1952: The Swindon branch of the NSPCC paid tribute to a stalwart member who had died three months earlier. Members attending the branch’s annual meeting in the Town Hall stood in silent memory of a former regional organiser named in the Adver only as Miss Webber. One of those paying tribute was the Mayor of Swindon, Alderman AE Long, who described her as having been a devoted worker and added that although the year was 1952 there was still a need for the society. 1962: The latest edition of The Acorn, the magazine of the new Park Grammar School, included the art of a master, Mr KJ Taylor. Apart from his thumbnail sketches illustrating articles there was also a full page photograph of a painting he created to illustrate the school’s four houses, and which was hanging in the hall. Described as a genius by many who heard him playing, 18-year-old Swindon organist Berkeley Hill was to study agriculture at Nottingham University. The former Headlands Grammar School pupil and the son of Swindon Orpheus Choir conductor Ewart Hill, Berkeley had been blending music with science for many years.. 1972: Swindon Workers’ Educational Association’s winter adult education programme was begun at Swindon College. . The first film made by a young British Theatre director, Mike Leigh, was to be shown at the Wyvern Theatre for members of its cinema group. Called Bleak Moments and made on location in London, the piece was t5he story of a young girl looking after a sister with a learning disability while working at a tedious job. The film was to be shown nightly for a week. THE WORLD

19BC: Virgil, the Roman poet, died and his tomb in Naples became a shrine.

1327: Edward II was murdered in the dungeon of Berkeley Castle in

Gloucestershire to ensure his son Edward III could succeed to the throne.

1745: Bonnie Prince Charlie (Charles Edward Stuart) and his Jacobite army

defeated the English at the Battle of Prestonpans.

1756: John McAdam, Scottish surveyor who introduced the “macadam” system of roadmaking, was born in Ayr.

1792: France was declared a Republic and the monarchy abolished.

1857: British forces retook Delhi from Indian mutineers.

1866: Author HG Wells - famous for The War Of The Worlds - was born in Bromley, Kent.

1915: Stonehenge, and the surrounding 30 acres of land, was sold by Sir Edmund Antrobus to Mr CH Chubb for #6,600 at auction. Chubb presented it to the nation three years later.

1962: The British TV quiz programme University Challenge, conducted by Bamber Gascoigne, was first transmitted.

1964: Malta became independent, after 164 years of British rule.

1981: Belize, originally known as British Honduras, gained its independence.

ON THIS DAY LAST YEAR: The remains of a pre-historic dwelling dating back 6,000 years were unearthed in a field during a major Scottish Water project.


Michael Douglas, actor, 74, and his wife Catherine Zeta Jones, actress, 49; Felicity Kendal, actress, 72; Mark Hamill, actor, 67; Michael Madsen, actor, 60; Heather Locklear, actress, 60; Ronnie Whelan, former footballer and manager, 57; Will Smith, actor, 50; Olivier Dacourt, former footballer, 44; Declan Donnelly, presenter, 43; Jodie Kidd, model/TV personality.

, 40.