1952: Swindon Young Conservatives as part of their recruitment campaign held a rally and dance in the Town Hall, Swindon. The speakers were Mr Philip Haskell, a lecturer on higher mathmatics at Portsmouth Technical College, who spoke on political terminology and Mr W R Van Straubenzee the National Chairman of Young Conservatives.

1952: More than 60 members were enrolled at the annual meeting of the Swindon Public Library Film Society. The treasurer reported £26 16 shillings was held after making a contribution of £40 to the projector at the Arts Centre. Its quality was demonstrated by the screening of four films.

1962: The Adastrian Drama Club Swindon with too few men and so many women had temporarily ceased to accept applications from women as acting members, Mrs B Hurley, secretary, told members at the annual meeting. Last season the club presented three full length plays including its first musical.

1962: A freak whirlwind which blew across a cornfield at Gainsfield Farm, Buckland, near Faringdon, swept a ring of fire around farmer Arthur Beasant and his men. The farmer had just mended a broken chain on the combine harvester when some straw caught alight. At that point the whirlwind came up and surrounded the men. The Faringdon Fire Brigade soon had the blaze under control.

1972: A decision to house the 10 Uganda Asian families came after a stormy meeting of the Highworth Rural District Council’s Housing Committee. The families join the 350 local families on the council housing list. A desperate appeal to Britain to mount massive international action to avoid large scale disorder and possible death in Uganda came from Mr Praful Patel, Asian member of the Government’s resettlement branch.

1972: Arthur Ward had never been on strike in more than 50 years as a council builder and joiner. When the call came it was almost too late for Arthur, 65, was due to down tools for good the following day. A joiner at Leighfield’s workshop in Whitney Street, Swindon for the last seven years he said that his one day strike gave everyone a good laugh. Arthur, of Glenwood Green, Swindon, started work as a coach builder at the British Rail works.


1741: A weary Handel finished his Messiah, 24 days after he had started it. Supplied with the libretto, he confined himself in his room at Brook Street, London, living almost entirely on coffee until he completed the music.

1812: Napoleon entered Moscow, which had been abandoned by the Russians and their scorched earth policy. But winter was approaching and Napoleon soon had to retreat.

1852: The Duke of Wellington, English military commander, the “Iron Duke”, victor at Waterloo, statesman and Tory Prime Minister, died aged 83 at Walmer Castle in Kent.

1886: The typewriter ribbon was patented by George Anderson of Memphis, Tennessee.

1891: The first penalty kick in an English League football game was taken by Heath of Wolverhampton Wanderers against Accrington. Previously, an infringement resulted only in a free kick for the wronged side.

1901: US president William McKinley died in Buffalo, eight days after being shot by an anarchist. He was succeeded by Theodore Roosevelt.

1927: Isadora Duncan, the American dancer, was strangled by her scarf in Nice when the fringe caught in the wheel of a Bugatti sports car.

1964: The British daily newspaper the Daily Herald ceased publication and was replaced by The Sun.

1974: Giant pandas Chia-Chia and Ching-Ching arrived at London Zoo.

1982: Princess Grace of Monaco, sometimes better known as American actress Grace Kelly, died in Monaco’s hospital without regaining consciousness after a car crash the previous day.

2017: China was in mourning following the death of the world’s oldest panda, Basi, at the age of 37.


Amanda Barrie, actress, 83; Walter Koenig, actor, 82; Sam Neill, actor, 71; Mary Crosby, actress, 59; Morten Harket, singer, 59; Kimberly Williams, actress, 47; Andrew Lincoln, actor, 45; Tinchy Stryder, rapper, 31.