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RobertT


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« Reply #255 on: Wednesday, January 24, 2018, 15:36:17 »

Swindon, unfortunately, is now reaping years of bad planning.  It chased a population boon dream in the 80's/90's thanks largely to transportation links combined with the lower cost of living than other areas.  The population boon did not come with an infrastructure investment to match, or improvements in civic facilities, or regeneration of proud historical buildings etc.  It, as Arriba alludes to, became essentially a massive housing estate.  I don't know the stats, but I'd wager it is has a higher commuter % than other towns of a similar size, and even then, it has provided little for those commuters for the times when they are in the Town.

The Outlet Village and the Link Centre are pretty much the only developments I can think of in the past 40 years that brought something new and improved to the Town.  There have been retail parks of course, but even tiny towns have them.  The central area is a joke, how that has been allowed to fester is beyond me.  They missed the retail expansion, then they've not been able to react to it's decline, they just have whatever we thought we needed in a much smaller Town in 1970.

Having now moved away, it becomes much easier to see the issues it faces, and that clearly leaks into the support of the club.

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Reg Smeeton
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« Reply #256 on: Wednesday, January 24, 2018, 15:44:28 »

It was going downhill well before 2008 or austerity, as much due to successive fuckwits in the council chamber - of both parties. Not everything is the fault of Tory governments (or Labour ones). The major cause of the town's decline is within the borough (council) itselfYou could get a new career as a shithole consultant!


We'll have to disagree on this. My barometer is something like the Brunel Rooms. The Reids sold up in 2007, it had been a very decent night spot for many years catering to all sorts of young Swindonians, and outsiders. A good time to bail out as the next incumbents were just in time for the crash and bankruptcy. Around the same time the bottom fell out of the thriving pub trade down the end of town. No more late night free bus between The Mission, and Fleet St.

OK it might have resembled Beirut at times, but that's young people for you. It had an energy, much better than the present ghost town...
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RobertT


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« Reply #257 on: Wednesday, January 24, 2018, 15:57:48 »

Reg, the late night trade changed, it was another example of short term planning (excluding the Rooms).  The late night licenses meant pubs pinched a significant club trade, that impacted the Brunel Rooms, Mission and D&D/Kaos/Hardings etc.  Why pay to enter something that sells beer when you are already in one for free.  Then the bottom of town became a concentrated mass of drunks, creating an image problem over a number of years (interestingly this has probably created a bit of an improvement in the general Old Town scene).  For a few years it had worked - to begin with, they sourced the clubs in the area, then the numbers grew once late night licenses were available and the clubs died, but now too many pubs were in the same location all competing for trade at the same time with the same audience - bad design.

The decline of the Town was well set ahead of that, I'd put the date at the closure of the works.  The years following were actually seen to be great for Swindon - low jobless rate, companies moved in, housing in West Swindon and North Swindon etc.  However, nothing was done to fundamentally change the Town, just more houses, more business park, more retail parks.  Take the Northern expansion - how on earth planners thought it was sustainable long term without investment in crossings over the rail lines is beyond me.  Rather than go IN, residents go OUT.  Every opportunity the post Works economic spur provided were wasted in the search for short term gains.  Great community assets such as Coate, Town Gardens, Lawns, Qeens Park and Lydiard offer little more than they did 50 years ago.  The Town expanded but has very few extra rail crossings, so enables traffic problems due to funneling of traffic, it couldn't even be arsed to stick a decent road in to link West and North Swindon.  The bus service is no different than it ever was, not even a hint at alternative public transport options.

All of this was pre-2008 - what that did was seal it's fate for decades.  The "recovery" is now showing we have learned little as a Town - the cart is leading the horse again - mass housing.  Look at the plans for the Eastern development - the traffic improvements appear to amount to sticking a bus lane over a roundabout to manage 8k+ new homes in a decade.
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Reg Smeeton
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« Reply #258 on: Wednesday, January 24, 2018, 16:01:12 »

Swindon, unfortunately, is now reaping years of bad planning.  It chased a population boon dream in the 80's/90's

The plans for Swindon's expansion were developed in the 60's (see the silver book). It was partly a response to the realisation that with the decline of the Works, diversification in employment was needed.

Of course the idea then followed with an expanded population, there would be more money for socialist spending on infrastructure, arts etc.  Remember this was largely driven by local Labour politicians.  Through the 60's into the 70's, it largely worked....you got things like The Wyvern, Oasis improved Parks and Recs, localised Leisure centres like Grange, Croft, a growth in district libraries.  The break came in the 80's, as you point out the Link, more or less the last project of note. The break was precipitated by Thatcherism, removing the local element from government. From then it was multinationals get their profits and the town gets next to fuck all, besides the infrastructure burden.
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RobertT


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« Reply #259 on: Wednesday, January 24, 2018, 16:05:03 »

Oh, and what this has to do with STFC - pride and a sense of belonging.  People go OUT, not IN, people visit other places, there is no sense of being a Swindonian other than those that have long term family ties.  Attendances hold up well, because we do have a big population and outlying Wiltshire is small, so for sports the competition is threadbare.  The club stagnates just as the Town does though, missing the same opportunities, suffering the same problems.
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RobertT


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« Reply #260 on: Wednesday, January 24, 2018, 16:14:18 »

The plans for Swindon's expansion were developed in the 60's (see the silver book). It was partly a response to the realisation that with the decline of the Works, diversification in employment was needed.

Of course the idea then followed with an expanded population, there would be more money for socialist spending on infrastructure, arts etc.  Remember this was largely driven by local Labour politicians.  Through the 60's into the 70's, it largely worked....you got things like The Wyvern, Oasis improved Parks and Recs, localised Leisure centres like Grange, Croft, a growth in district libraries.  The break came in the 80's, as you point out the Link, more or less the last project of note. The break was precipitated by Thatcherism, removing the local element from government. From then it was multinationals get their profits and the town gets next to fuck all, besides the infrastructure burden.

I would agree that the legacies of the 60's/70's show much more thought, but they were undone quickly by the 80's and 90's.  The David Murray John Tower is glowing example of missed opportunities - how is it still the only building over about 10 floors in the Town?
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Reg Smeeton
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« Reply #261 on: Wednesday, January 24, 2018, 16:16:34 »

I would agree that the legacies of the 60's/70's show much more thought, but they were undone quickly by the 80's and 90's.  The David Murray John Tower is glowing example of missed opportunities - how is it still the only building over about 10 floors in the Town?

There's a 15 storey tower going up on the old market site.
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4D


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« Reply #262 on: Wednesday, January 24, 2018, 16:27:15 »

Signal point is 12 storeys  Bye
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Reg Smeeton
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« Reply #263 on: Wednesday, January 24, 2018, 16:32:12 »

Signal point is 12 storeys  Bye

There was a rash of late 60's 70's office buildings, most of which are now unoccupied or like Aspen House demolished.

Lowndes Lambert were based in Aspen House, they funded Lou Macari....
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Peter Venkman


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« Reply #264 on: Wednesday, January 24, 2018, 16:35:26 »

Signal point is 12 storeys  Bye
You mean the Hambro building Wink
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30 years now and I've moved on and still we got the torys back in the chair
The current generation are out on the streets
With a whole new set of reasons to be fighting police
No justice and Stephen we know where to start
Gangs are busy tearing inner cities apart

30 years still living in a ghost town
Still dragging us down
Telling us the way we should live

Guns of Navarone....
Ardiles


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« Reply #265 on: Wednesday, January 24, 2018, 17:05:51 »

All of the places you mention don't have largely incoming populations, I remain convinced that a lot of the problem with Swindon Town engaging with residents is simply the fact that a lot of Swindon residents are not from Swindon and thus there is not the long standing family links to the club passed down through generations.

I think this line would have been stronger in the 1980s & 1990s.  There was a huge influx of families from outside of the area back then as West & then North Swindon went up.  Not sure that the trend is quite so strong these days.  The children of 1980s 'incomers' count as locals today.

Swindon, unfortunately, is now reaping years of bad planning.  It chased a population boon dream in the 80's/90's thanks largely to transportation links combined with the lower cost of living than other areas.  The population boon did not come with an infrastructure investment to match, or improvements in civic facilities, or regeneration of proud historical buildings etc.  It, as Arriba alludes to, became essentially a massive housing estate.  I don't know the stats, but I'd wager it is has a higher commuter % than other towns of a similar size, and even then, it has provided little for those commuters for the times when they are in the Town.

Never a truer word spoken.  Wouldn't it be marvellous if, one day, a stadium redevelopment could encourage further investment in that part of town?  The expansion of Swindon in recent decades has been done on the cheap, and the town is now paying the price.
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horlock07


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« Reply #266 on: Wednesday, January 24, 2018, 17:14:09 »

I think this line would have been stronger in the 1980s & 1990s.  There was a huge influx of families from outside of the area back then as West & then North Swindon went up.  Not sure that the trend is quite so strong these days.  The children of 1980s 'incomers' count as locals today.

But are they interested in a two bit poorly performing football club, without the burden of family traditions to support the club a lot of us are lumbered with? These are all hypthetical questions, but I imagine there are a lot of premier league shirts in Swindon schools?

Never a truer word spoken.  Wouldn't it be marvellous if, one day, a stadium redevelopment could encourage further investment in that part of town?  The expansion of Swindon in recent decades has been done on the cheap, and the town is now paying the price.

What I will say (and I am not defending the Council as they are clueless to deal with) is that they can only approve developments which come forward via the private sector, the days of large municipal schemes are long gone and I suspect that Swindon being comparatively wealthy has not benefited from the large amounts of government and EU sloshing about which have rejuvenated a lot of similar towns up here! If developers think an economy is weak, they will either try and develop on the cheap or not develop at all?
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Reg Smeeton
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« Reply #267 on: Wednesday, January 24, 2018, 17:18:56 »

Apparently Speedway got some news today. Not sure if it's good or bad...

http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/15893968.Abbey_Stadium_owners_announce_new_plans_for_arena/?ref=mr&lp=2

It bothers me that GI, who are Swindon based and currently implicated allegedly in Torquay's woes, make their seemingly decent living out of ailing sports venues.
« Last Edit: Wednesday, January 24, 2018, 18:08:30 by Reg Smeeton » Logged
horlock07


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« Reply #268 on: Wednesday, January 24, 2018, 17:25:05 »

Apparently Speedway got some news today. Not sure if it's good or bad...

http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/15893968.Abbey_Stadium_owners_announce_new_plans_for_arena/?ref=mr&lp=2

It bothers me that GI, who are Swindon based and currently implicated allegedly in Torquay's woes. make their seemingly decent living out of ailing sorts venues.

Fucking hell the Advertiser need to invest in a proof reader......
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Panda Paws
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« Reply #269 on: Wednesday, January 24, 2018, 18:51:38 »

Fucking hell the Advertiser need to invest in everything.....

Fixed for you.

Local media is dead and will not be revived.
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