1950: Road users in Pinehurst were about to have smoother rides, and it was all down to Princess Elizabeth, our present Queen. The princess was due to visit Swindon the following week, and the route of her motorcade was set to include the badly pot-holed stretch of Poplar Avenue between Cricklade Road and Pinehurst Road. The crews repaired more than 60 patches, ranging from small ones the size of a man’s hand to 16ft strips.

1950: One of Princess Elizabeth’s scheduled duties during her forthcoming visit was a trip to the Railway Works for the official naming of a new Castle Class locomotive, Swindon. The Works, usually open to the public on Wednesday afternoons, were to be closed for the occasion. The loco, the last of its class, remained in service for 13 years.

1961: Tropical fish enthusiast Ralph Parsons, who lived in Kent Road, decided to switch to cold water varieties because the paraffin heaters in the greenhouse where he kept his aquaria harmed his plants. His latest specimens included six trout taken from the Thames at Lechlade, some minnows from the same source, two dozen goldfish and some shubunkins.

1961: A member of Swindon Town Council’s Parks Committee said funfairs should not be allowed on Westcott Recreation Ground. Alderman LC Mobey spoke out during a debate about funfairs and circuses using part of the land. He said funfairs were undesirable because they left their sites in poor condition.

1971: A performance of Handel’s Solomon was given at St Mark’s Church by Swindon Handelian Choir. An Adver reviewer wrote: “The music has the ability to instil an emotion that is particularly strong and, given the appropriate surroundings at St Mark’s, the society’s effort was effective.”

1971: Gardener Mr R Brown scored a hat-trick at Wootton Bassett Chrysanthemum Show. He won the Cazalet Bowl for the highest number of plants, the Dr Brinkworth Cup for the most meritorious exhibit and the Denis Lawrence cup for the champion bloom. The event was the 25th annual late show organised by Wootton Bassett and District Horticultural Society, and was staged at the memorial hall. The society’s treasurer, Eric Rainger, thanked all who supported the show and praised the high standard of exhibits.


1602: The Bodleian Library at Oxford University opened to the public.

1674: The blind English poet John Milton died at the age of 65. A student once wrote in an essay on Milton: “He got married and wrote Paradise Lost. Then his wife died and he wrote Paradise Regained.’’ 1847: Dracula creator Bram Stoker was born in Dublin.

1886: Fred Archer, English champion jockey who won the Derby five times, shot himself, aged only 29.

1895: Wilhelm Rontgen discovered X-rays during an experiment at the University of Wurzburg with the flow of electricity through a partially evacuated glass tube.

1920: The first Rupert Bear cartoon appeared in the Daily Express.

1923: The Munich Beer Hall Putsch marked the start of Hitler’s rise to power in Germany.

1932: Franklin D Roosevelt - promising a New Deal for America - swept into the White House on a landslide in the US presidential election.

1960: John F Kennedy defeated Richard Nixon to become US president.

1966: Former Massachusetts Attorney General Edward Brooke became the first African American elected to the United States Senate.

1967: Radio Leicester, the first BBC local radio station, was opened.

1974: The famous fruit and vegetable market at Covent Garden in London closed after more than 300 years.

1987: An IRA bomb exploded shortly before a Remembrance Day service at Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, killing 11 people.

2016: Prince Harry attacked the media over its ‘’abuse and harassment’’ of his girlfriend, US actress Meghan Markle, warning: ‘’This is not a game - it is her life.’’

BIRTHDAYS Ken Dodd, comedian, 90; Nerys Hughes, actress, 76; Roy Wood, rock musician, 70; Bonnie Raitt, singer/guitarist, 68; Rupert Allason (espionage writer Nigel West), 66; Rickie Lee Jones, singer/songwriter, 63; Parker Posey, actress, 49; Tara Reid, actress, 42; Brett Lee, former cricketer, 41; Jane Danson, actress, 39; Joe Cole, footballer, 36; Jack Osbourne, TV personality, 32.