1947: William Alfred Wakefield, 31, of Wellington Street, Swindon, set off on an adventure travelling overland to South Africa. William answered an advertisement in the Evening Advertiser offering a new horizon. He embarked at Dover along with 50 other men, women and children. Ultimately he wanted to get a job as a journalist out there but just in case he took along his electrician’s tools. He said: “It’s a gamble, but life’s a gamble.’’

1957: Swindon members of the National Association of Schoolmasters accused the Swindon Teachers’ Association of the National Union of Teachers of calling a meeting of male teachers because it was afraid of losing members to other associations. The NAS claimed that the NUT, with its majority of female members, could not adequately represent the male point of view.

1977: Worried mothers launched a Save Our Lollipop Lady campaign in Swindon. They were sending a petition to MP David Stoddart protesting about the withdrawal of lunchtime lollipop patrol.

2013: Tadpole Farm was named as the preferred site for a new North Swindon primary school. The site was chosen because Swindon Council needed to create 90 extra reception places in North Swindon from September 2014.


1707: The Acts of Union 1707 was signed, officially uniting the Kingdoms of England and Scotland to create the Kingdom of Great Britain.

1944: In an event later dramatised in the movie The Great Escape, 76 Allied prisoners of war began breaking out of the German camp Stalag Luft III.


1874: Harry Houdini, Hungarian-American magician and escapologist 1930: Steve McQueen, American actor

1947: Alan Sugar, English businessman and TV personality

1949: Nick Lowe, English singer-songwriter and producer

1951: Tommy Hilfiger, American fashion designer

1960: Grayson Perry, English artist

1979: Graeme Swann, English cricketer


1603: Elizabeth I of England

1905: Jules Verne, French author

2012: Jocky Wilson, Scottish darts player