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Front cover of Summer 2015 edition

Swindon Heritage Magazine Summer 2015

Synopsis of the major articles in Swindon Heritage Magazine Summer 2015

By Vivien Moss


Harold Starr:  The Battle of Britain hero from Swindon.

“Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few,” said Churchill on 20 August 1940 in a speech to Parliament as the Battle of Britain was raging in the struggle for air supremacy in World War II.  Dan Gurney, a former RAF man has researched and recorded from family members,  colleagues and co-pilots the inspiring story of Harold Starr who was born and educated in Swindon.  He won an RAF scholarship and a year into his training saw him with his Wings.  After flying Hawker Hectors and Westland Lysanders he was posted to RAF Kenley, Surrey, as Squadron Leader. The story of his short life is one of heroism and bravery before he was short down as one of the Few on the 30 August 1940.  That day saw the heaviest losses of the Battle with 37 aircraft down and 12 pilots killed or missing.  He was laid to rest in the Radnor Street cemetery in Swindon after a military funeral. His  bride of 8  months was expecting their child.  

XTC’s agonies and ecstasies.  Noel Ponting writes about the new keyboard player from Park North, Swindon, Barry Andrews who made an impressive contribution from 1976 to the fortunes of the Band as it travelled round the world.

Seven Fields Nature Reserve at Penhill.  How the 150 acres of open ground came to be protected and to be enjoyed by families, dog walkers and cyclists.

Trials and tale of Rimble Knapp.  John Clements write of an eccentric Shrivenham character who after returning from the Great War rented a small mixed farm and enjoyed such diverse hobbies as pigeon racing and cricket.

The Railway Churches No 3. St Barnabas

How Swindon’s Farms have shaped up.  Tracing the 116 farms that used to be in the Swindon area.

Dedicated followers of Fashion. Opening of Swindon Designer Outlet’s Long Shop in April. 


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