1952: Highworth Rural Council decided to seek Government approval for a new sewerage scheme in Castle Eaton. Chiseldon’s vicar, the Rev P Anderson, said: “Time is important. I have never seen anything so filthy in my life – anywhere.” Of 48 homes and two schools in the small community, 14 premises were connected to existing sewers while 23 were not but could be. Sewage from one cottage was discharged directly into a nearby ditch, which horrified the vicar when he made a tour of inspection.

1952: Alleging that their children had been ordered from Moredon Playing Field, members of Manor Park Tenants’ Association wrote in protest to the Duke of Edinburgh, President of the National Playing Fields Association. They claimed it was originally intended for the public but had been taken over by fee-paying sports clubs.

1962: The vicar of a Swindon Church was accused of having smacked some young children be caught playing near a road. His actions prompted a debate on the Adver’s letters page, with many people writing approvingly of what the vicar had done. One correspondent claimed that the parents of the children concerned should be grateful that the children were sent home safely instead of being left in danger from traffic.

1962: Highworth Rural Council settled on Fair View as the name of its new bungalows for local elderly people. Alternative suggestions from members of the public included Beeching’s Folly, after the Government-appointed official who was in the process of shutting down many railway branch lines, including Highworth’s, as a cost-cutting measure.

1972: The president of the Swindon Branch of women’s volunteer movement the Soroptimists praised the town and its post-war civic leaders. Mrs Phyllis Cripps said: “Swindon is a stimulating, bracing place in which to live. When I came here from bath the population was 60,000. Many were unemployed. Since then it has nearly doubled in population and new estates have been built with, of course, the schools, hospitals, shops and so on to serve the newcomers.”

1972: West German rally driver Achim Wormbold, teamed with Swindonian co-driver John Davenport, won the TAP Rally, an event sponsored by Portuguese Airlines. Their BMW finished 37 minutes ahead of their nearest competitor.


1555: Bishops Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley were burnt at the stake for heresy.

1793: Marie Antoinette, Queen of France as wife of Louis XVI, was convicted of treason and guillotined in Paris.

1846: An anaesthetic was successfully used for the first time at the Massachusetts General Hospital where dentist William Morton used diethyl ether before removing a tumour from a man’s jaw.

1847: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte was published under the pseudonym, Currer Bell.

1854: Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin.

1881: The Sunday People was published for the first time, as The People.

1902: The first detention centre for young offenders was opened at the village of Borstal, Kent.

1946: The Nuremberg executions began. They included von Ribbentrop, Rosenberg and Streicher.

1958: Blue Peter started on BBC TV. The presenters were Leila Williams and Christopher Trace.

1964: Harold Wilson became prime minister of a Labour government which won a general election with a majority of four.


Angela Lansbury, actress, 93; Peter Bowles, actor, 82; Terry Griffiths, former snooker player and coach, 71; Tim Robbins, actor, 60; Gary Kemp, actor/musician (Spandau Ballet), 59; Flea (Michael Peter Balzary), rock

bassist (Red Hot Chili Peppers), 56; Davina McCall, TV presenter, 51.