OUR main photograph first appeared in the Adver in the spring of 1980.

Even 38 years ago, the usual technique for cleaning the windows of tall buildings involved sending a crew down the face of the structure on a motorised platform.

As the years and decades passed, the arsenal of strategies expanded to include everything from abseiling cleaners in strong, double-roped harnesses to robotic vertical crawlers attached to water supplies.

Back in 1980, however, an intrepid businessman took a more basic approach.

“Window cleaner Ron Trim has taken a shine to hanging around,” we said.

“But he must be the bravest wash ‘n’ brush up man in town.

“Ron, who is from Holland, is seen here hanging from the Hambro Life and Debenham’s building in Swindon’s Centre.

“And the aluminium ladder is simply hooked over the top.”

We added: “Ron, 25, claims to be the only person to use this type of cleaning method in Britain.

“He has his own cleaning business in Swindon and brought the ladder with him from Holland. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that this is one Dutchman that won’t go flying.”

In case any reader in 1980 failed to spot Ron while glancing at the photograph, a helpful Adver journalist wrote a note to the picture processing department on the back of the original: “Please put black circle around man...”

The only other mention of Ron Trim in our archive dates from December of 1990. A heatwave earlier that year, one of the longest since the parched summer of 1976, had drained many reservoirs to perilous levels.

Even in the depth of winter, as Swindon geared up for Christmas, a drought order was issued and non-essential use of water - including cleaning windows - was banned.

When the announcement was made, Ron and his employees were half way through cleaning another of Swindon’s tall buildings, Tricentre Three, which was occupied by Allied Dunbar.

Ron needed to think fast - and that is how Tricentre Three came to be possibly the only such building ever to have its faces washed with mineral water.

He said: “According to the ban we could only do the glass and not the white cladding.

“As the building was half-clean I got eight three-litre bottles of mineral water and finished the job off.

“Allied Dunbar are very impressed.”

Ron added that the solution was a one-off, and that her would now collect and use rain water.