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Rhythm + Blues
Built For Comfort emerged from the ashes of Swindon based, The Hot Tamales in July 2002. Founder members Alec Adams and Bill Jones were joined by Phil Tait on drums, Chris Goddard on bass and John Ingleson on guitar.
Bill and Alec had met in the summer of 2000 when Alec was seeking harmonica lessons. Bill knew Chris from many years of playing together in The Vindaloo Brothers, Phil was a chance encounter from working with a TV leasing company and John answered a local advert by the boys for a guitarist. And then the story began. By the summer of 2004 the band had played over 65 gigs together, averaging about one a week.
Now, over a decade and hundreds of gigs later, Built For Comfort have turned into one of the tightest, rocking Rhythm and Blues outfits on the circuit today! The recent addition of Blues guitar maestro Michael King on guitar and Simon Needler on Hammond organ and piano have added a new dimension to the band. Little wonder they wow audiences wherever they play!
Built For Comfort have supported among others Wilco Johnson, Paul Lamb And The Kingsnakes and Ben Waters.
Pub & Restaurant
When, in 1997, Arkell's completed a huge £150,000 refurbishment of this popular pub in Cheney Manor, one of the older districts of Swindon, it got a new roof, new windows, a new dining area and a new kitchen, producing a new menu based on traditional food. It also got a new name. There is an enclosed childrens play area, bouncy castle, free function room, live football, pool and darts. Family friendly, dogs welcome.
But the former Steam Train - known affectionately as 'The Steamer' by locals - has by no means lost its link with the past as the smart new 'Steam Bar' features a wealth of railway memorabilia on the walls.
Arkell's bought the land in 1892 - the heyday of the Swindon railway works - but did not build the pub until 1959 when, ironically, the works were in decline.
Now, a pub which served the local workers and the rest of the community so well over the years, is looking to the future and putting the emphasis on attracting a wide range of people.
The Manor is a large pub and, as modern buildings go, rather elegant. There's really no reason why the people of Cheney Manor should have it all to themselves.
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