Here’s a share of a largely pictorial article from the Swindon Advertiser for no other reason than that it’s amusing and entertaining: 10 things called ‘Swindon’ which aren’t Swindon (From Swindon Advertiser).
It features – who’d have thought it – 10 things called ‘Swindon’ that aren’t the Swindon we all know and love. Two of them I was aware of but not the rest.
Most of us round here will know that there’s a Swindon village, a suburb of Cheltenham – No 6 on the list. And you may, if you read the Swindon Link magazine, be aware of No 5, the Swindon Book Co in Kowloon. There’s a nice little back story to that one. It appears that back in the day (the 1930s) when the business was established it was fashionable for business to take a western name, frequently a capital city in Europe or America. It seems that the manager at the time was aware of Swindon’s Great Western Railway works and, as the shop was situated in proximity to the terminus of the railway line connecting Kowloon to all China’s major cities, the choice of ‘Swindon’ was deemed to be an auspicious one. You can read the rest of that article on Swindon Link’s web presence and see for yourself the existence of the Swindon Book Co in Kowloon. And here, for interest, is the website of the Swindon Book Co. Ltd. How cool is that?
Finally, I was particularly interested in No 9 which is apropos the surname of Swindon. It seems there are a number of people around the world bearing that moniker. Sadly but perhaps not unsurprisingly, genealogists have suggested that the majority of people bearing this name are not descended, as you’d be forgiven for thinking, from Swindonians but from the inhabitants of a tiny Yorkshire hamlet by the name of Swinden. Now I’m not deigning to suggest that ‘Swinden’ was also a pig-farming area cos I’ve got no evidence to back it up. But to speculate for a moment – if it was (and it’s suggestive of that isn’t it?) and that was how the hamlet got its name and thus passed that on to its inhabitants – then how come something similar didn’t happen here? There must be some other reason for it clearly. But it’s curious is it not?
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