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Date added: 15 August 2007

Elvis Presley's Swindon Home from Home 

ARCHIVE: The day we visited Graceland - in Haydon Wick!

The King of Rock 'n Roll may have died 30 years ago this week, but his spirit is very much alive at 205 Whitworth Road in Haydon Wick.
 
A place better known as Graceland - the home of Swindon's number one Elvis fan Joe Galati.
 
Elvis and Joe Galati at Graceland, Swindon
Long live the King:
'Elvis' and Joe Galati

A self-confessed fanatic of the great man, who has not only named his house after the crooner's famous Memphis residence but also dedicated a room to the King himself.

"I've loved his music for over forty years," Joe, 46, told us during a guided tour of his home.

"My mum used to play his records all the time and it's just gone from there. And when I built this house five years ago, there was only one name I could give it - Graceland!"
 
Graceland in Swindon
Graceland:
Joe Galati's celebration of Elvis Presley

Joe, a property developer, likes nothing more than a sing-a-long to any one of the hundreds of songs he has stored in a karaoke machine installed in his special Elvis shrine adjacent to his living room.

Pictures and momentos of the man who died on 16 August 1977, aged just 42, adorning the walls.
 
Joe's collection even including a number of silver and gold discs of some of Elvis's best-known hits including 'Jailhouse Rock' and 'Heartbreak Hotel'.

But centre stage in Joe's dedication to the King, is a life-size model of the mega-selling singer - a surprise present from his wife.
 
Elvis Presley died 16 August 1977
30th Anniversary:
Elvis Presley, who died on 16 August 1977

"He's great isn't he?" Joe joked, "and trust me, I was shocked when I saw it for the first time. He really makes the room."

His other prized possession, a picture of Joe meeting Elvis's wife Priscilla Presley, when she visited Bath last year.

"She signed a picture of our home, Graceland," Joe added, "and she even said she wouldn't mind seeing it herself."

Joe's Graceland home, with electric gates just like the original, having already attracted many tourists over the years. With one generous fan even bringing Joe back a souvenir from Elvis's Memphis estate -a place, ironically, Joe has never visited.

"That's my next dream," he said, "to visit the real Graceland on my 50th birthday."

"It'll be amazing to see the place for the first time."
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