10 things to celebrate about Swindon. No 7: The leisure facilities

I moved to Swindon about 20 years ago with my then 12 year-old daughter. We left a small village in Derbyshire, a part of the country left ravaged and war-torn (and that’s not too strong a term) by the miners’ strike and the Tory government.  Not only were there no jobs and no prospects there was nothing to do and nowhere to go unless you had a car which I didn’t. Once Meadowhall and Cystal Peaks opened in the Sheffield areas,  our local town of Worksop, simply died.

So imagine then, how it felt to pitch up in a town that offered, within a ten-minute walk of my home: a cinema, and a swimming pool. Even more exotic than that though, a bowling alley, an ice -rink and a Pizza Hut!  All in one place. Wow. You can’t begin to imagine the excitement. Add to that a decent shopping centre – a Debenhams, a C&A and an M&S and many more besides, a mere 15 minute bus ride away instead of the two buses and very lengthy trek to Sheffield for a similar shopping experience. Chesterfield and Mansfield were more accessible but it was Sheffield you needed for C&A and Cole Brothers and the like.  So this was a metropolis indeed!  Moreover there was the almost zero unemployment of that time.  I simply could not believe the ease with which I found work! Not only a metropolis then, but, as far as I was concerned, the land of milk and honey.  And all of this contributes enormously to the affection I feel for this town.

Furthermore of course there’s the Oasis and Dorcan and Croft and Milton Road.  And there’s all the parks and green spaces and a theatre and an arts centre.  Of course since my arrival here there’s been the Greenbridge and Orbital developments and soon we’ll have the new set-up at Regent’s Circus. A veritable cornucopia indeed.

So yeah, I know the town is not without its problems and faults but I’ll never forget how it felt to arrive here and find so many wonders right on my doorstep. I thought it was wonderful then and, even though the town centre is perhaps not what it once was, I still do.

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About amaatk123

Owner of AA Editorial Services - www.aaedits.co.uk #Digitalcopywriting #proofreading #writing Blog about Swindon as Born again Swindonian #BAS Joint English Hons graduate 2014 http://about.me/amaatk123

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