1952: The newly appointed president of the Red Cross Society’s Swindon Division was Mrs CE Grenville-Grey, of Westrop House in Highworth. She told the Adver that the Swindon area had an excellent record when it came to donating blood, but that at least 500 new donors were needed in order to keep up with demand. A new series of donation sessions was planned.

1952: Air raid sirens would soon be heard in Swindon, said Coun CS Macpherson, chairman of Swindon and North East Wiltshire Civil defence Committee. The organisation’s role was to ensure communities and infrastructure were prepared for possible future conflict, and the testing of the sirens, which had been heard all too frequently during the last world war, was among the precautions.

1962: The Diocese of Bristol announced that a social and industrial advisor might be appointed to serve the parish of Swindon. The plan was revealed in the latest edition of Focus, a Church of England magazined devoted to social issues. “It seems a good time to establish work in the town,” said the article. It is quite an exciting town to be in.”

1962: An inquest into the death of an elderly woman struck by a car in High Street, Wootton Bassett, heard that street lighting in the town was in a disgusting state. A local resident said the lighting consisted of very old gas lamps fixed to the trunks of trees, and that the light they gave out was in many instances so poor to as to be almost non-existent. A verdict of misadventure was returned by the jury.

1972: A two-foot chocolate roll and 10-inch strawberries were on display in Swindon - or rather, models of the outsized treats were. They were among 300 exhibits of children’s and young people’s art at the Wyvern Theatre’s Jolliffe Studio. The exhibition, organised by a panel of art teachers, involved work from most Swindon schools.

1972: A six-bedroom Edwardian house in Westlecot Road was sold at auction for the remarkably huge sum of £36,000. The sale was conducted at the Goddard Arms Hotel in Old Town, and a fierce bidding war between four prospective purchasers pushed the price beyond the £25,000 reserve.


1517: Martin Luther nailed his 95 ‘theses’ to the church door at Wittenburg, inadvertently sparking the Reformation which split the Church.

1795: Poet John Keats was born in London.

1940: The Battle of Britain ended. The RAF lost 915 aircraft, the Luftwaffe 1,733.

1955: Princess Margaret announced that she would not marry Captain Peter Townsend, a divorcee.

1958: Dr Ake Senning implanted the first internal heart pacemaker, in Stockholm.

1971: A terrorist bomb exploded at the top of the Post Office Tower in London.

1984: Mrs Indira Gandhi, prime minister of India, was shot dead by two Sikh members of her bodyguard in New Delhi.

2017: A shortage of midwives is costing the NHS almost £100 million a year, a report suggested.


Michael Kitchen, actor, 70; Charles Moore, journalist and former editor of the Daily Telegraph, 62; Peter Jackson, film director, 57; Larry Mullen Jr, rock drummer (U2), 57; Johnny Marr, rock guitarist, 55; Denis Irwin, former footballer and TV presenter, 53; Ian Walker, former footballer, 47; Matt Dawson, former rugby player and TV presenter, 46.