1952: The royal train drew slowly into Paddington and the man in charge of motive power arrangements for the journey was Mr W N Pellow (Motive Power Superintendent Western Region) from Swindon. The red carpet on the platform was the one used at the funerals of two previous kings, George V and Edward 11. King George V1’s coffin was taken off the gun carriage and taken into the funeral coach as the king left London for the last time.

1952: Memories of how the Queen won hearts when, as Princess Elizabeth, she visited Swindon during the Borough’s Jubilee were recalled at a special Town Council meeting. The council passed a resolution that Swindon should humbly offer its deepest and most respectful sympathy at her bereavement.

1962: Success in the National Fire Prevention Week Children’s Poster Competition has brought Celia Noakes, 10, who attended Gorse Hill Junior School, a prize of two guineas. Her poster was judged as the best from juniors in Wiltshire.

1962: Journalism and the work of a reporter was the subject of a talk given by Mr Matthew Horan, chief reporter of Wiltshire Newspapers Ltd, at a meeting of Swindon International Friendship League, at the Friends Meeting House, Eastcott Hill, Swindon. He was introduced by the chairman Mr K Jambunathan.

1972: Residents of Swindon’s Old Walcot area won the support of Coun Mrs Daphne Bampton in their fight against the building of a three-storey office block between Dudmore and Calvert Roads. Coun Bampton said the proposal was unsuitable for a residential area.

1972: Kingsdown Inn at Stratton St Margaret, Swindon was not affected by the power cuts because it was surrounded by the crematorium, an old people’s home, a hospital and a brewery. Landlord Ron Print said they had not had a cut because they were on the same supply as the others, but he still had 200 oil lamps stored just in case.

THE WORLD 1564: Galileo Galilei, Italian astronomer and mathematician, was born in Pisa.

1842: The first adhesive stamp was used in the USA by the City Despatch Post, a private concern later acquired by the government for 1,200 dollars.

1874: The Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton was born in Kilkee, Co Clare.

1882: The first shipment of frozen meat left New Zealand for England.

1901: The first British Parliament of the 20th century opened with a new member for Oldham. His name was Winston Churchill.

1913: Sir Barry Jackson opened the first repertory theatre, in Birmingham.

1942: Singapore surrendered to Japan. “A heavy and far-reaching military defeat,” said Winston Churchill of the loss of the fortress.

1965: Nat King Cole, US singer and pianist, died of cancer.

1971: Britain changed over to decimal coinage on Decimal Day.

1981: Football League games were played on a Sunday for the first time.

BIRTHDAYS Gerald Harper, actor, 89; Glyn Johns, music producer, 76; Clare Short, Labour politician, 72; Jane Seymour, actress, 67; Matt Groening, The Simpsons creator, 64; Ali Campbell, singer (UB40), 59; Alexander Wurz, racing driver, 44; Ronnie Vannucci Jr, drummer (The Killers), 42.