Ten things to celebrate about Swindon No 4: The sculptures. D: ‘The Great Blondinis’
Public art in Swindon: The Great Blondinis
I really, really miss The Great Blondinis. A sculpture/statue of them used to reside in Wharf Green and I loved it. It was bright and colourful and didn’t half brighten up a dull day – and goodness only knows we get enough of those! I get that Wharf Green needed rejuvenating and, after initial cynicism, really love the big screen – I’ve enjoyed several fabulous evenings down there watching live streaming of opera and ballet – fantastic! How cool is it to have that facility in Swindon? But did we have to lose the Great Blondinis? 😦
For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, the Gteat Blondinis were an acrobatic troupe who performed at circuses in Swindon in the 1920s. I’m sure though they were known beyond this area. I’m not from Swindon and I’m certain I’d heard of them before coming here. Or I could be thinking of Charles Blondin, the first tightrope walker to cross Niagra Falls? Hmmm. Anyway… The sculptor who created them was also responsible for Diana Dors at Shaw Ridge. The sculpture rather than the actress, clearly.
I did know that the sculpture had been saved but I didn’t know where it now was. Thanks to a certain non-tax paying search engine I do now. A quick furtle on the internet found Duncan and Mandy’s website which reveals that the restored Blondinis now reside in St Mark’s park in the Ferndale/Gorse Hill area. The colour photograph of the acrobats is courtesy of their website – a veritable mine of information about Swindon actually.
So whilst it’s great to see them all cleaned up I’m still sad I don’t get to see them anymore.
A black and white picture of the statue being unveiled back in 1987 can be seen here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/swindonlocal/6672481469/
And more pictures here: http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=great%20blondinis
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