RELICS of the Swindon Advertiser's past lay for decades beneath a carpet in a house near Faringdon Road Park.

The 11 large sheets of cardboard, seemingly used as underlay, are proof sheets from August 1935 editions of the paper.

They would have been used to check reproduction quality and accuracy before printing on paper went ahead.

The items were found by Cricklade man Paul Giles, 65, a plumbing and heating specialist, during an extensive renovation at a house in Dean Street.

“The carpet was very old,” he said. “I should imagine it was the original one.

“I was taking the carpets up so I could run my pipes under the floorboards. I saw these things and thought, 'I can’t throw them away, I’ll have to keep them'.”

The stories covered that week include one which begins: “A woman visitor to Whipsnade Zoo was at Leighton Buzzard today fined £1 and ordered to pay 10s [50p] costs for interfering with an ostrich by pulling feathers from it.”

The culprit, Lily Greatbatch from Birmingham, had been with a party of visitors when she reached through the bars of the unfortunate bird’s enclosure, plucked a feather and handed it to man.

Another story heralded the start of the football season and examined Swindon Town’s prospects.

“And now for the long trail,” it said.

“In other words, tomorrow marks the beginning of eight months of struggling and striving on the part of the 88 clubs forming the four divisions of the English League.”

Another of the proofs was for a page called Woman’s Kingdom, which included fashion news and advice on preparing for the birth of a first baby.

There were also tips for entertaining unexpected guests, with recipes for what were described as fairly quick and simple dishes.

They included baked stuffed bream, chicken cream pie and pineapple cream pie.

Mr Wood kindly passed on the objects to the newspaper, and they will be preserved in our archive.