Local History Mural, Swindon
November 2021 commission
I was very pleased to be invited to paint on this prominent wall – clearly visible as you drive up the main route into Old Town, Swindon. The property owner was keen to represent as many aspects of the local area’s history as we could fit in! Also for the design to be colourful and attractive as a boost to the local community.
There used to be a livestock market at the top of Drove Road, so the first element added was the farmer hauling his pigs (Swin don = swine town) up the hill to market. The slope of the hill cut the design in two, enabling a “night to day” fade above the slope with relatively recent historical aspects (pig farmer, Swindon tram, Christ Church) – and a “day to night” fade below, featuring more ancient local history, such as the fact that the original Swindon village was mentioned in the Domesday Book back in 1086, and also the famous Moonraker legend – which has ties to Old Town, Swindon as well as to Devizes.
The two moons in the top left and bottom right balanced the design out nicely. And finally, the small boy chasing the piglet was based on a conversation I once had with my next door neighbour – he has lived in Swindon all his life, and when he was a little boy, the pigs would occasionally escape, and the local children would get a sixpence as a reward if they managed to catch one and bring it back.
I really enjoyed both researching and painting this mural, and I had so many lovely comments from passers-by, including a couple of local historians who approved (phew, I didn’t get any details too horribly wrong). And all the children walking past really loved the piggies 🐷 😊