1952: The plucky action of a scout who assisted with the rescue following a triple train crash ,was held up as a shining example by the Chief Scout Lord Rowalian, when he spoke to scout troops at the Church Hall, Devizes Road, Swindon. Lord Rowalian then attended a dinner in his honour and spoke to the Swindon Rotary Club about the importance of scouting in making the man.

1952: During haymaking on a farm near Swindon the men were held up because all the wagons were full, so a boy of 15, who had permission to drive a tractor on the farm only, drove along the road to fetch a wagon from another farm. He was stopped by a policeman and the story related to the Swindon Juvenile Court, where he said he had only done it to help out. He was fined 10 shilling for driving the tractor unauthorised, 10 shillings for driving without a licence and disqualified from obtaining a licence for 12 months.

1962: One of Vickers Armstrong’s food products, made at South Marston, had a severe test up a 20,000ft mountain. The freeze dried food was eaten by members of the Joint Services Alaska Expedition, who had climbed Mount Kinley, North America’s highest mountain. The leader Lt Col M F B Banks said the feather-weight food was much enjoyed even at 17,000 feet when palettes tend to get slightly finicky.

1962: A car which had taken Field Marshall Lord Mountbatten over the North African desserts during the war had ended its days on the scrap heap. For 14 years it had given faithful service to Kitty Barber of Latton, Cricklade, but after it had been involved in an accident, it was decided that it was not worth the cost of repairs. Kitty Barber had bought the car in 1948 at a sale of surplus Army transport.

1972: Wootton Bassett driver, Jonty Williamson, recorded the fastest time of the day at the Cirencester Car Club’s sprint meeting on Wroughton Airfield. In a Manpower McLaren formula 5,000 car he covered the 2.3 miles of the circuit in one minute and 35.1 seconds at an average speed over two runs of more than 78mph.

1978: Betty, the girl from Swindon’s Green Shield Stamp Shop, almost stole the Frankie Vaughan Show at the Wyvern Theatre when the singer invited women in the audience on stage. She shot out of her seat like a whippet and sprinted for the front where she grabbed the singer in a bear hug and wouldn’t let go.

The World

1492: Christopher Columbus sighted his first land in discovering the New World, calling it San Salvador.

1537: Edward VI, son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, was born. He succeeded his father when he was nine, but died at 15.

1609: Three Blind Mice was published in London, believed to be the earliest printed secular song.

1866: Ramsay MacDonald was born. He would go on to become Britain’s first Labour Prime Minister in 1924.

1872: Composer Ralph Vaughan Williams was born in Down Ampney,


1875: Modern-day Satanist Aleister Crowley - once dubbed “the wickedest man in the world” - was born in Leamington, Warwickshire.

1899: Mafeking was besieged by the Boers and was gallantly defended by

Baden-Powell, until relieved 217 days later.

1901: President Theodore Roosevelt renamed the Executive Mansion ‘The White House’.

1915: British nurse Edith Cavell was executed as a spy by German firing squad.

1984: Five people died, and 34 were injured, in an IRA bomb attack on the Grand Hotel in Brighton, where the Conservative Party conference was being held.

2002: 202 people died in bomb attacks on two nightclubs in Bali.

2007: Former US vice president Al Gore and the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

2009: Edgar Allan Poe received a funeral in Baltimore, USA, 160 years after his death and 200 after his birth.

2017: The Government announced that plans to encourage home energy efficiency and clean power, drive take-up of electric cars and plant new forests were among their measures to tackle climate change.


Angela Rippon, broadcaster, 74; Robin Askwith, actor, 68; David

Threlfall, actor, 65; Hugh Jackman, actor, 50; Stephen Lee, former snooker

player, 44; Josh Hutcherson, actor, 26.