Made in Swindon Gallery
Made in Swindon brings together a selection of local companies and products which have contributed to the growth and identity of the town. It includes record players made by Garrard’s and the sign from McIlroys, the town’s grandest department store.
Garrard’s opened in Swindon in 1919 with 40 employees but by 1950 it employed over 1,400 people and was renowned throughout the world for its high quality record gramophones. A selection of recording equipment from Garrard’s is on display, including a rare miniature record deck with enamel cover.
McIlroys dominated Regent Street for 123 years. In its day, it was a grand department store and a shop frontage sign is on display in the gallery. A ballroom was added to the department store in the 1930s and stars that performed there included The Beatles and Diana Dors.
Diane Dors, born in Swindon, is also represented in the Gallery along with other local artists including Gilbert O’Sullivan, Ken White, Leslie Cole, Harold Dearden and Alfred Williams.
An array of different ceramic and glass bottles is on display. These were produced by the many brewers and other types of medicine and drink manufacturers based in Swindon. Bottles were moulded or marked with the brand name to stop rival producers imitating their bottles.
Swindon’s crested china and local postcards is also showcased, showing the town’s sense of humour as well as many images of Swindon through the years.