SWINDON

1952: Highworth Coronation Committee met and discussed plans for the celebration of the new Queen’s crowning the following year. It was announced that local children would have a pageant, and that the organist at St Michael’s Church, Mr G Harris, had offered to write a poem in honour of the occasion. Other plans discussed included various street collections to raise funds for the celebrations, with a target of £1,000.

1952: A public meeting was held at Moredon Community Centre to consider ideas for celebrating the Coronation. Alderman Miss EC Mullin, who chaired the centre’s management committee, said she was disappointed that in spite of 1,000 handbills advertising the meeting having been sent out, only about a dozen people attended. It was agreed that Moredon’s celebrations should include a children’s sports day.

1962: The new president of Penhill British Legion Women’s Section told the organisation’s annual meeting that the branch was doing very well in spite of being relatively young. Mrs M Weekes was speaking at the Penhill Common Room, having just been elected to her office by fellow members of the branch, which had been formed in April.

1962: Written questions about a national newspaper article detailing Swindon’s application for a university were submitted by Coun TC Barrow at a Swindon Town Council meeting. He wanted to know, in particular, why details of the application had been released to only one newspaper, and why the question had yet to be discussed by the full council.

1972: The first art show at the Wyvern Theatre’s Jolliffe Studio, due to end the following day, was deemed a great success. The exhibition showcased work by pupils of schools throughout Swindon and Highworth. The borough’s Arts Controller, Denys Hodson, said: “Swindon needs another art exhibition centre. At present, the Swindon Collection must be taken off the walls at the gallery in Old Town whenever a visiting collection is booked.”

1972: People living in Swindon’s Ferndale Road said their lives were made a misery by a poor road surface which could not handle the weight of lorries. They said that every time a lorry passed their houses, the foundations would shake so much that it was not unknown for objects such as crockery to fall from cupboards.

THE WORLD

1783: The last public hanging in England took place at Tyburn (now Marble Arch in London) - forger John Austin was the last to die there.

1867: Scientific genius Marie Curie was born in Warsaw. She and her husband Pierre shared the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1903 and she was awarded a second Prize in 1911 for her discovery of radium.

1872: The Marie Celeste, the ill-fated brigantine, sailed from New York - and was found mysteriously abandoned near the Azores some time later.

1885: A golden spike was driven into the track at Craigellachie in British Columbia to complete the Canadian Pacific Railway after four-and-a-half years’ work.

1917: The Bolshevik Revolution, led by Lenin, overthrew prime minister Alexander Kerensky’s government.

1935: Australian pilot Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith flew over Calcutta on a flight from England - and was never seen again.

1967: Henry Cooper beat Billy Walker and became the first and only boxer to win three Lonsdale Belts outright.

1974: Lord Lucan disappeared, following the murder of his children’s nanny and serious assault of his wife. He has never been seen since.

1980: Actor Steve McQueen died.

1990: Mary Robinson was elected as the first woman president of the Irish Republic.

BIRTHDAYS

Dame Gwyneth Jones, soprano, 82; Jean Shrimpton, former model, 76; Joni Mitchell, singer, 75; Su Pollard, actress and comedienne, 69; Lindsay Duncan, actress, 68; John Barnes, former footballer and manager, 55; Sharleen Spiteri, singer, 51; Rio Ferdinand, former footballer, 40.