Swindon is a town in South West England, located almost exactly halfway between Bristol and Reading. It began life as a tiny village on top of a hill in Wiltshire, until the mid-nineteenth century, when the town became a hub for the railway industry. Industrial works were built, labourers flocked to the town, and Swindon was twenty times larger by the end of the century.
Swindon is still growing - a 2011 census put the population at 209,000, an increase of 16% from 2001 - and counts Honda and Nationwide Building Society among the multinational corporations that have set up headquarters there.
Celebrities born in Swindon include Nick Hewer (Lord Alan Sugar's sardonic sidekick on BBC series The Apprentice) and cookery writer Sophie Grigson, while in 2001 the town became part of popular culture, used as the location for Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's fictional workplace in their BBC sitcom The Office.