1952: Through the efforts of a deputation from Swindon to the Ministry of Education it was announced that the Penhill Estate would get a junior school. The Ministry of Education had made an announcement restricting school building programmes, but the Swindon Education Committee, formed through the Wiltshire Education Authority, sent the deputation to plead the case.

1962: All set for adventure was Swindon Marine Brian Deacon, son of Mr and Mrs K Deacon of Barnwell Avenue, Swindon, who was drawing his tropical kit form the Royal Marines Barracks at Portsmouth ready for his trip to the Far East. Marine Deacon was preparing to be flown to Singapore to join 10 Commando Royal Marines, a unit which had just arrived in the Far East after spending many years in the Mediterranean area. Marine Deacon joined the Marines a year ago and before that was a tiler’s assistant for C Rivett and Sons in Swindon.

1972: Boys at Ridgeway School in Wroughton near Swindon were planning to help clear the Kennet and Avon Canal. With scrap meal and wood from broom handles they made a conveyor belt which would carry weeds and sludge from a specifically converted boat in the canal up to the banks. The project was part of a massive operation by eight Wiltshire schools to make the whole canal navigable. A scoop made by another school would dredge up weeds and muck into the boat called The Moonraker.

the world

1562: Kissing in public was banned in Naples, contravention being punishable by death.

1763: William Cobbett, political journalist and author of Rural Rides, was born in Farnham, Surrey.

1796: Napoleon married society beauty Josephine de Beauharnais.

1831: The French Foreign Legion was founded by King Louis Philippe, with headquarters at Sidi-bel-Abbes in Algeria.

1862: The Battle of Hampton Roads, the first battle between iron-clad ships, took place during the American Civil War.

1917: Foreign intervention in the Russian Revolution begins as British troops land in Murmansk.

1956: Britain deported Archbishop Makarios from Cyprus for “actively fostering terrorism”.

1973: In a referendum boycotted by most Catholics, Northern Ireland voted in favour of staying in the UK by 90-1.

1993: Rodney King testified at the federal trial of four Los Angeles police officers accused of violating his civil rights.


Neil Hamilton, politician and former Conservative MP, 69; Bill Beaumont, broadcaster and former rugby player, 66; Baron Willetts, member of the House of Lords, 62; Martin Fry, singer (ABC), 60; Juliette Binoche, actress, 54; Martin Johnson, former England rugby union team manager, 48; Kerr Smith, actor, 46; Juan Sebastian Veron, former footballer, 43; Oscar Isaac, actor, 39.