EDITIONS of the Adver this week in 2002 included one whose front page was edged in black.

A little over a week earlier, the Queen Mother had died, aged 101, on March 30, and her funeral brought the capital to a standstill on Tuesday, April 9.

“The skirl of the pipes filled the London air as the nation said farewell to the Queen Mother,” we said.

“The gun carriage bearing her coffin went the short distance to Westminster Abbey accompanied by the sound of 128 pipers. The music from the Queen Mother’s favourite instrument drifted into the Abbey where royalty and VIPs had gathered.

“Outside, thousands of people had queued since dawn to pay their last respects.”

In Swindon, many town centre shops closed for part or all of the day as a mark of respect.

We said: “The 11.30am silence was observed by a number of people. Many of the elderly were perhaps remembering the role her late Majesty played in raising the country’s morale during some of its darkest times.

“Many of the others present said they would have liked there to have been some official announcement of the silence, as well as better notification of the closure of the shops.”

Another story that week also involved a royal event shot through with sadness, but more than 250 years in the past.

We said: “A copy of a speech made by Bonnie Prince Charlie’s bodyguard as he was about to be hanged is to be auctioned in Swindon.

“Dominic Winter Book Auctions, in Maxwell Street, is to sell the document, dating from the execution of Lord Balmerino on August 18,1746.

“Bonnie Prince Charlie was the leader of the Jacobite Rebellion, in which Scots loyal to the old House of Stuart tried to overthrow the House of Hanover.

“The rebels famously reached as far south as Derby before being repelled, and London was thrown into terror at the prospect of being sacked by marauding Scots.”

Lord Balmerino was in his late 50s when he went to his death near the site of Tower Bridge. He wrote in his letter: “When His Royal Highness came to Edinburgh, as it was my bounden and indispensable duty, I joined him, though I might easily have excused myself from taking arms on account of my age.

“But I never could have had peace of conscience if I had stayed at home when that brave prince was exposing himself to dangers and fatigue both night and day.”

Strangely, contemporary accounts of the execution insist that Lord Balmerino was not hanged, but beheaded.

The prince he served escaped Scotland and died in Rome more than 40 years later.

Back in the Swindon of April 2002, a search was ongoing which was doomed to yield nothing.

We said: “Divers trawled Old Town lake as police stepped up their search for missing Swindon College support worker Linda Razzell.

“In addition to Queen’s Park Lake, divers from Avon and Somerset Police have now dragged the lake in Old Town in the hope of finding vital clues – but their searches have so far proved fruitless.

“The Evening Advertiser has printed hundreds of posters showing a picture of Mrs Razzell and giving details of what she was wearing on the day she disappeared.

“The posters have appeared at shops, petrol stations and other strategic locations around the town.

“It has now been three weeks since the 41-year-old mother-of-four was last seen parking her red Ford Escort, L955 XDG, in Alvescot Road.

“Her normal route was to walk through the alleyway leading from Alvescot Road into Upham Road, on to Drove Road and through Queen’s Park, out into Durham Street and onto Swindon College in Regent Circus.

“But Mrs Razzell did not report for work on Tuesday, March 19 and failed to pick up her two younger children from an after-school club in Highworth.”

As most Rewind readers will be aware, the only further trace of her discovered was a tiny quantity of her blood, which was found in a vehicle used by her estranged husband, Glyn.

It formed a major plank in a prosecution which saw him jailed for life in November of the following year.

He maintains his innocence from his cell.

Swindon’s new Great Western Hospital was due to open before the end of the year, and we interviewed Les Meaton, whose role as commissioning co-ordinator meant that when it came to transferring operations from the old Princess Margaret Hospital, the buck stopped with him.

“Everything has to be worked out in the finest detail,” he said. “You have to almost play devil’s advocate to identify potential problems that might arise. I admit that I do spend a lot of time thinking about the whole thing.

“Even something like flowers has to be taken into consideration. Once we close down PMH we can’t be redirecting bunches of flowers.”