1952: The noted contralto, Constance Shacklock, sang operatic arias at the Swindon Arts Centre. Sir Granville Bantock chose her to give the first broadcast of his new song cycle, accompanying her himself. She also sang in the concerts conducted by the late Henry Wood.

1962: A former member of the Swindon Committee of the Order of Charity, Mr Walter Butterfield, emigrated to Canada but he is still carrying on his good works. He has laid the foundations for a service to supply bandages to Mother Teresa’s Leprosy Clinic in India. The secretary for the Swindon commissioner Mrs I Perrott of Morse Street said that he was devoted to the cause.

1972: An RAF Hercules took off from Lyneham carrying a 17-man expedition to adventure in New Zealand. Led by Fl Lt Chris Shorrock, the team was bound for New Zealand’s Alps to do a a month’s mountaineering. The team from the RAF Mountaineering Association included the association chairman Wing Commander Derek Le Bird.


1348: Edward III established the Order of the Garter.

1793: French King Louis XVI went on trial and was sentenced to the guillotine.

1840: American Charles Wilkes discovered the coast of Antarctica.

1853: Verdi’s Il Trovatore was premiered in Rome.

1915: The first casualties were suffered in an air raid over Britain, when a German Zeppelin bombed Great Yarmouth in Norfolk.

1937: The 18-year-old Margot Fonteyn made her debut in Giselle at Sadler’s Wells.

1942: The Japanese invaded Burma.

1943: Singer Janis Joplin was born in Texas.

1966: Indira Gandhi became prime minister of India, following in the footsteps of her father Jawaharlal Nehru.

1990: England’s rebel cricketers flew into South Africa as police used tear gas to disperse a crowd of 150 protesters at Johannesburg airport.

2009: Up to 1,500 tonnes of timber floated in the English Channel after a Russian-registered cargo ship lost part of its load in rough seas.

2017: Academics revealed that fairy stories like Beauty And The Beast and Rumpelstiltskin can be traced back thousands of years to prehistoric times, with one tale originating from the Bronze Age.

BIRTHDAYS Javier Perez de Cuellar, former UN secretary-general, 98; Richard Lester, film director, 86; Michael Crawford, actor, 76; Julian Barnes, author, 72; Dolly Parton, country singer, 72; Dennis Taylor, snooker commentator, 69; Sir Simon Rattle, conductor, 63; Stefan Edberg, former tennis player, 52; Jenson Button, racing driver, 38.