheds covered in graffiti. Whereas council owned subways, fences, walls and street furniture are repainted or jet cleaned once every fortnight.

Swindon Centric Says ; We're all quick to criticise the Council, but this service, which is free, is excellent and should be taken up by all residents who need it. It's possibly the easiest thing any resident can do to improve their area, you can ask for the service by phone and do it via email, it's that easy.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Swan Death Causes Very Little Flap


It's summer, it's Swindon, so it must be something other than news in the news!

That's right, staff, we are told, at the Great Western Hospital, are in mourning for the resident swan.

Swindon Centric Says ; Council discussions begin in the morning about funeral arrangements, details include a parade route, a twenty-one gun salute and a red arrows flypast.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

We're Not Lovin' It!


That would be press releases disguised as news about as well as a dame at a panto. McDonalds has been in Swindon town centre for twenty-five years.

Swindon Centric Says ; 25 years, it feels like more. Oh wait... no that's just heartburn.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Top Ten Things Heard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 67


Click here for the original and still the best at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. I'm going to be medaled at my next appraisal.

9. The first touch is pretty magical.

8. A man with a hat has just turned up.

7. Check that digital display.

6. Genius. pure genius.

5. Verbs really are past their best.

4. You can't bring a bike on here, unless it's self-assembly.

3. I kid you not.

2. Isn't bronze just another shade of gold?

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. Well, when you put it like that, I've got it pretty good really.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Top Ten Things Heard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 66


Click here for the original and still the best at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. I'm sorry, you lost me when you started talking.

9. It's impossible to tell, unless you tilt your head this way.

8. Kissing your teammates is hugely underrated.

7. Apples that large really require a license to transport.

6. It took 500 man hours to produce the elephant.

5. This seat is far superior to that seat.

4. We received a smattering of applause and a book token.

3. No, he's holding all of the balls right now.

2. It's designer, but I'll have to clean off the marks before I take it in for a refund.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. I killed him, I killed him dead, but don't shout it too loudly.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Friday, August 01, 2008

This Just In - Swindon Bins Filled With Laptops, Jazz Bands & Rubbish


LATE BREAKING NEWS

Details have just reached us in the last few minutes of a shocking story that is breaking across the town this evening. A source we'll call Maria, from Swindon Borough Council has contacted us to say that a secret survey conducted this week has some shocking results.

Surveys of the contents of the entire Borough issued general waste wheelie bins makes for upsetting reading. The headlines look like this ;

- 46% contain general household unrecyclable waste.

- 17% contain general household recyclable waste. Those lazy people will be dealt with.

- 14% contain missing government laptops and data discs.

- 9% contain nothing as those residents eat their waste. They will be dealt with by the people in white coats.

- Another 9% are being used as dens in those residents gardens.

- 3% are being used to transport a jazz band and their instruments to a gig in Old Town.

- And the final 2% are actually bottomless...

Swindon Centric Says ; And for those freaky highly-strung residents moaning in the previous story, they all contain maggots. Get over it.

Besides if you have one of the 3% with the ' Swindon All Star Jazz Upbeaters Band ' in them, then as you sluice them out with boiling water, you can bop along to the jazz rhythms, everyone's a winner.

Swindon Summer Sanitation Story Shocker


As others have noticed, the news about maggots in Swindon bins is one of todays top stories.

As unbelievable as it is, some Swindon residents have been living in shock during the warm summer months because of maggots growing in their fortnightly rubbish collection. Surely this happened before we had wheelie bins and if residents aren't semi-regularly sluicing out their bin, they have themselves to blame.

Swindon Centric Says ; Maggots, high temperatures and decomposing rubbish, oh my!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

All Aboard Your Very Own Bus


Thamesdown Transport are giving those with the money and the correct operating license the chance to create their own version of Summer Holiday.

The majority council owned bus company is selling two of it's double deckers. Brightly painted in yellow, they're unique and lets face it, who doesn't like a double decker?

Swindon Centric Says ; Contact your municipal bus company for details. Hurrah for the fleetliners.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Top Ten Things Heard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 65


Click here for the original and still the best at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. I really do feel like, well, now you've earned it.

9. I don't want to see it because it's called Kung Fu Panda, that's why.

8. He's a bit of a Danish pastry.

7. It features a monkey, sounds boring.

6. You want me to do more and more with less and less.

5. Look out, here comes Mary Poppins.

4. What they're doing to the town is morally reprehensible.

3. Everyone is talking about The Dark Knight, so I thought I wouldn't.

2. He shook hands with the police outside, no-one has ever done that.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. Bad becomes good, that's the warped effect it has on you, don't do it Percy.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Top Ten Things Heard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 64


Click here for the original and still the best at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. I call Keira Knightley, Ikea Knightley.

9. Bo-boom, very good story.

8. Don't let the little people in, too late, they're already here.

7. It's inflected.

6. He was out with that mower at 7.45.

5. My status is smoking.

4. I may lose my job on Friday, how much worse can this month get?

3. It's rubbish of a grade all of it's own.

2. More creepy than dinner with Paul Daniels.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. Not the best architecture in the World, Swindon bus station.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Some Crimes Are More Headline Grabbing Than Others


The opinion of Komadori very much mirrors our own on the headline grabbing subject of speed cameras this week. If you are caught speeding, then tough, deal with it.

The inevitable collapse of the discussion into party politics was entirely expected. However the news about falling crime in Swindon didn't merit as much 'big bang' coverage. With this story, the old chestnut of 'how much crime isn't reported', is often wheeled out. But that shouldn't detract from the fall in crime as the figures show.

One interesting number that should be attached to every sensational headline about knife crime in the town is that it constitutes 0.3 per cent of all crime.

Swindon Centric Says ; When crimes against the person drop to the lowest level in the south-west, for our town, it should make the front page and should lead the story. Good news doesn't have to involve fluffy animals, it can include positive achievements and make an interesting newspaper-selling story to boot.

Footnote : On the issue of knife crime, this report on the BBC is very telling. The statistics show knife crime has stayed at the same level but the irrational fear exhibited by the public doesn't reflect this.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Top Ten Things Heard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 63


Click here for the original and still the best at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. It's on the Google.

9. He's in full damage limitation mode.

8. The music went on just after midday and it was loud and melodic.

7. It's a safe haven.

6. He goes through the bus picking up litter.

5. Chocolate is a vital part of my diet.

4. There's little reason for me to be suspicious, but I naturally am.

3. I rocked so hard something unknown began coming out of my nose.

2. One, two, three times the charm.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. The truth is difficult to find, hard to maintain and impossible to keep.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Market Saga Continues, Crossroads Like


The replacement for the closed Tented Market in the town centre has been rejected yet again by the council planning committee.

The latest version submitted for approval looked better than the last, but was still not defining the word 'landmark' in it's fullest sense. Despite the recommendation of planning officers to grant the scheme approval, members of the committee thought different thank goodness. The current artists impression shows the market replacement showing it's best side facing backwards to the one way traffic system, meaning the majority of people would see the least attractive side of the building approaching from Farnsby Street. There doesn't seem to have been much attention to detail in the latest version.

Swindon Centric Says ; We're pleased that a decent standard of build for this part of the town centre redevelopment is being upheld. But it's disconcerting how long one, relatively small part of the whole regeneration masterplan is taking. Swindon Borough Council better speed up it's dealings on this major part of it's remit.

Once again, where in the world is the New Swindon Company in this Crossroads saga? Been sent out for a bag of sugar anf never seen again?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

"Horror Has Come To Your Little Town Sheriff"



This above line should be said in the best Donald Pleasence voice you can muster.

For this weekend sees something that normally we don't get in Swindon. A film festival. Of course, there's one in November, but this is different. This is Swindon's first horror film festival.

Phantasmagoria starts on Friday and runs through to Sunday evening. It's at the Arts Centre and promises to be a most interesting affair.

Swindon Centric Says ; "He didn't cast a reflection in my mirror."

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Travellers, Chestnuts & Going In The Bushes


The ultimate local news story, travellers raising the blood pressure of locals, has been given it's latest airing. This weeks best chestnuts so far have been featured in a report by the Advertiser.

On this occasion, we take off our hat to the Swindon Advertiser. Specifically the quotes from locals. Your appetizer was a simple, no nonsense line that wouldn't have been out of place in a Famous Five book, "this will not do."

But the gold goes to an unnamed, 'other man', who said, "to defecate in the bushes is not human. I can't believe this has happened."

Swindon Centric Says ; 'Other Man' must live a very sheltered life and regarding the bushes, has clearly never been camping.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Top Ten Things Heard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 62


Click here for the original and still the best at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. How many, is that two, or one? We'll say two.

9. I have a stick, so I get priority.

8. They're campaigning to bring back the Crystal Maze.

7. Thunder was heard, but it was just a rumour.

6. There's less to be said and more to be done.

5. It was a vital contribution.

4. Number twelve, no I don't go there.

3. Long enough to get caught on something, that's what it's long enough for.

2. He's live every day at three.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. Just one slice of ham sets her off, like cat nip.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Full Coverage Of Smoking Ban Story Doesn't Reach Whole Town


The Adver ran a story recently about how traditional pubs were under threat and could disappear entirely as a result of the smoking ban. However, nothing was said about other drinking establishments, namely more modern bars.

Considering how often the recycled story about 'binge drinkers making the town centre a no-go area' is used, not a squeak was heard from, or reported on, the Bridge Street area of town and the effect on places there. Comments from those who run traditional pubs was included though, two in fact.

Swindon Centric Says ; Impartial reporting needs to show us what's happening in all drinking places, not just traditional pubs. Just because somewhere is described as a 'traditional pub' it doesn't mean that it's patrons drink any more responsibly than anyone who frequents a modern bar in Bridge Street. Impartiality, impartiality and impartiality.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Top Ten Things Heard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 61


Click here for the original and still the best at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. If we'd gone straight we would have been home by midnight.

9. I intend to keep one small battalion at home.

8. It was only a matter of time before that look became fashionable.

7. It must remain upright, otherwise it turns into a farce.

6. Rough and tough, they've had it all.

5. There appears to be no end to her talents, I've read the graffiti in the loos.

4. I'm not bitter, not, anyway.

3. I can't start to think about dinner, I'm barely done digesting lunch.

2. He felt disrespected, diddums.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. It was almost a food fight, I was prepared, I had a bib.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Railway Town Reporting Signals Failures


As Komadori pointed out, the accuracy from the Swindon Advertiser leaves something to be desired. We have mentioned here before about the poor knowledge of the railways from the town's only daily newspaper.

To the Advertiser's credit, a re-edited version of the story was posted on the newspaper's website on Monday evening. However, the new draft of the story has cut out any mention of the potential top speed of the new lines, correct or incorrect. A little research would reveal that the current top speed, of 186mph achieved by the Eurostar and the first TGV trains, would be at the top end of any new high speed line's limit. While, 140mph would be at the other end, since this is the speed the new commuter trains to be introduced for domestic services from Kent to London are built for.

Swindon Centric Says ; Less than five minutes research, gets the facts. Simple and accurate.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Top Ten Things Heard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 60


Click here for the original and still the best at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. A coup, that'd make work more interesting.

9. Have you seen Marks & Spencers, they've put in about four cafes.

8. What was so special about Sarah?

7. It was warm earlier on, now it's cold enough to shiver.

6. More and more I see him the less less interest I have in talking.

5. People shouldn't settle for second best, unless you're watching Sky One.

4. Two pensioners are worth one full fare paying passenger.

3. There's no reason you can't enjoy the same status.

2. Apples can be more dangerous than most people imagine.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. Hello is that Barry, well who are you and what have you done with him?

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Swindon Summer Silly Season Kick off!


If you didn't know, it's Swindon, the Summer Solstice is tomorrow and the silly news season has started.

Earlier on this week we had a story about a naked milkman in South Cerney. Now, it's crop circles and an injured swan.

Swindon Centric Says ; All we need is something about a cat stuck up a tree or inside a ventilation shaft and the week will be set.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Naked(est) Milkman In The West In South Cerney



Yes, there's been a naked milkman spotted in South Cerney. Gold top or silver and do you have any milk?

Swindon Centric Says ; Any excuse to put up this video.

Monday, June 16, 2008

No Daytime Disasters In Haydon Wick Please


Haydon Wick Parish Council has produced an emergency plan for any eventuality that could occur in the area.

However, residents should be worried by the Adver's comment that, 'fears of what could happen if floods occurred in the winter or the middle of the night were the inspiration behind the plan.'

Haydon Wick's problems seem to be centered around daytime, summer flooding, as the Adver has reported extensively.

Swindon Centric Says ; Should we tell them to look at some back issues?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Top Ten Things Heard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 59


Click here for the original and still the best at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. Just when Gordon Brown thinks things can't get any worse, President Bush arrives.

9. This is a friendly warning, be aware.

8. Is there a Race For Life for men?

7. I've sent a card, hope it'll get there in time.

6. You've got no credit and you've got no cash.

5. Humid like a swamp.

4. He ate all of them, well bully for her.

3. They send a backup just in case the one they're on breaks down.

2. Pounded away at the knocker for a while, the bell was on the blink.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. There were brightly coloured figures on stilts with funny haircuts, summer is here.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Top Ten Things Heard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 58


Click here for the original and still the best at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. I think reality finally caught up with him.

9. It took nearly half an hour to find his trousers, we had to put the meeting back.

8. They will be barbecuing this weekend, it's as certain as the sun coming up.

7. Sherbet Lemons are far more satisfying than many think.

6. 18 million cracks, that was a nice phrase.

5. He sold his balls for £25 each, rather overpriced if you ask me.

4. Looks like it might have been a pasty.

3. This foot is sore, but it's nothing like it was.

2. That nutty woman was drunk I think, if she wasn't then she should have been.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. Just stick your hand out at ninety degrees and give it a wiggle, that'll fix it.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.