1952: Swindon Labour Councillor LC Mobey criticised a series of conference trips by various councillors and officials, insisting that they were a waste of taxpayers’ money because data from the gatherings could simply be sent to Swindon by post. He was particularly galled by a planned visit to Paris that summer by the chairman of the Water Works Committee, Mr HG Lewis. However, Mr Lewis pointed out that he would be making the trip at his own expense and in his own time as part of his holiday allowance.

1962: The owner of a stone bust found in a telephone kiosk in Swindon’s Northern Road was traced. He was Mr FG Pearce, an antique dealer and proprietor of Ye Ole Curiosity Shop in Princes Street. He said the bust,which weighed about as much as an average man, was worth between £15 and £20, and added: “I have no idea how it got there. I left it in the front garden of a house in Princes Street which I use as a store.”

1972: Heavy rain failed to dampen the spirits of Wootton Bassett children who turned out in force for the official opening of the Lime Kiln playing field, where new play equipment had been installed by the parish council. Local firms provided 50 footballs for boys and 50 skipping ropes for girls.


1836: The Alamo fell to Mexican forces under Santa Anna. Legendary frontiersmen Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie both died in the 12-day battle.

1890: An ornithologist released 100 starlings in New York’s Central Park as a memorial to Shakespeare. The starling is now America’s worst bird pest.

1899: Chemist Felix Hoffmann patented the world’s most famous pain-relief drug, aspirin.

1926: The Shakespeare Memorial Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon was engulfed by flames, leaving only a blackened shell.

1930: Clarence Birdseye marketed the first frozen foods in Massachusetts.

1944: US planes from bases in Britain began daylight bombing raids on Berlin.

1951: Ivor Novello (David Ivor Davies), Welsh-born composer, playwright and actor, died in his flat above the Strand Theatre, London.

1961: George Formby, film star and music hall artist, who sang comic songs and accompanied himself on the banjo, died.

1987: The ferry Herald of Free Enterprise capsized with her bow door open leaving Zeebrugge harbour - 193 died.

1988: Three IRA terrorists were shot dead by SAS men in Gibraltar.

1997: A gunman stole Tete de Femme, a million-dollar Picasso portrait, from a London gallery. The painting was recovered a week later.

2017: English Heritage announced a blue plaque was being issues in honour of a champion for the rights of working women in the early 20th Century.

BIRTHDAYS Alan Greenspan, economist and former chairman of the US Federal Reserve, 92; Jean Boht, actress, 86; Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, soprano, 74; David Gilmour, Pink Floyd guitarist, 72; Kiki Dee, singer, 71; Rob Reiner, actor/director, 71; Tom Arnold, actor, 59; Moira Kelly, actress, 50; Shaquille O’Neal, former basketball player, 46; Rufus Hound, actor/comedian, 39.