1952: The Swindon members of the Ancient Society of College Youths (Bellringers) Messrs T Townsend and H W Bishop were in London for the 315th anniversary dinner which by custom has to be held in the City. Both bellringers were members of the Christ Church Tower in Old Town.

1952: Competing in the Kingswood Eisteddfod, Sandra Tanner, five-year-old daughter of Mr and Mrs C Tanner of Malvern Road, Swindon, was awarded first place bronze medal for modern musical dancing, open to children under eight.

1962: Members and guests of the Shrivenham Women’s Institute were entertained by Watchfield Silver Threads Choir at their Halloween party at The Memorial Hall. The Threads sang, played skiffle, and recited for an hour in a hall decorated with bats, witches, cauldrons and black cats. The party began with dancing to music provided by Mr W Geoffrey. After supper there was more dancing and games.

1962: Swindon British Railway Band has achieved the unique distinction of being the only band from Swindon in the entire 100 years history of national contesting to have ever reached the championship section - the premiere grade in the brass band world. The band competed at the Western area National Championships in Bristol.

1972: Dave Mackay resigned as manager of Swindon Town Football Club in a shock statement. The club’s board of directors said Mackay had resigned for personal reasons. Chief coach Des Anderson would carry on as caretaker manager but the post would be advertised nationally. Dave Mackay joined Swindon after a career which had made him one of the legends of football.

1972: A former Swindon railway fire brigade chief said that the underground fire on the land at North Star could not be contained. Attempting to keep the fire under control had cost £70,000. Precautions were taken to protect buildings on the site from the hot spots smouldering at up to 500 degrees centigrade. Wiltshire County Council spent £70,000 on a quarter of a mile long concrete wall to protect the College extension. Swindon Corporation spent £20,000 on a concrete trench to protect at the Central Library. The burning ash meant that sewers cannot be laid across the land making it difficult to extend the site.


1512: Michelangelo unveiled his painting of the ceiling of the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel.

1755: An earthquake reduced 85% of Lisbon to rubble, killing up to 100,000 people.

1848: WH Smith opened its first railway bookstall at Euston Station, London, the start of multiple retailing in Britain.

1922: The first radio licences went on sale in Britain at a cost of 10 shillings (50p).

1956: Computer ERNIE was born as Premium Bonds first went on sale in Britain.

1993: The Maastricht Treaty took effect - the precursor to the European Union.

2017: The Prince of Wales revealed that when it comes to domestic chores he has the skills to handle a vacuum cleaner - and he is not afraid to use them.


Gary Player, golfer, 83; Larry Flynt, publisher, 76; Nick Owen, TV presenter, 71; Lyle Lovett, country singer, 61; Sharron Davies, former Olympic swimmer and TV presenter, 56; Rick Allen, rock drummer (Def Leppard), 55; Mark Hughes, former footballer and manager, 55; Jenny McCarthy, actress and comedian, 46.