THE most heart-warming story of the month was surely that of Charlotte Rotton from Braydon, whose Jack Russell puppy, Peanut, disappeared after her Fiat Punto flipped on to its roof at Lydiard Plain.

Heartbroken Charlotte, 21, endured what she described as a terrifying and tear-filled 24 hours before her lost pet was discovered hiding in a hedge near the crash site.

Charlotte and her family had stayed at the rash site to search, and Peanut flung himself into Charlotte’s arms when she called him. She was quick to thank not just her loved ones but a small online army who rallied to look out for Peanut.


WILTSHIRE Air Ambulance launched an ambitious appeal to raise the £1.25m needed to complete its new base at Semington, near Melksham.

The Swindon Advertiser was only too happy to give the appeal its full backing.

Pictured here are paramedic Richard Miller, Wiltshire Air Ambulance CEO David Philpott, appeal chief Cheryl Johnson and head of operation Kevin Reed. Richard, a 15-year veteran, said: “In my time at Wiltshire Air Ambulance, pre-hospital care has developed massively.

“When I started, the focus here was on ‘swoop and scoop,’ picking patients up and getting them to hospital quickly in the aircraft. Now we can spend considerable time at the scene of an incident, giving advanced care to patients before they are taken to hospital.”


THE disused Coate Agricultural Museum was ravaged by fire.

Thanks to the prompt arrival of firefighters, the damage to the exhibits, which ranged from entire tractors to Victorian farm implements, was not as bad as it might have been, but our images saddened many people, especially older readers who remembered long-ago school trips to the museum.


SWINDON Heritage placed a blue plaque at the former Haven Nursing Home in Kent Road, birthplace of Diana Dors.

One of Diana’s sons, Jason, and his daughter, Ruby, were VIP guests and happily posed in a pink 1959 Cadillac which was given to Diana by a grateful film studio during her heyday, when she was billed as Britain’s answer to Marilyn Monroe.

Ruby, 27, said: “It is quite an amazing thing to see that from so many years ago to now she is still so popular and that she is still remembered.”


A MAJOR police operation was launched in Broadgreen, where officers searched a former home of murderer Christopher Halliwell in Broad Street.

A spokesman said the search, which included excavating the garden, was prompted by information received. Haliwell, murderer of Sian O’Callaghan and Becky Godden, is widely suspected of having more victims. An alley near the site was screened from view, and the police issued statements reassuring local people


THAMESDOWN Transport, long troubled by funding issues which impacted on its services, was sold by Swindon Borough Council to private firm Go South Coast.

The new general manager, Alex Chutter, said his first task was to reassure staff and passengers alike. He also pledged that although livery designs and colour schemes might change, the Thamesdown name would remain. He added: “Do I think we can turn it round? Yes I do. If I didn’t then we wouldn’t be here.”


AS is depressingly traditional, a Swindon-Oxford Derby match saw decent fans forced to contend with people intent on trouble.

Fans charged at one another across open grassland near the County Ground, flares were launched and bottles thrown. In spite of corralling the combatants and trying valiantly to herd them, the police had difficulty keeping them apart. At one point Oxford thugs broke free and ran into oncoming Princes Street traffic before being subdued by baton-wielding officers. Elsewhere, a football match broke out, with Oxford securing a 2-1 victory.


AID worker Brenda Johnson, 68, of Stratton, planned an aid mission to a remote Zambian village, only for an airline to tell her the extra suitcase of clothes she wanted to take would mean an £800 excess baggage fee.

Emirates refused to budge in spite of being made aware of what was in the case. The contents were mainly underwear for the severely disabled children at the home where Brenda helps out. She explained: “The ones who have no legs spent a lot of time on their bottoms, and their underwear gets worn out very quickly.” She vowed to go ahead with the trip, cramming as many items as she could into her own allowance.


UNSTOPPABLE Swindon rocker Steve Grimmett, 57, was back in Swindon after a trip to Ecuador took a nightmarish turn.

He was on tour with his band, Grim Reaper. when a small infected wound spread to bone, and his leg had to be amputated above the knee. A fundraising drive was organised to cover his bills after his insurance company refused to pay because of Steve’s pre-existing diabetes. Steve said of his support from friends and strangers alike: “It is overwhelming and some of the messages have brought be to tears.” Steve was gigging again by October.