1951: Mick Mulligan’s Magnolia Jazz Band, fronted by an up-and-coming singer called George Melly, was to play at Swindon Jazz Club’s first annual ball the following week. His day job, we said, was dealing art. The band had been among those chosen to play for Princess Elizabeth, the present Queen, that summer in a special concert at the Royal Festival Hall.

1951: Yet another dancing competition success was scored by seven-year-old Wendy Reid, who lived in Swindon’s Limes Avenue. She took first prize in the ballet section at Willesden Musical Festival, dancing the story of Little Miss Muffet. The accolade brought her total awards to 14 certificates, a medal and a cup. Her elder sister Shirley, was also an accomplished dancer.

1961: Mr PJ Archer of Highworth continued an ancient Christmas tradition of burning apple wood on his open fire. His family had been doing so at least as far back as the early 18th Century. Apple wood, we said, was traditionally favoured by those who enjoyed its especially hot flames and fragrant smoke, and was especially popular in the days when fireplaces were bigger and large Yule logs were burned.

1961: The Rev SWA Collins announced his retirement as Vicar of Chiseldon with Drayton Foliat. He had held the position since 1954, and was now to take charge of Newtown in the parish of Burghclere, near Newbury. Mr Collins was born in Newbury and attended Swindon High School, the University of Durham and Chichester Theological College. He had served as a chaplain in the Army and RAF.

1971: Swindon MP David Stoddart was guest of honour at the Swindon Labour Bazaar in the Town Hall. His duties included conducting an auction whose array of lots were donated by party members. The most unusual was a plush toy elephant, and our photographer captured the politician holding it aloft. The bazaar raised more than £200 for party funds.

1071: Lower Stratton service man Mike Kendall wrote back to Swindon from his RAF base in Larbruch, West Germany, and revealed that he, like local people in the area, was able to buy a beer as late as 4am. He added: “But I miss the Wiltshire pub. You can’t beat it for atmosphere, and what’s a pub without atmosphere.”

The world

1784: Dr Samuel Johnson, writer and lexicographer, pictured, died.

1867: Twelve people died when Irish bombers blew up the outer wall of London’s Clerkenwell prison in an attempt to rescue a jailed colleague.

1903: Ice cream cones were patented by Italo Marcione, of New York.

1904: The Metropolitan Underground railway in London went electric.

1939: The Battle of the River Plate began, with British warships attacking the great German battleship Admiral Graf Spee.

1967: King Constantine, pictured, fled Greece after an unsuccessful bid to topple the military junta.

1973: 1A three-day working week was ordered by the Government because of the Arab oil embargo and the coal miners’ industrial action.

2010: Richard Holbrooke, the long-serving US diplomat who was the architect of the 1995 Bosnia peace plan and served as President Barack Obama’s special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, died at the age of 69.

2016: Donald Trump, pictured, told the world he would leave his businesses to his sons before January 20 in order to focus on running the US as president.

BIRTHDAYS Dick Van Dyke, actor, 92; Christopher Plummer, actor, 88; Robert Lindsay, actor, 68; Tom Verlaine, singer and rock guitarist (Television), 68; Paula Wilcox, actress, 68; John Francome, author and former jockey, 65; Steve Buscemi, actor/writer/director, 60; Jamie Foxx, actor and singer, 50; Sara Cox, radio DJ, 43; Taylor Swift, singer, 28.