Friday, February 27, 2009

Chinese Takeaway As Pagoda Is Left Deserted

The country's biggest chinese restaurant, the Pagoda Palace, has closed without warning.

Formerly the Chinese Experience, customers have lost deposits, phones have been disconnected and the interior fittings having been cleared. The Chinese pagoda-style building remains a landmark in West Swindon, the building was especially striking just after opening when most of the Peatmoor area was yet to be constructed.

Lost motorists would be left scratching their heads as they drove up Mead Way ; there was a lagoon-side Chinese Palace in the middle of the Wiltshire countryside. Am I seeing things?

Swindon Centric Says ; Someone's got to snap up this building, even in the recession, it's a landmark that needs to be empty for as short a time as possible. Last thing we need is another vacant landmark building.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

You've Overshot the Consultation Street Stop, Hello?

That seems to be the case on the Groundwell Park & Ride cut.

The passengers trying to save their service reported that the staff at the site had already been paid their redundancy money, before the council meeting, on Monday evening (at which the final decision on the service was meant to be made).

As the dust begins to clear, but the question that no-one seems to be asking the council is why had staff already been given redundancy money before the 'final decision' was made?

Swindon Centric Says ; Was the consultation a sham? Would councillors like to answer this question and explain?

PS - How can the cabinet member for 'Sustainability, Transport & Strategic Planning' (Peter Greenhalgh) seriously dismiss the increase in cars driving into the town centre by saying that this would be cancelled out by not having the park and ride buses running? (This was reported in the Adver's print edition)

Is Mr Greenhalgh aware that a bus only needs to be a third full to be more efficient than the equivalent number of single-occupancy utilised cars? Or does he think all the Groundwell site commuters will be driving into town in hybrids and electric cars when the site closes? Perhaps he's thinking some of them might be Mr Fusion powered DeLoreans?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Top Ten Things Heard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 89

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 bus just goes round and round all day.

9. But luckily for me I don't have a job and can spend the day watching press conferences.

8. A stapler shouldn't be called a 'paper adhesive production device', unless you want the hardest of slaps.

7. Her makeup is always two degrees away from a drag queen's.

6. I'm loving the shoes by the way, who's wardrobe did you swipe them from?

5. What you doing here, shouldn't you be in London driving a van?

4. Cherries and bananas are just fruits is like saying acids and drain cleaners are soft drinks.

3. Fashion is a war.

2. It's a ball, it's ball shaped, I don't know how much more I can do to describe it to you.

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

CORRECTION : Swindon Centric, thanks to the Director General, now knows his east from west...

1. The number 1 now ends at Fleming Way, where the even number takes the journey onward to the east.

Overheard something we've missed? Let us know.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Top Ten Things Heard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 88

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. What is the capital city of Taiwan?

9. I know that song, I use to work as the entertainment manager in Woolworths.

8. Change, I'll give you change.

7. A new bike, he'll go to school on a penny-farthing if I have my way.

6. She's on shift for six hours, that means we can go in every 20 minutes and drive her right round the twist.

5. It's the most nutritionally dense food going, unlike ITV primetime programming, which is just dense.

4. They took a sample and found that the centre of the trunk was almost entirely rotten.

3. Something you can really get your teeth into, icing sugar is delicious.

2. Valentine's Day is such a hoot for those who have risen above the fray and can gloat at those who have to pretend to be happy for the sake of their partner.

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

1. If he gave it to you and you've got no symptoms, that means you're a courier... no, carrier sorry.

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

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Top Ten Things Heard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 87

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 only have eight minutes or less to entertain him.

9. Who would have put us together, not me.

8. The timetable is written by the same people who write political manifestoes.

7. She flew down the bus and hit her head on the validator machine, it started beeping the invalid sound.

6. It's all pillow-talk, don't believe a word.

5. Broccoli, mushrooms and those things that are like mini onions with a funny name like my cousin, Charlotte.

4. He'd never seen Hustle, he kept going on about that crap show, The Real Hustle.

3. Everything is a fight to him, he refused to let the weather beat him and made his way into his the-world-will-end-if-I-don't-get-into-work job on Thursday and Friday.

2. I shook my fish supper on the pavement and created a haven of friction in a land of frozen frictionless wastes.

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

1. The town's out of grit, I'm out of my depth and we're out of options, that's it, call Bruce Willis.

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

Friday, February 06, 2009

The Snow - Best Place To Bury Bad News

There are reports today that council tax is expected to rise by 3.5% and the information has been accidently 'leaked' out.

A couple of things about this are rather smelly.

Firstly, this number comes from papers which are to be used at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday when a decision will be made. Surely no decision will be made about the final figure until the meeting? Otherwise the process is a farce if, behind closed doors, an agreement about the number has been made, the meeting would be rather pointless.

Secondly, when Shirley Ludford on Swindon 105.5 mentioned the story in a phone interview with councillor Nick Martin this morning, his response was, "oh, it's been leaked out, has it?" Now the cynic in me thought he sounded not-at-all surprised. But maybe that's the view you get of leaks of information when you've been in office as long as Mr Martin has.

Thirdly, is this a preemptive 'lets make the figure worse than it is, then come in with a lower one, the real one, to everyone's relief and be seen in good light for manipulating people's expectations' ploy?

Swindon Centric Says ; A genuine leak? An 'authorised one? A political spinning of the council tax?

Which one is it? We'll have to wait until the thaw to see what's under the snow.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Where Swindon Centric Goes, Others Struggle To Keep Up

The team at SwindonWeb have only just just reported on the story about The Apartment closing, one week after Swindon Centic broke the story.

Swindon Centric Says ; Expecting The Adver to get this story in a month or two. After the venue has closed and reopened as something else, several times over.

Chaos Begins To Thaw - Swindon Gets The Feeling Back In It's Extremities

The following emergency alterations are in operation:

1/1A: Now operating normal routes.

11: Operating from Rodbourne Arms via Moredon Road, Haydonleigh Drive and Westfield Way to Haydon Wick, not serving Greenmeadow.

13/14: Now operating normal routes.

17: Now operating normal route.

18: Not serving Sparcells Drive.

19: Operating via Marlborough Road to Coate Water and GW Hospital, not serving Windsor Road or Queens Drive.

21: Not serving Ramsbury Avenue at Penhill.

23: Not serving St Helen’s View at Okus, terminating at Tithebarn Crescent.

24: Not serving Whitworth Road, Greenmeadow, Haydon Wick or Ash Brake. Running direct via Cricklade Road to St Andrew’s Ridge and Blunsdon.

Services 26, 43A, 46, 47, 48, 48A, 53, 53B and all school buses are cancelled today.

Stagecoach in Swindon are operating a limited service on routes 7 (every 15 minutes), 51 (As per the timetable from 1420) 54 (Swindon / Wroughton only) & 55 (every 30 minutes).

All other Services are cancelled for the remainder of the day.

Robotic Snowmen Stalk The Streets - Update

A few extra details now about the Doctor Who Christmas Special-like chaos that has been dumped upon Swindon.

Thamesdown services ;

The following emergency alterations are in operation:
1/1A Terminating in West Swindon at Link Centre, not serving Grange Park, Ramleaze or Middleleaze.
11 Terminating at Rodbourne Arms, not serving Greenmeadow or Haydon Wick.
13,14 Teminating at Moredon (Boundary House), not serving Haydon Wick.
17 Operating via Grafton Road at Penhill, stop at Fairford Crescent not being served.
18 Not serving Sparcells Drive.
19 Not serving Marlborough Road, Lawn or GW Hospital.
21 Not serving Penhill Valley.
23 Not serving St. Helen's View, terminating at Tithe Barn Crescent.
24 Not serving Whitworth Road, Greenmeadow, Haydon Wick or Ash Brake. Running direct via Cricklade Road to St. Andrew's Ridge and Blunsdon.
26,46,47,48,53 and all School Buses cancelled.

- Stagecoach Buses remain suspended, but this may change later in the day.

- Swindon College and New College are closed today, with all classes and evening courses cancelled.

Swindon Centric Says ; For all the very latest on the 'chaos' tune into Swindon 105.5, listen online by clicking here.

Mild Peril Hits Swindon - Snow Covered Zombies Begin To Roam The Street

Swindon has been covered in snow and although the sun has yet to rise panic appears to be spreading all over the town.

- There currently aren't any Stagecoach buses running anywhere in town. There is a note to this effect on their website with updates to follow.

- There don't appear to be Thamesdown Transport services running either, their website has yet to be updated this morning.

- Swindon College at North Star will not open today.

- Roads are blocked all over town, with many people up, but staring out at the snow.

Swindon Centric Says ; What other word can be used other than chaos? Chaos was used earlier this week for that light dusting, so what do we use? Email us your suggestions!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Swindon Just Doesn't Have Enough Grit! Council To Try Resurrecting John Wayne

Ok, so in this report it talks about Wiltshire, but the headline for this post was too good a tongue-in-cheek opportunity to pass up in the recent 'news' about the weather.

Swindon Centric Says ; What's left to go after the grit's gone? Swindon and Wiltshire's backbone?

Monday, February 02, 2009

Update : The Apartment Closure

In an update from last week's story about the loss of The Apartment in Havelock Square.

Further details obtained by Swindon Centric today indicate that The Apartment will close, with deep irony, at the end of Friday 13th February, in less than two weeks.

Swindon Centric Says ; That falling sound you can hear isn't snow dropping off your roof, but the level of quality in eating and drinking falling in the town centre. We wish the two dozen staff who are about to be made redundant the best in finding something else.

At least they won't be short of places to buy doughnuts and hotdogs on the doorstep of their soon-to-be-former place of work.

Top Ten Things Heard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 86

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 living again, awake and alive.

9. Hello, good morning, how you been?

8. I don't like the colour of that sky, Chief.

7. They closed the road so they could move a rather large person.

6. She was talking about all this personal sexual stuff on the bus, I wouldn't do that.

5. I missed you like a cat with no neck misses licking it's own arse.

4. Only shooting stars break the mould.

3. Sliding, flying, here we go.

2. He thinks it cool to leave a pause for the people at work to pick a name, idiot.

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

1. Are you allowed to get married on that day of the week, are you sure?

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