REWIND readers are used to stories about Swindon being ahead of the curve.

There was Mondex years before debit cards swept the world, for example, and cable television when cable television was a rarity even in its spiritual home on the other side of the Atlantic.

If an Adver cutting from 40 years ago is anything to go by, we can now add Marmite memorabilia to the list.

A quick glance online reveals any number of official items themed on the famously love-it-or-hate-it spread, but none is as old as the handsome unofficial coffee set produced by a German-born Swindon woman as part of a degree course in the summer of 1978.

We said: “Much more than creative talent and swotting went into Doris Diment’s first class honours degree in three-dimensional design.

“Doris, who lives in Salcombe Grove, Swindon, isn’t most people’s idea of a jeans-clad, paint-spattered art student. At 31, she’s also married and the mother of two boys.

“And she reckons her husband Martin, who works for Plessey Semiconductors, George, 11, and nine-year-old Ralph share the credit for the fact that she can now write the letters BA after her name.

“For her three-year course at Bristol Polytechnic meant turning her back on the kitchen sink, commuting each day by train and often not arriving home until bed time.”

Doris had first become interested in three-dimensional art while still at school in Dusseldorf. She had wanted to study it further, but family money was too tight.

Later, when her husband started a pottery class at Swindon College, her fascination was rekindled.

Such was her success in Bristol that Doris was offered a post-graduate course at the Royal College of Art, but couldn’t bear the thought of yet more separation from her family.

Her work ranged from the coffee set – then a highly original idea – and glassware to harrowing representations of vivisection.

The story from 1978 is the only one we can find in our files. Perhaps Doris or somebody who knows her will get in touch.

Another interview we ran that week was with a 70-year-old author from Highworth.

Market gardener Jack Archer, who specialised in local history, was about to release his second book, The Villages and Highworth.

We said: “The first book was called Highworth and Round About. It was a short history of the town, embellished with fascinating tales of ghosts, legends, fights and riots.

“Jack pointed out that Highworth had a strong tradition of massive gang punch-ups, mostly against neighbouring men from Stratton St Margaret and Shrivenham.

“The bloodiest battle was in Swindon Street in 1890.

“The men of Stratton banded together with the sole intention of beating up all and sundry in Highworth. They were seen approaching by the Highworthians, who gathered sticks and set an ambush.

“Jack says the fighting was brutal, and that after the fight the women had to wash the street clear of blood.”

Jack Archer died in 2000, aged 92. Along with his wife, Peggy, he was memorialised in 2002 with a specially commissioned set of oak gates at St Michael’s Church, where he had conducted countless guided tours.

Swindon had a celebrity visit that week, from a beloved sportsman familiar with some rather more modern fights.

Henry Cooper, long since retired from heavyweight boxing by that time, made several visits to the area over the years. Some were charity appearances, others to publicise businesses and still others to promote Brut, the toiletries brand associated with him to this day.

His visit to Debenhams, where he signed autographs and posed for photographs with a glamorous promotions team, was one of the latter.

It will come as no surprise to anybody who remembers the adverts and the boxer’s catchphrase that our headline was: “’Enery splashes it all over!”

If the internet had been around in 1978, a Swindon cat called Smokie would have been a global social media sensation for at least as long as it took the next global social media sensation to come along.

The small black feline was a life-saver.

We said: “The Bendall family of Purley Avenue, Park South, might not be alive today but for the bravery of their heroic cat. At about 11.30 last Monday night, Bill Bendall was disturbed by a frantic scratching noise. He went downstairs to find the kitchen full of smoke and flames. His mum, 61-year-old Emma Bendall, said: ‘If Smokie hadn’t woken up my son with his scratching, the flames would have spread and gutted the whole house.”

Bill managed to put the flames out, although the kitchen was badly damaged.

Smokie had been a member of the household for two months. Emma said: “He was unwanted when we took him in, but we are really glad we did now.”