1952: Mr R J Gamble, a part time student in the Commerce Department of The College, Swindon, was awarded a silver medal by the Royal Society of Art in the results of the society’s advanced book keeping examination.

1952: A Christian Youth Rally was held at the Swindon Town Hall. The large hall was filled almost to capacity, and up on stage were a wide variety of young people in a mixed choir, drawn from churches of different denominations in the town. The rally, organised by the Swindon Youth For Christ committee, with Mr Keith Turner as secretary, was based on the lines of the evangelical meetings of the American Billy Graham.

1962: Swindon boys won prizes at the Minors Film Show at the Swindon ABC Cinema, for the best paintings of Batman, the leading character in the show. Allan Olrog, 12, from Park North won the first prize of a signalling lantern and second was John Bedjik, 11, of Hawkins Street, who won an LP record.

1962; Wroughton Silver Band came to the rescue of an opposition band, the City of Leicester Club and Institute Band, at the National Brass Band Championship in London when the secretary and principal cornet player, Mr Kenneth Habgood, agreed to take the place of another bandsman who was taken ill with acute influenza.

1972: Three youngsters from the Marlborough area were all at sea thanks to Marlborough Round Table. The two-week marine adventure was undertaken by Marlborough Grammar School sixth former David Jenkins of Luggershall, Tim Painton from Aldbourne, an apprentice in an electronics factory and Margo Townsend of Froxfield. They were assigned to a schooner for the trip with the Sail Training Association thanks to the sponsorship from the round table.

1972: A full-sized model of racing driver Jackie Stewart’s Lotus, made entirely out of scrap, was on show in Swindon. It was one of the exhibits at the Road Safety Exhibition which was opened in Swindon’s Techno Centre by the Wiltshire Constabulary Accident Prevention Officer Insp R D Rose. The theme of the show was Safety Through The Ages. It was organised by Swindon’s Road Safety Officer Mr Ted Beachamp.


1632: Sir Christopher Wren, architect whose work includes St Paul’s Cathedral and Chelsea Hospital, was born in East Knoyle, Wiltshire.

1818: The 49th parallel was established by USA and Britain as the boundary between Canada and USA.

1822: Thomas Hughes, author of Tom Brown’s Schooldays, was born at Uffington, Berkshire.

1890: Explorer Sir Richard Burton died. Not only did he write 43 travel books and two volumes of poetry but he also translated 16 volumes of the Arabian Nights, two volumes of Latin poetry and six volumes of Portuguese literature, as well as books in Hindustani, Arabic and Sanskrit. An accomplished swordsman, he spoke 20 languages.

1944: General MacArthur returned to the Philippines as their liberator, fulfilling a promise he made when his forces retreated from the Japanese. On the same day the Allies captured Aachen, the first German city in their drive to Berlin.

1960: DH Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover put Penguin Books in the dock at the Old Bailey, accused under the Obscene Publications Act. It was found not guilty.

1973: The Sydney Opera House was opened by the Queen.

2011: Muammar Gaddafi, who ruled Libya for 42 years, was captured and killed as rebel troops overran the last pockets of loyalist resistance in his hometown of Sirte.

ON THIS DAY LAST YEAR: An ‘outstanding’ rare watercolour by artist and architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh had been secured for the nation, it was revealed.


Timothy West, actor, 84; Mark King, musician (Level 42), 60; Viggo Mortensen, actor, 60; Mark Little, actor/comedian, 59; Ian Rush, former footballer and pundit, 57; Allan Donald, former cricketer, 52; Dannii Minogue, TV personality/singer, 47; Jess Glynne, 29.