1951: The forthcoming Avebury Ploughing Match was expected to be a major attraction. The annual event was held in conjunction with the Wiltshire Agricultural Executive Committee. It drew competitors from across the county who were assessed for the straightness and evenness of their furrows. Special prizes aware awarded for local competitors. The joint honorary secretaries of the competition were Mr P Keevil, of Chippenham, and Mr AW Robertson, of Devizes.

1951: Former Rodbourne School headmaster Mr J Radway was elected as life president of the Stratton St Margaret branch of the British Legion. The honour recognised long service to the organisation, both locally and across the county. Another member, Mr TB Jones, became a vice-president after serving for more than 20 years.

1961: A 6ft Brussels sprout plant was grown by 78-year-old Harry Glead, who lived in Swindon’s Medgbury Road. Mr Glead, a retired senior British Rail worker, spent many hours tending the various vegetables he grew in his long garden. He grew the sprout plant from seed, and reported that some of the others had reached four feet.

1961: The Plessey Company’s management executive for production operations in the company’s Swindon factories, Mr E Webster, was appointed general manager. He had been management executive since 1959, having joined the company in 1950 as a chief inspector, and later became manager of the Capacitors and Resistors Division.

1971: There was no easy retirement ahead for Alf Simms, who had just left the South Western Gas Board after 47 years. Just before he left the Swindon office, he was presented with a do-it-yourself kit by his workmates. He planned a brief rest, during which he would celebrate his birthday, before beginning the redecoration of his home in Gladstone Street. The presentation of the kit, along with other gifts and a long service certificate, was made by the board’s district manager, Mr FT Metcalfe.

1971: A Swindon man who won a national award after studying at Swindon College’s Department of Management, was presented with the accolade in Bournemouth. John Soffe worked at Vickers in South Marston as electrical foreman in the Works Engineers Department. He was honoured for a project paper submitted while studying for his Certificate in Supervisor Studies.


1651: Charles II, pictured, defeated by Cromwell at Worcester, fled to France, after famously escaping from Cromwell’s forces by hiding in an oak tree.

1777: British commander General Burgoyne surrendered at Saratoga in the American War of Independence.

1849: Frederic Chopin, Polish pianist and composer, died of tuberculosis in Paris, aged 39.

1860: The first professional golf tournament was held at Prestwick, Scotland, and won by Willie Park.

1899: British troops defeated the Boers at Glencoe.

1931: Mobster Al Capone was jailed for 11 years for tax evasion.

1956: Calder Hall, in Cumbria, Britain’s first large-scale atomic energy station, was opened by The Queen.

1960: The News Chronicle newspaper ceased publication.

1989: San Francisco was hit by an earthquake which measured 6.9 on the Richter scale.

1991: Four ITV companies, TV-am, Thames, TVS and TSW, lost their licences under changes announced by the Independent Television Commission.

2016: Fourteen teenagers arrived in the UK from Calais as a fast-track system was launched to transfer youngsters from the ‘’Jungle’’ camp before it was demolished.

BIRTHDAYS Jim Smith, former footballer and manager, 77; Margot Kidder, actress, 69; Rob Marshall, director, 57; Ziggy Marley, reggae singer, 49; Wyclef Jean, singer/songwriter, 48; Anil Kumble, former cricketer, 47; Eminem, rapper/actor, 45; Matthew Macfadyen, actor, 43.