1951: Former Swindon MP Tom Reid, held the constituency for Labour with a 5,908 majority over his Conservative opponent Sir Geoffrey Tritton, in a straight fight. This was a majority reduction of 2,371.

1951: The Consistory Court was discussing a claimant for the town’s longevity record when a grave in the Holy Rood Church yard at the Lawn, Swindon, was shown to have a tombstone with the clearly legible inscription of John Alexander who died at the age of 117 years.

1961: While a group of children played with wooden blocks and crayons at one end of Princess Farm common room, Cranmore Avenue, Swindon, their mother sipped tea and talked about nuclear fallout. Leading the discussion was Stanley Webb, the Swindon and North East Wiltshire Civil Defence Training Officer, who ran weekly classes for wives on the Walcot and Parks estates.

1961: At an Aqua Fair bazaar held at the Immanuel Congregational Church, Swindon, everything had a nautical flavour - even the speeches. Mrs J Schoning wife of a United States Airforce chaplain, drew various analogies between water and religion while her husband, the Rev John Schoning said Christianity was like a turtle sticking its neck out to progress.

1971: Wootton Bassett’s population may have doubled by 1986 but there would be no new industry, according to expansion plans for the town, which were announced by Wiltshire County Council. The move to push up the 1969 population figure of 5,500 to £11,500 during the next 15 years depending on Swindon growing to 200,000 in the same period.

1971: Disobedient dogs and their owners could now attend classes new each Tuesday at the Marlborough Canine Society.

The world 1760: George III became king, beginning one of the longest reigns in British history - 60 years of tremendous change, during which he went violently insane.

1803: Joseph Hansom, inventor of the Hansom Cab in 1834, was born. They proved the most popular of London’s cabs and were later introduced in New York.

1863: The English Football Association was formed at a meeting at Freeman’s Tavern in Great Queen Street, London.

1881: The gunfight at the OK Corral took place outside Tombstone, Arizona Territory, between the Ike Clanton gang and the Marshal Virgil Earp, his deputised brothers Wyatt and Morgan and Doc Holliday.

1950: The rebuilt chamber of the House of Commons was opened by King George VI, having been destroyed by bombing in 1941.

1955: The New York underground paper Village Voice was first published, backed by Norman Mailer.

1965: The Beatles went to Buckingham Palace to be presented with their MBEs.

1986: Jeffrey Archer resigned as deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, after allegations that he had made a payment to a prostitute to avoid a scandal. He denied the allegations and fought a successful libel case.

BIRTHDAYS Hillary Clinton, former US Secretary of State, 70; Andrew Motion, former poet laureate, 65; Cary Elwes, actor, 55; Natalie Merchant, singer (10,000 Maniacs), 54; Steve Howey, former footballer, 46; Ronnie Irani, former cricketer and commentator, 46.