Polyolbion: An evening in Swindon – another Swindon fan
By kind permission of Mat Merritt, the author of Polyolbion: An evening in Swindon which I am sharing here to prove, if proof were need by now, that I’m not the only Swindon fan around and that Swindon is worthy of fandom. As the writer says, post his attendance at a Bluegate Open Mic evening at Lower Shaw Farm:
“Swindon’s one of those place-names beloved of British comedians. Not because it’s intrinsically funny (like, say, Nether Wallop, or Pratt’s Bottom), but because (oh, and Penistone, of course) it’s somehow seen as a byword for dull, red-brick provincialism. Thinking about it, Birmingham has suffered in the same way over the years, and just as unfairly.
I’ve always had a very large soft spot for both, the former not least because it was the home town of XTC, a neglected national treasure if ever there was one. The proximity of White Horse Hill, one of my very favourite spots in these islands, also helps. After last night, I have another reason.
The Bluegate Poets Open Mic was held at Lower Shaw Farm, which by day is a city farm sort of affair, but which by night provides a thoroughly relaxed and creative atmosphere for reading poetry …”
*See more about Swindon’s poetry scene and its status as world capital of poetry in other posts under arts/culture/heritage.