Town centre landmark a cheap place to live

This Is Wiltshire: The David Murray John Tower The David Murray John Tower

A TOWN centre landmark which was once home to high fliers around Swindon has been named as one of the cheapest places to live in the area.

The David Murray John Tower, which was built in the 1970s, has appeared in the top 10 least expensive places to live in the SN1 postcode area for the first time.

Spring Gardens has topped the list as the least expensive in the town centre with the average property price at £71,825.

The DMJ tower appears in ninth place with an average price of £96,501, according to the figures from property price specialists Mouseprice.

Coun Mike Bawden , who was a Swindon councillor when the tower was built, said: “The idea when it was built was that senior executives from local companies could stay there for six months.

“When we started off it was management people who were looking for reasonable accommodation in the town centre.

“That didn’t work frightfully well and in the end it became part of the council housing department stock, but it wasn’t in the housing revenue account.

“It’s more than 30 years old and things have moved on. I am not the slightest bit surprised that is is a particularly reasonable location. The choice in Swindon, if you are looking for a flat now, is good. There are quite a number of areas where you can go to.

“When it was built it was looked upon to be an ideal location for senior executives. A number of major companies rented a flat and managed it themselves.”

Town clerk David Murray John, who the tower is named after, retired from the council in 1974 and construction started in the same year.

He died the following year and the tower, which was finished in 1978, was named in his memory.

“Building the tower was one of the last decisions of the old Swindon Borough Council ,” said Coun Bawden.

“I remember David Murray John saying ‘we need a focal point in the centre of Swindon where we can see this building for miles around’. He was one of the most remarkable men I ever met.

“He was perfectly correct to say it was a focal point. I would suggest it still is because you drive in to Swindon from a distance and it is the first thing you see.

“I don’t think the 35 years have been very generous – the building hasn’t aged very well. I think the borough has a problem with what it does with it. You could argue we need to spend an awful lot of money on it. There isn’t the money around to do anything with it.”

Yersin Court is second in the list with an average of £72,857, closely followed by Erin Court with an average of £79,469.

Comments (8)

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9:15am Fri 31 Aug 12

RichardR1 says...

Is Mike Bawden actually saying they built a white elephant, or that it has become a white elephant because of the poor quality of build and the lack of maintenance.

34 years does not seem a long time for a new build in terms of construction issues.
Is Mike Bawden actually saying they built a white elephant, or that it has become a white elephant because of the poor quality of build and the lack of maintenance. 34 years does not seem a long time for a new build in terms of construction issues. RichardR1
  • Score: 0

2:51pm Fri 31 Aug 12

The Real Librarian says...

QUOTE
I remember David Murray John saying ‘we need a focal point in the centre of Swindon where we can see this building for miles around’.
UNQUOTE

Well he was right about that wasn't he. Everywhere you go for a nice walk in the country, that **** building looks up at you. Quite often its the only one you can see.

The only reason I'd live there is so that I can't see it.
QUOTE I remember David Murray John saying ‘we need a focal point in the centre of Swindon where we can see this building for miles around’. UNQUOTE Well he was right about that wasn't he. Everywhere you go for a nice walk in the country, that **** building looks up at you. Quite often its the only one you can see. The only reason I'd live there is so that I can't see it. The Real Librarian
  • Score: 0

3:41pm Fri 31 Aug 12

Emroc says...

The rent that the Council charge is pretty high though, I must say.

The building may look half decent from the outside but when you see it closely you really do realise just how much it has been neglected as with everything here.

I find it really odd how the Council can spend ridiculous amounts of money on useless water fountains and clocks but when it comes to important things, there is no money around to do it - funny that.
The rent that the Council charge is pretty high though, I must say. The building may look half decent from the outside but when you see it closely you really do realise just how much it has been neglected as with everything here. I find it really odd how the Council can spend ridiculous amounts of money on useless water fountains and clocks but when it comes to important things, there is no money around to do it - funny that. Emroc
  • Score: 0

3:45pm Fri 31 Aug 12

Emroc says...

RichardR1 wrote:
Is Mike Bawden actually saying they built a white elephant, or that it has become a white elephant because of the poor quality of build and the lack of maintenance.

34 years does not seem a long time for a new build in terms of construction issues.
Swindon borough council doesn't understand the word 'maintenance'.
[quote][p][bold]RichardR1[/bold] wrote: Is Mike Bawden actually saying they built a white elephant, or that it has become a white elephant because of the poor quality of build and the lack of maintenance. 34 years does not seem a long time for a new build in terms of construction issues.[/p][/quote]Swindon borough council doesn't understand the word 'maintenance'. Emroc
  • Score: 0

4:23pm Fri 31 Aug 12

Itssomewheretowork says...

I can't remember seeing too many places to live in Spring gardens..... a nice poiece of grass, a car park and a hostel, plus the entrance to Jury's car park. Am I missing something or have the turned the grass area into a camp site?
I can't remember seeing too many places to live in Spring gardens..... a nice poiece of grass, a car park and a hostel, plus the entrance to Jury's car park. Am I missing something or have the turned the grass area into a camp site? Itssomewheretowork
  • Score: 0

5:01pm Fri 31 Aug 12

I Could Do That says...

The Real Librarian wrote:
QUOTE
I remember David Murray John saying ‘we need a focal point in the centre of Swindon where we can see this building for miles around’.
UNQUOTE

Well he was right about that wasn't he. Everywhere you go for a nice walk in the country, that **** building looks up at you. Quite often its the only one you can see.

The only reason I'd live there is so that I can't see it.
Then you'd have this view instead

www.flickr.com/photo
s/73970391@N03/70394
89865/
[quote][p][bold]The Real Librarian[/bold] wrote: QUOTE I remember David Murray John saying ‘we need a focal point in the centre of Swindon where we can see this building for miles around’. UNQUOTE Well he was right about that wasn't he. Everywhere you go for a nice walk in the country, that **** building looks up at you. Quite often its the only one you can see. The only reason I'd live there is so that I can't see it.[/p][/quote]Then you'd have this view instead www.flickr.com/photo s/73970391@N03/70394 89865/ I Could Do That
  • Score: 0

10:37pm Fri 31 Aug 12

The Fibbing Bar Tender says...

That's a fascinating photo angle.
That's a fascinating photo angle. The Fibbing Bar Tender
  • Score: 0

1:09pm Sat 1 Sep 12

house on the hill says...

Emroc says...
3:41pm Fri 31 Aug 12

The rent that the Council charge is pretty high though, I must say.

The building may look half decent from the outside but when you see it closely you really do realise just how much it has been neglected as with everything here.

I find it really odd how the Council can spend ridiculous amounts of money on useless water fountains and clocks but when it comes to important things, there is no money around to do it - funny that.”

It still isnt as expensive as it would be if it was in private sector that is probably why it comes out as being cheap, beacuse its at social housing prices instead of market rates. I think you would expect to pay more than £500 a month if private.

I think SBC just manage it but dont own it, they sold it off to prop up their pensions a while back so it would be down to the owners to maintain it.

Who wants to live in spring gardens anyway......
Emroc says... 3:41pm Fri 31 Aug 12 The rent that the Council charge is pretty high though, I must say. The building may look half decent from the outside but when you see it closely you really do realise just how much it has been neglected as with everything here. I find it really odd how the Council can spend ridiculous amounts of money on useless water fountains and clocks but when it comes to important things, there is no money around to do it - funny that.” It still isnt as expensive as it would be if it was in private sector that is probably why it comes out as being cheap, beacuse its at social housing prices instead of market rates. I think you would expect to pay more than £500 a month if private. I think SBC just manage it but dont own it, they sold it off to prop up their pensions a while back so it would be down to the owners to maintain it. Who wants to live in spring gardens anyway...... house on the hill
  • Score: 0

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