1952: Salvation Army Commissioner Wilfred Kitching, who had been a captain in the Gorse Hill branch 34 years earlier, returned there to present a certificate for long and faithful service to a former Mayor of Swindon, Alderman WJ Davis. Ald Davis had been treasurer at Gorse Hill since 1898 and was to be succeeded by Mr W Ponting. The ceremony took place at Trinity Methodist Church.

1962; Drove Road musician George Reason earned a mention in the Adver thanks to his unusual choice of instruments. His main one was the musical saw - a tempered steel example which was played with a standard bow and had a range of two-and-a-half octaves. Mr Reason was also an adept player of the bicycle pump, having mastered the art of applying varying pressure to the valve in order to produce notes.

1972: With a national miners’ strike likely to lead to power cuts, the Swindon branch of the WRVS announced it would open a soup kitchen for elderly people left unable to cook. A spokeswoman said: “We have a number of volunteers on standby but so far the need hasn’t arisen.”


1542: “I die a Queen but I would rather have died the wife of Culpepper,” - said to be the last words of Catherine Howard, fifth wife of Henry VIII, before she was beheaded on Tower Green.

1692: The Glencoe massacre took place in the Scottish Highlands, when the MacDonalds were murdered by their traditional enemies, the Campbells.

1867: Johann Strauss’s waltz The Blue Danube was first performed at a ball in Vienna.

1945: Hundreds of allied planes bombed Dresden, devastating one of the world’s most beautiful cities.

1958: Dame Christabel Pankhurst, British suffragette and daughter of Emmeline, died.

1974: Russian writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn was expelled from the Soviet Union.

1987: London’s property boom resulted in a 5ft 6in x 11ft broom cupboard opposite Harrods being offered for sale at £36,500 - more than £600 per square foot.

BIRTHDAYS Kim Novak, actress, 85; George Segal, actor, 84; Stockard Channing, actress, 74; Jerry Springer, talk show host, 74; Peter Gabriel, singer, 68; Liam Brady, former footballer, 62; Peter Hook, musician, 62; Henry Rollins, actor and rock singer, 57; Jesse Birdsall, actor, 55; Robbie Williams, pop singer, 44.