1952: The fifth annual ball, organised by Faringdon Branch of the British Legion, since the war, was held in the Corn Exchange, Faringdon. Dancing was to The Red Aces Band and about 100 people were present. Mr Woodward was MC and Mr A Holloway, Branch Secretary, was in charge of the bar and catering.

1952: Mr C Rogers’ new house at Church Walk South, Swindon, was nearly finished being built, but the last four times he went to the site Mr Rogers had found a visitor waiting for him on the front porch. The first time he went a large toad was there, the second time a mole, the third was a tame black rabbit and the fourth a hedgehog.They did no harm but his fifth guest, another tame rabbit, played havoc with his spring cabbage plants, so Mr Rogers was hoping to be rid of any unwanted visitors once he moved in.

1962: The Ramrods, a Bristol rock band, were 20 minutes late going on stage at the Locarno Ballroom in Swindon due to a mechanical failure. The audience consisting of more than 500 appreciative teenagers all enjoyed The Ramrods and lead singer Dale Rivers pulsating beats, especially their rendition of the hit record Telstar.

1962: One telegram one woman, one man and three children turned up to wave goodbye to the railway age at Malmesbury as after 80 years the station closed. The last train, a diesel, was operated by the driver Jack Neale, fireman David Titchener and guard Bob Roberts all from Swindon. The station had already closed to passenger traffic 10 years before because it was said to be uneconomic. A goods service had continued to operate until it too fell under the Beeching axe.

1972: Chief Scout Les Allen was appointed manager of Swindon Town Football Club at a special board meeting. The board discussed the 20 applications for the post, but the appointment of Mr Allen was a mere formality. Chairman Mr Eric Lane had had a talk with Mr Allen after Swindon Town’s friendly against Russian team Leningrad Zenit. Mr Allen was formerly of Queen’s Park Rangers.

1972: Radio Ruskin, Britain’s newest and possibly the smallest radio station, went on air in Swindon, it was reported. The audience numbered more than 100, and 35 people were involved in the production of the half hour programme. Radio Ruskin was the brain child of children and teachers at Ruskin Junior School Annexe, St Philp’s Road, Upper Stratton. All the programme ideas came from the children all aged from seven to 11 years.


1812: One of the worst winters on record began - and caused the defeat of the mighty Napoleon. During his retreat from Moscow, troops endured temperatures as low as -37C for 27 consecutive days.

1841: Edward VII, eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, was born. He was 61 when he was crowned and gave his name to the Edwardian Age in English manners, fashion and literature.

1859: Flogging in the British Army was abolished.

1881: Dr Thomas Kalmus, US inventor of Technicolor in 1912, was born.

1922: The SS - Schutzstaffel or ‘Protection Squad’ - was formed in Germany.

1938: “Kristallnacht” in Germany, when Nazis burned 267 synagogues and destroyed thousands of Jewish homes and businesses, smashing windows.

1940: Neville Chamberlain died just months after resigning as Britain’s wartime prime minister.

1953: Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, author of Under Milk Wood, died aged 39.

1979: A computer fault led to a full-scale nuclear alert in the United States.

1989: The East German government lifted the Iron Curtain to allow free travel through the Berlin Wall. Thousands of East Berliners swarmed through the crossing points.

2017: Fertility experts celebrated IVF’s 40th anniversary.


Ronald Harwood, playwright, 84; Roger McGough, poet, 81; Tom Weiskopf, golfer, 76; Lou Ferrigno, actor, 67; Karen Dotrice, actress, 63; Alan Curbishley, football manager, 61; Tony Slattery, actor and comedian, 59; Eric Dane, actor, 46; Delta Goodrem, singer, 34.