1952: A concert was held in Swindon in honour of Mr N V W Roper, secretary of the Swindon Branch of the Association of Supervisory Staffs Executives and Technicians, who was moving to Canada. Mr O C Prosser presented him with a cigarette case and Mr W Peak expressed appreciation of his work. Entertainment was provided by Mr G H Prosser, soloist, and Mr H J Sims, piano, with MacQueen the comedian.

1962: The North Wiltshire representative in the 11th World Jamboree in Greece was Lancashire-born Graham Gillmore of Falmouth Grove, Parklands, Swindon. Graham, 17, had been in the Scout movement for six years, four in Swindon with the 10th Swindon group. He was one of Swindon’s eight ambassadors at the Jamboree.

1972: First year boys were being taught cooking and sewing alongside the girls at Bradon Forest School, Purton. When the girls, straight from primary school, arrived they were turning their hands to metalwork and woodwork, guests at the school’s prizegiving were told. An exhibition of work was mounted despite the scheme being only two months old.


1724: Highwayman Jack Sheppard was hanged in front of 200,000 people at Tyburn.

1824: Explorers Hamilton Hume and William H Hovell discovered Australia’s Murray River.

1869: The formal opening of the Suez Canal took place. It had taken 10 years to make the 100-mile canal devised by Ferdinand de Lesseps.

1896: Oswald Mosley, English Fascist leader, was born.

1920: The Bolsheviks defeated the White Russians in the Crimea, ending Russia’s Civil War.

1937: MPs voted in favour of air raid shelters being erected in towns and cities. Winston Churchill insisted they were “indispensable”. Labour opposed this, fearing it would mean a big rise in rates.

1959: The Sound Of Music, a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, opened on Broadway.

1960: Clark Gable, the “King of Hollywood” and Oscar winner, died after shooting the final scenes of The Misfits opposite Marilyn Monroe.

1989: A pillar of South African apartheid crumbled when beach access restrictions were removed by president FW de Klerk.

ON THIS DAY LAST YEAR: The Queen surprised workers at a state-of-the-art wind turbine blade factory with her interest in and knowledge of the huge structures she watched being made.


Willie Carson, former jockey, 76; Marg Helgenberger, actress, 60; Frank Bruno, former boxer, 57; Steve Bould, coach and former footballer, 56; Diana Krall, singer, 54; Paul Scholes, former footballer, 44; Danny Wallace, actor, filmmaker and writer, 42; Maggie Gyllenhaal, actress, 41.