1951: Gales made it a hectic Hogmanay for Mr E G J Collins of Croft Road, Swindon, when he went to Scotland to see the New Year in. Walking through Hamilton he had to drag himself from door-handle to door-handle dodging falling chimney pits and glass. Ice made the roads treacherous and he encountered 11 accidents in the 97 miles on his trip back south.

1961: Two Swindon articled clerks gained passes in the Law Society intermediate exams law portion. They were: M R B Carron, 19, of Bath Road, articled to Mr D P Story and Mr H M Lane, 21, of Toc H, High Street articled to Mr A J Harrington. Mr Carron is the son of Arthur Carron a former leading tenor at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, and Mr Lane is the son of Mr J D Lane, Coroner of North Gloucester.

1971: Concorde 101, the French prototype, landed for the first time on British soil when it touched down safely at Fairford. As it taxed around the airfield, Concorde 002 the British prototype, was preparing to take off. In a nearby hangar the 01, a first prototype Concorde, was undergoing routine work. This was the first time all three Concordes had been together.


1066: Edward the Confessor, England’s most pious King, died.

1787: John Burke, genealogist and founder of Burke’s Peerage, was born in Tipperary, Ireland.

1884: Gilbert and Sullivan’s Princess Ida was premiered at the Savoy Theatre.

1896: German physicist Wilhelm Roentgen gave the first demonstration of X-rays.

1919: The Nazi Party was founded by Anton Drexler in Munich.

1941: Amy Johnson, English aviator and first woman to fly solo from England to Australia in 1930, drowned in a mysterious accident over the Thames estuary.

1948: Mrs Dale first opened her radio diary. She was noted for always being “rather worried” about her doctor husband, Jim.

1971: One-day international cricket was born when 46,000 spectators watched England play Australia at Melbourne. The scheduled Test match had been aborted by rain.

1981: The hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper, who killed 13 women over four years, ended when lorry-driver Peter Sutcliffe was charged with murder.

1991: Thirteen people died as 100mph winds battered the British Isles and power cuts crippled the country.

2017: Work began to dismantle Dippy the Diplodocus at the Natural History Museum, a three-and-a-half week project to prepare the dinosaur replica for its two-year UK tour.

BIRTHDAYS Robert Duvall, actor/director, 87; King Juan Carlos of Spain, 80; Jan Leeming, former newscaster, 76; Diane Keaton, actress, 72; Pamela Sue Martin, actress, 65; Vinnie Jones, actor and former footballer, 53; Marilyn Manson, rock singer, 49; Bradley Cooper, actor, 43.