Swindon’s Magic Roundabout | Swindon Viewpoint
I absolutely love it. The disjointed, unsettling soundtrack is very clever. And it, the roundabout that is, inspired the XTC song. ‘English Roundabout’ How cool is that?
“… The film is intended as a homage to the late Frank Blackmore, of the British Transport and Road Research Laboratory, inventor of the mini roundabout. Swindon’s famous example was constructed in 1972 according to the design of Frank Blackmore, under the control of Highways engineer Jeff Maycock of Swindon Council. The official name of the roundabout used to be ‘County Islands’ but was changed in the late 1980s to match its popular name ‘The Magic Roundabout’. It inspired the song ‘English Roundabout’, a Pop song by the Swindon band XTC, which was recorded for their 1982 album ‘English Settlement’ … “
Just for interest here’s another nice, one of many, write up about the roundabout on BBC Wiltshire. Here’s an extract:
“The junction known as the Magic Roundabout, located near the County Ground football stadium, opened in September 1972. Its unusual design consists of five mini-roundabouts arranged around a sixth central, anti-clockwise roundabout. Roundabout fan Kevin Beresford said the junction was a “white knuckle ride”.
Mr Beresford, who runs the roundabout appreciation society, Roundabouts of Great Britain, said: “Swindonians should beam with pride with this fantastic feat of road engineering, which it has to be stated has now achieved iconic status around the world.” The local authority officially named the junction County Islands Roundabout, but it became commonly known as the Magic Roundabout due to its unique design…”
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