1951: For the first time in its history the Job Lawrence (Swindon) Lodge of the RAOB welcomed both the Grand Primo of England, Brother A Ellis Kent, ROH and the Deputy Grand Primo, Brother J Evans ROH.

1961: The Goddard Arms Hotel ballroom was transformed for the annual Halloween Ball of the Swindon and District Round Table. The Don Jones Band found themselves sitting in a witches’ cavern and the crowd of 150 dancers felt like they were in an old barn with giant spiders on the walls and bats suspended overhead along with some owls. Visitors including the Mayor and Mayoress of Swindon, Ald and Mrs T G Gay, were greeted by a witch on a flying broomstick.

1971: Ruth Beckett, 16, from Calcutt Farm, Cricklade, was the first girl to be admitted to the boys only Rendcomb College near Cirencester. She wanted to make the change from Malmesbury Grammar School to study botany and zoology. Her brother, Simon, 12, was already a pupil at the college. Ruth wanted to go to university to study marine biology.

The world

1632: Sir Christopher Wren, architect whose work includes St Paul’s Cathedral and Chelsea Hospital, was born in East Knoyle, Wiltshire.

1818: The 49th parallel was established by USA and Britain as the boundary between Canada and USA.

1822: Thomas Hughes, author of Tom Brown’s Schooldays, was born in Uffington, Berkshire.

1890: Explorer Sir Richard Burton died. Not only did he write 43 travel books and two volumes of poetry but he also translated 16 volumes of the Arabian Nights, two volumes of Latin poetry and six volumes of Portuguese literature, as well as books in Hindustani, Arabic and Sanskrit. An accomplished swordsman, he spoke 20 languages.

1944: General MacArthur returned to the Philippines as their liberator, fulfilling a promise he made when his forces retreated from the Japanese. On the same day the Allies captured Aachen, the first German city in their drive to Berlin.

1960: DH Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover put Penguin Books in the dock at the Old Bailey, accused under the Obscene Publications Act. It was found not guilty.

1973: The Sydney Opera House was opened by the Queen.

2011: Muammar Gaddafi, who ruled Libya for 42 years, was captured and killed as rebel troops overran the last pockets of loyalist resistance in his hometown of Sirte.


Timothy West, actor, 83; Mark King, musician (Level 42), 59; Viggo Mortensen, actor, 59; Mark Little, actor/comedian, 58; Ian Rush, former footballer and pundit, 56; Allan Donald, former cricketer, 51; Dannii Minogue, TV personality/singer, 46; Jess Glynne, 28, singer.