SWINDON 1952: Swindon was strongly combatting the Home Office refusal of the application for a separate Magistrates County Committee, for which the borough was qualified by the size of its population. A joint deputation from the Town Council and the local magistrates went to the Home Office to argue the town’s case.

1952: The culminating feature of the special weekend, sponsored by the Mayor of Marlborough Coun W T Calvert, was the visit from Swindon Orpheus Choir with its conductor Mr Ewart W Hill, and accompanist Ada L Fisher. The programme was in aid of the National Children’s Home and Orphanage and other items included songs from the Marlborough Choral Society.

1962: Since leaving Swindon in December 1959 Miss Diane Woolford, of The Peak, Purton, has experienced earthquakes, revolution and was even attacked by an Indian peasant. She was the nursery nurse looking after the children belonging to the British Consul in Guatemala.

1962: A Marlborough trader has been placed fourth in a national window dressing competition. The window display belonging to Mr Robert Ashley, the manager of the High Street Wines and Spirits Off Licence of Messrs Castle and Co Ltd, caught the eye of the judges in a recent Spanish sherry competition.

1972: Travellers at Swindon Station were puzzled to see the British Rail flag being flown at half mast over the works. A British Rail spokesman told the Evening Advertiser that the King of Nepal had died so headquarters had instructed the flag to fly at half mast at all 14 works. Flags were also flown half mast at local RAF stations.

1972: A young Swindon man who lost his job six months ago, Clive Norris, has been chosen to organise the Right to Work Marches on London. Clive used to work for Vickers Engineering Works at South Marston. He said he was sacked the day he finished his five year draughtsmen apprenticeship. His new role as National Secretary of the Right to Work Campaign was sponsored by the Young Socialists. He said many Swindon unemployed planned to join the march on London.

the world 1865: The Bill to abolish slavery in the US was signed.

1872: Dame Clara Butt was born. She was the contralto who first performed the song version of Land Of Hope And Glory.

1884: The first volume of the Oxford English Dictionary, A-Ant, was published.

1896: Mimi’s tiny hand was frozen for the first time as Puccini’s opera, La Boheme, opened in Turin.

1901: Actor Clark Gable was born in Ohio. One studio turned him down for having “big ears and the looks of an ape”.

1930: The Times published its first crossword.

1949: The Government announced clothes rationing would end in Britain.

1979: Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Iran after 14 years’ exile in France.

1990: Bulgaria’s communist government resigned.

2003: Seven astronauts died as the Columbia shuttle disintegrated upon re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere.

2013: The Shard, the tallest building in the European Union, was opened to the public.

BIRTHDAYS Don Everly, singer, 81; Terry Jones, comic actor and writer (Monty Python), 76; Adam Ingram, politician, 71; Sherilyn Fenn, actress, 53; Princess Stephanie of Monaco, 53; Lisa Marie Presley, singer/songwriter, 50; Joshua Redman, jazz saxophonist, 49; Lauren Conrad, television personality/fashion designer, 32; Laura Marling, musician, 28.