1951: Workers from the Swindon Railworks Iron Foundry made an open casting in molten metal of the letters HRH Princess Elizabeth in readiness for the princess’ trip to Swindon, 26 years after King George V, accompanied by Queen Mary, visited the town to name the famous engine, the King George V.

1961: Safe-driving awards were presented to 24 of the 30 successful Corporation employees by the Mayor of Swindon, Ald T G Gay, in a ceremony at the town hall. Following the presentations entertainment was provided by Enid Hogden, soprano,Michael Chivers, bass baritone.

1971: Despite difficult construction problems the second major stretch of the M4 Motorway in Wiltshire was opened between the 12-and-a-half mile stretch from Stanton St Quinton to the A420 interchange at Swindon. It meant the whole of the M4 through Wiltshire was now completed.

The world

1812: One of the worst winters on record began - and caused the defeat Napoleon. During his retreat from Moscow, troops endured temperatures as low as -37C for 27 days.

1922: The SS - Schutzstaffel or ‘Protection Squad’ - was formed in Germany.

1938: ‘’Kristallnacht’’ in Germany, when Nazis burned 267 synagogues and destroyed thousands of Jewish homes and businesses, smashing windows.

1989: The East German government lifted the Iron Curtain to allow free travel through the Berlin Wall.

BIRTHDAYS Ronald Harwood, playwright, 83; Roger McGough, poet, 80; Lou Ferrigno, actor, 66; Karen Dotrice, actress, 62; Alan Curbishley, football manager, 60.