The sprawling urban conurbation that is Swindon began life as an Anglo-Saxon defensible settlement atop a limestone hill. Old Swindon would likely have remained a sleepy market town were it not for the Industrial Revolution. The subsequent acceleration in Swindon's growth began with the construction of the Wilts & Berks Canal in 1810, though the real transformative factor came between 1841 and 1842 with the historic decision by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Daniel Gooch to establish their Great Western Railway works in Swindon, leading to the birth of a new town: New Swindon.
Today's Swindon is a surprising, multilayered, creative hotspot that is home to artists and writers of every genre and calibre. In Secret Swindon, author Angela Atkinson explores some of the lesser-known episodes and characters in the history of this Wiltshire town, bringing to life tales of those who have lived in it and the places they inhabited.
Born and raised in Whitwell, Derbyshire, Angela Atkinson moved to Swindon in the 1990s and is now a Swindon enthusiast and `born again Swindonian'. She worked at Swindon's Research Councils for a number of years. Following early retirement, she undertook voluntary work and gained a 1st Class Joint English Hons degree. She now runs a small business, AA Editorial Services, is a trustee of Swindon Civic Voice and runs her Swindon blog, Swindonian.me, a personal celebration of the town.