1952: A community centre for ex-servicemen is to be built at Highworth from funds raised for the Welcome Home Fund. This was decided at a meeting when it was stated that the funds’ assets were £1,148. Mr A Burke-Jones received permission from the Ministry of Education to convene the meeting at which he was chairman.

1952: At its last meeting the Stratton St Margaret Women’s Institute decided to form a choir and bring in sewing classes. Every member was to sign a greetings letter to be sent to the oldest member Mrs People on her 85th birthday. Officers selected for 1952 included Mrs Millar, president, Mrs Jewell, vice president and Mrs Eyles secretary.

1962: A railway breakdown gang lifted a railway wagon back on the line after it had collided with a buffer and jumped the rails in the Marlborough Road, Swindon, sidings. Two coach wagons, being shunted onto the siding, broke away due to the brakes being iced up and ran down the 150 yard slope to collide with the stationery wagon, which hurled it into a buffer.

1962: A Commonwealth Institute Exhibition on Nigeria was show at Swindon Central Library. The exhibition marked the Federation of Nigeria’s attainment of independence within the Commonwealth on October 1 1960. It illustrated the most important aspects of the country’s agricultural, industry and social services.

1972: The Swindon Evening Centre has been forced to cut classes because of the miners’ strike. The head of Drove Evening Centre, Mr John Davies, said they had to close to conserve energy for use by the day schools at Drove and Clarence Street. The centre was normally used extensively for five days a week by youth and adult organisations.

1972: Plans were in place for Swindon’s third cinema to open in Gorse Hill. The 200-seater cinema, called The Palace, would be in the balcony of the old Palace cinema which when it closed was used as a bingo hall. The old Palace, which did a short stint as a motorcycle showroom and fruit warehouse, was bought by Classic Cinemas.


1778: Captain Cook discovered Hawaii.

1788: A penal settlement was established in Botany Bay, Australia.

1879: The first England v Wales football international was played at Kennington Oval in London, England winning 2-1.

1882: AA Milne, creator of Winnie The Pooh, was born.

1911: US pilot Eugene Ely, in a Curtiss aircraft, made the first landing on the deck of a ship - the cruiser Pennsylvania moored in San Francisco Bay.

1933: The “bodyline bowling” row flared up in an Australian v England Test match in Adelaide.

1977: In the worst rail disaster in Australian history, 82 people died when a Sydney-bound train was derailed.

2009: Children’s television presenter Tony Hart, who appeared on art shows for nearly 50 years, died at the age of 83.


Dr David Bellamy, botanist/broadcaster, 85; John Boorman, film director, 85; Raymond Briggs, children’s author and illustrator, 84; John Hume, former politician, 81; Paul Freeman, actor, 75; Paul Keating, former Australian prime minister, 74; Kevin Costner, actor/director, 63; Peter Beardsley, former footballer, 57; Jane Horrocks, actress, 54; Richard Dunwoody, retired jockey, 54; Jason Segel, actor, 38.