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Wasted opportunities

I am a 66 year old Swindonian who has wrung her hands in despair over decisions made by numerous councils over countless decades. Two major queries are:

1. Why was the Wilts and Berks canal which ran though the town centre be allowed to be removed? Water is and has always been a popular attraction.

2. Why, with Swindon’s wonderful history with the railway, was this not taken advantage of? We had the first ‘peoples’ hospital in the country through this but where is it now?

The first I feel could be rectified as the original canal site is still in situ by using the old market area as a basin, bottom of Commercial Road. Yes some houses would have to be knocked down which have been built over the canal near Kingshill but this would’ve been realised in the plans for replacing the canal using Faringdon Road, the most stupid and unachievable plan I’ve ever heard, with Faringdon Road being a major road into the town centre. Who on earth thought that a good idea?

To return the canal to its original state would be much easier and cheaper and to use the old market place area more user friendly as it’s very close to the town centre.

The second is that more money should be put into our railway heritage. Would it not be possible using the Gloucester/Cheltenham line to put on steam train rides at the weekends or at bank holidays?

Also money should be put into putting the GWR hospital back as it was in celebration of this achievement to be proud of and not forgotten about! Rather than ask for lottery money for the other ridiculous idea of putting a modern art centre behind the shops by the town hall, ask for money to buy back the Mechanics Institute, a beautiful building left to rot which has a theatre and many rooms which could be renovated and used.

I cannot be the only Swindonian who feels that this town has not utilised aspects from our past to it’s advantage and with the decline of the town centre it’s time to do this. Nurture our heritage and this town would become a more attractive place to visit instead of the town it has been and still is for many years - run of the mill and boring.

Sue Reid, Hudson Way, Abbey Meads

Fuming over TV fee

Before the BBC decide to ditch the free TV licence for the over 75s, many of whom are possibly housebound through no fault of their own, and the TV is their only visual contact with the outside world, may I respectfully request suggest that they look first at the exorbitant fees and salaries they pay out, such as Gary Lineker’s £1.76million which would release enough money for 11,000 free licences?

There are so many other examples, too many to mention.

Would it be too much to ask these recipients to, perhaps, offer to take a much reduced fee or salary?

Pigs might fly!

Gerry Taylor, Newcastle Street, Swindon

A little light relief

Well it’s all over. Well ladies, agreed? I secretly think you are glad it is all over. I refer to the festive season.

Very enjoyable regarding a midwinter break, as I walked my little Westie around Covingham, lights flashing in the front of houses etc.Then back to reality.

I have noticed in my daily perusal of the Adver letters pages a very serious content. Let me change that.

The café society in London sitting out in the street with tables and chairs. Adam said to Eve: “Do you fancy someone else?” She replied: “Who else is there?”

Sages declare that human beings are basically reasonable - but the Sages never did the Glasgow Empire on a Friday night when the audience came out of the pubs.

Bill Williams, Merlin Way, Covingham

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