1951: Organ pipes had been spotted protruding through the roof of the St John Baptist Church, Mildenhall, due to the ravages of death watch beetle. Contractors had been engaged in the first stage of repair work costing £2,000. The architect said a heavy fall of snow could have brought the roof down.

1961: Henry Beattie, the production assistant to the locomotive works manager at the Swindon Works, was on television. Mr Beattie, through his work on King class locomotives for almost all his working life, appeared on the BBC TV magazine programme View, in a section devoted to the oldest members of this class of engine the King George V.

1971: Catherine Sainsbury, 17, was married at Gretna Green because her parents would not give their consent. She now plans to stay in the village 280 miles from her Wiltshire home in Little Bedwyn, near Marlborough. She married Kevin Cook, 19, of Great Bedwyn. Catherine said they had both lost their factory jobs through eloping so had decided to settle down in Gretna Green.

the world

1492: Christopher Columbus sighted his first land in discovering the New World, calling it San Salvador.

1537: Edward VI, son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, was born. He succeeded his father when he was nine, but died at 15.

1866: Ramsay MacDonald was born. In 1924 he became Britain’s first Labour Prime Minister.

1872: Composer Ralph Vaughan Williams was born in Down Ampney, Gloucestershire.

1875: Modern-day Satanist Aleister Crowley - once dubbed ‘’the wickedest man in the world’’ - was born in Leamington, Warwickshire.

1899: Mafeking was besieged by the Boers and was gallantly defended by Baden-Powell, until relieved 217 days later.

1901: President Theodore Roosevelt renamed the Executive Mansion ‘The White House’.

1915: British nurse Edith Cavell was executed as a spy by German firing squad.

1984: Five people died and 34 were injured in an IRA bomb attack on the Grand Hotel in Brighton, where the Conservative Party conference was being held.

2002: A total of 202 people died in bomb attacks on two nightclubs in Bali.

2007: Former US vice president Al Gore and the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

2009: Edgar Allan Poe received a funeral in Baltimore, USA, 160 years after his death and 200 after his birth.

ON THIS DAY LAST YEAR: Fancy dress shops were asked not to sell clown costumes to anyone they think might be a prankster amid the ongoing ‘’killer clown’’ craze.


Angela Rippon, broadcaster, 73; Robin Askwith, actor, 67; David Threlfall, actor, 64; Hugh Jackman, actor, 49; Stephen Lee, former snooker player, 43; Josh Hutcherson, actor, 25.