1952: The annual winter cold epidemic seemed to have struck early in Swindon. Chemists reported unusually heavy demand for the most popular cold medicines, some of which were in short supply. The Adver reported that some readers, who had work to go to, were unimpressed with the advice given in a radio talk by a BBC medical expert, who suggested staying in bed for two days.

1952: The Evening Advertiser announced that it would no longer run its annual seaside outing for local children. The outings, paid for by public and business subscription, had been run between 1925 and 1939, revived in 1951 and last run earlier in 1952. Experience, we explained, suggested that the number of families genuinely unable to afford the odd day trip was too small to make the event practicable.

1962: More than 2,100 Railway Works personnel were to be made redundant in 1963 and 1964, British Rail announced. Many of those affected were employed in the carriage works, which was to be all but completely closed by 1965. Union leaders said they were not accepting the proposals and planned instead to come back to management with their own suggestions.

1962: A Chiseldon builder, Mr HJ Larke, pulled a three-pound potato from a drill in his Baldwin Close Garden. The remarkably large vegetable, bigger than a house brick, was of the Arran pilot variety. Mr Larke said: “I have had others as big as this from the same seed in different ground. In fact, I have others from the same row which are probably larger than this.”

1972: A total of 30 Swindon families offered temporary homes to Ugandan Asians forced from the country by dictator Idi Amin. The town’s community relations officer, Andrew Lee, said he hoped the borough council would also be able to offer accommodation, and added that the local families willing to open their homes came from a range of cultural backgrounds.

1972: Residents of Elgin Street in Swindon complained that their lives were made miserable by dust from a nearby concrete plant. Although at least one couple feared the situation would lead to their children contracting tuberculosis, the town’s chief medical officer insisted that there was no evidence of a health hazard.


1356: The English, led by Edward, the Black Prince, defeated the French at the Battle of Poitiers in the Hundred Years’ War.

1839: George Cadbury was born in Birmingham. He expanded his father’s chocolate business and established a model village for his workers at Bourneville.

1876: The first carpet-sweeper was patented by Melville Bissell of Grand Rapids in Michigan.

1881: James Abram Garfield, 20th US president, died of wounds suffered when he was shot in July.

1888: The world’s first beauty contest took place in Spa, Belgium.

1928: The first cartoon talking picture, Walt Disney’s Steamboat Willie, featuring Mickey Mouse, was shown in New York.

1945: Wartime traitor William Joyce - Lord Haw-Haw - was sentenced to be hanged after his trial at the Old Bailey.

1960: Chubby Checker’s The Twist - a cover of an original Hank Ballard song - entered the US charts and launched a dance craze.

1975: The first episode of Fawlty Towers was broadcast by the BBC.

1985: More than 20,000 people died when an earthquake devastated large areas Of Mexico City.


David McCallum, actor, 85; Zandra Rhodes, fashion designer, 78; Kate Adie, TV reporter, 73; Jeremy Irons, actor, 70; Twiggy (Lesley Hornby), model/actress, 69; Daniel Lanois, singer and music producer, 67; Nile Rodgers, music producer, 66.