1952: At the annual Siamese Cat Show in London, an entry by Brigadier FNVS Rossiter of Beckett Cottage, Shrivenham, gained a first prize. Three-year-old premier cat, Mirza Takliff, was entered in the blue point neuter class. More than 1,000 entries were received and appeared in 71 different classes.

1952: The annual Convocation of Provincial Grant Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Wiltshire, held in the town hall in Swindon, was of more than usual interest as it was also the installation of the Grand Superintendent of Most Excellent Companions the Rt Hon The Earl of Scarborough First Grant Principal of the Supreme Grant Chapter of England.

1962: A party of 70 children from the Central School, Swindon, led by their headmistress Mrs G H Duthie visited Billy Smart’s Circus, where the clowns gave the school pupils a very special welcome. The head was delighted with the visit, which had been organised by the Evening Advertiser, and said everything had gone wonderfully well.

1962: Representatives of the International Federation of Youth Hostels, including its German president Dr A Grassl, were among the guests entertained by the Mayor of Marlborough, Coun Miss M E N Pearce. Marlborough townspeople, including the deputy mayor Ald E J A Free and Mr L C Ball Master of Marlborough College, were also invited guests. Dr Grassl was in Marlborough as part of a conference of youth hostel wardens, being held in the town.

1972: Ray Treacy, the Swindon Town forward, was chosen to play in the Republic of Ireland team against Russia in the World Cup qualifier in Dublin. Meanwhile back at Swindon Town’s County Ground, the Swindon Council’s Finance Committee said they would have to look closely at Swindon Town’s finances before any further loans would be made to the club. However, the Chairman Coun Alf Bown, a life-long Swindon Town fan, said he was sure the club would weather the storm.

1972: The siting of a new hostel for some of the homeless who slept in Swindon’s derelict houses has been kept under wraps for fear of public protests. The homeless were being looked after by the Agape Group, which toured the town giving soup to vagrants. The group’s leader, the Rev Derryck Evans, was negotiating for an old house to provide shelter, food and friendship for up to 12 of the homeless.


1651: Charles II, defeated by Cromwell at Worcester, fled to France, after famously escaping from Cromwell’s forces by hiding in an oak tree.

1777: British commander General Burgoyne surrendered at Saratoga in the American War of Independence.

1849: Frederic Chopin, Polish pianist and composer, died of tuberculosis in Paris, aged 39.

1860: The first professional golf tournament was held at Prestwick, Scotland, and won by Willie Park.

1899: British troops defeated the Boers at Glencoe.

1931: Mobster Al Capone was jailed for 11 years for tax evasion.

1956: Calder Hall in Cumbria, Britain’s first large-scale atomic energy station, was opened by The Queen.

1960: The News Chronicle newspaper ceased publication.

1989: San Francisco was hit by an earthquake which measured 6.9 on the Richter scale.

1991: Four ITV companies, TV-am, Thames, TVS and TSW, lost their licences under changes announced by the Independent Television Commission.


Jim Smith, former footballer and manager, 78; Rob Marshall, director, 58; Ziggy Marley, reggae singer, 50; Wyclef

Jean, singer/songwriter, 49; Anil Kumble, former cricketer, 48; Eminem, rapper/actor, 46; Matthew Macfadyen, actor, 44.