1952: Mr Edward George Dark of Graham Street, Swindon, retired from the railway service as platform inspector after serving under 10 station masters at Swindon Station. He recalled some of the modernisation that had taken place in his time including the installation of electric clocks and a loudspeaker system.

1952: Swindon schools and other approved organisations had been hiring a film for 10 shillings, which portrayed a photographic record of the areas jubilee celebrations in 1950. The film of about 45 minutes included shots of the royal visit, Civic Sunday, the Industrial Chamber of Commerce exhibition, Swindon Sketch Club, The Athletics Festival, The Women’s Pageant and the Trades Council procession. The film was approved by the Library Committee when it received a master copy at its meeting.

1962: Pewsey carnival queen turned auctioneer when she offered for sale the first lot at the Pewsey Farmers and Cossor’s Sale. The lot was a pair of fire irons. The sale was organised by Pewsey Farmers Club. The carnival queen and her attendants were later present at an old time ball at the Bouverie Hall attended by 100 people, who danced to Tom Mendham and his orchestra.

1962: In an unpublicised ceremony at London’s Guildhall, Mrs Gabriel Mary Brigden, of the Trout Inn, Lechlade, was presented with The Freedom of the City of London but she would not reveal why. She was one of the few women in history to be so honoured. Mrs Brigden by virtue of her freedom of the city was now entitled to drive a cow over London Bridge and carry a sword.

1972: Four-year-old Julia Quince, of Summerhouse Road, Wroughton, near Swindon was elected as Holiday Princess in a competition which was organised by a holiday club in Hayling Island. She told the Evening Advertiser that she was very surprised to win.

1972: A Wootton Bassett teacher, Mr John Bailey of Tinkers Field, was seeking news of his friends in Uganda following the mounting tensions and fighting in that country. He said he always heard from them by letter every two or three weeks but he had not heard for eight weeks. His friends Mr and Mrs Christopher Pennock-Purvis had gone to Uganda in 1971 where Mr Pennock-Purvis was teaching in Kampala. He had previously taught at the Ridgeway School in Wroughton and his wife at The College in Swindon.


1258: Salisbury Cathedral was consecrated.

1842: Sir James Dewar, Scottish physician and chemist, and inventor of the vacuum flask, was born at Kincardine-on-Forth.

1854: The Battle of Alma, fought by the British against the Russians in the Crimean War, produced six winners of the Victoria Cross.

1885: Jelly Roll Morton, pianist, composer and singer and one of the first jazz musicians, was born in New Orleans.

1917: The first RSPCA animal clinic was opened in Liverpool.

1931: Britain came off the gold standard to stop foreign speculation against the pound. The devaluation brought strikes and even a near mutiny on 15 navy ships berthed in Scotland.

1944: Guy Gibson, British pilot and Victoria Cross winner for his “Dambusters” action against the Mohne and Eder dams, was killed when his aircraft crashed in Holland on its way back to base.

1946: The first Cannes film festival opened.

1961: The first non-stop swim across the Channel and back was started by Argentinian Antonio Albertondo; he successfully completed the feat after 43 hours 10 minutes.

1984: A suicide bomber drove a lorry load of explosives at the US embassy in Beirut, killing 40 people.

2017: Arctic sea ice melted to hundreds of thousands of miles below average during the summer, scientists revealed.


Sophia Loren, actress, 84; Sir Jeremy Child, actor, 74; Jose Rivero, golfer, 63; Gary Cole, actor, 62; Kristen Johnston, actress, 51; Nuno Bettencourt, rock musician (Extreme), 52; Victoria Dillard, actress, 49; Julian Joachim, footballer, 44.