Angela Atkinson

Born Again Swindonian, AA Edits

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“If you let it, Swindon gets under your skin. It’s under mine. Hence, I’m in a really good place right now.”

I’ve been in Swindon for around 23 years. But I’ve only properly noticed it for the last 4 years. That ‘noticing’ process began when I started to write my Born again Swindonian blog – ‘Blogging Positive about all things Swindon’. I was an English student at UWE at the time. So I’ve been an unofficial ambassador for Swindon for a while now. I can bore for Britain on how great Swindon is. With that blog I’ve changed the perceptions many people hold about Swindon. My UWE lecturers who had no idea of Swindon’s hidden gems, actual born Swindonians who had no idea about much of what I’ve written of. And more. Through my blog I’ve become aware of what a creative hotspot Swindon is. I’ve become aware of what a thriving art, literature and poetry scene Swindon has. Through my blog I’ve been thrilled by the love for Swindon of every incomer I’ve come across. But then Swindon is built on incomers. I’ve also been awed by the commitment of countless community groups all making Swindon a ‘… great place to be right now’. Their contribution to what makes Swindon so surprising and so special should not, must not, be ignored. It’s immense. Community is what makes a place desirable surely?

Then, after graduating (3 years ago almost) I started my business, AA Editorial Services. And yet again I’ve been delighted – but not altogether surprised – to find what a super place Swindon is to do business in and from. I was fortunate to have support from the now sadly-defunct Outset Swindon. Several start-ups that I met via them are now my clients. We’ve since formed ourselves into an informal but supportive mentoring group of ladies. We meet monthly and share our collective business and social media know how. So my story is not yet ended. I’m building my business. I’m still writing Born again Swindonian – over 100,000 views now – and I’m a trustee of Swindon Civic Voice. And now I’m pleased to add to all that by being an ‘official’ Swindon ambassador via Switch on to Swindon.

In summary: my niece recently asked me where, if I could live anywhere else in the country would I live. My answer: ‘Nowhere. I love living in Swindon.’ When I’ve visited family in London and Surrey and coming back on the train, I always get a thrill when I catch sight of the David Murray John Tower (I LOVE that building) because then I know I’m home. If you let it, Swindon gets under your skin. It’s under mine. Hence, I’m in a really good place right now.

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