1952: Because he was destitute and did not want to be out in the cold weather, a 44-year-old homeless man broke a glass window of a telephone kiosk in Swindon before dialling 999 to give himself up. He was sent to prison for 14 days for causing damage estimated at seven shillings and six pence.

1952: Mr L R Colquhoun one of the Vickers Armstrong Supermarine Swift pilots flew a Supermarine Swift in the film called The Sound Barrier. The pilot showed Mr R L Cook, manager of the Savoy Cinema, where the film was screened, a model of the Supermarine Swift that he flew in the film.

1962: Swindon was chosen for the second year running by the Australian Dried Fruit Board as one of the places in this country to receive a gift Christmas pudding from Australian fruit growers. The pudding weighed 20lb and was handed to the Women’s Voluntary Service by the Mayor of Swindon Councillor A E Cockram.

1962: For the second time in succession Rodbourne St John Ambulance Brigade Nursing Cadets won the Murch-Sutton Cup awarded to the winners of the Annual Swindon Youth Committee First Aid Cup

1972: A crew from RAF Lyneham helped rescue four men trapped for a week on an ice floe at McMurdo Sound, Ross Island in the Antarctic. The first sighting of the men was made from a Lyneham Hercules aircraft flown by Sqd Ldr Pete Forrester of No 24 Squadron who were diverted to help with the search.

1972: Tom the cat has passed his driving test, after spending hours under the bonnet of the car of Premier School of Motoring driving instructor Mr J V Roger of Highworth. The instructor was helping a woman before her driving test and Tom was with them, unseen, as they spent an hour practising emergency stops and three point turns. Tom stayed under the bonnet during the driving test, which the driver passed! The young cat was only discovered when Mr Rogers stopped to have his oil levels checked. Tom appeared none the worse for his trip.


1421: Henry VI, who inherited the throne at the age of nine months, was born at Windsor.

1774: Austria introduced the first state education system.

1877: Thomas Alva Edison recited Mary Had A Little Lamb into his phonograph - and made the world’s first recording of the human voice.

1888: Will Hay, British music hall and film comedy actor, was born in Stockton-on-Tees.

1897: The world’s first motor cab fleet began operations in London. It went out of business in 1900 - its battery-powered taxis moved at only 8mph.

1921: Irish independence was granted for the 26 southern states which became known as the Irish Free State. Six counties which formed Ulster (Northern Ireland) remained as part of the UK.

1963: Christine Keeler, model involved in the Profumo scandal, was jailed for nine months for perjury.

1969: A free concert given by the Rolling Stones at Altamont, California, ended in tragedy when Hell’s Angels stabbed a man to death.

1991: Durham were admitted to first-class cricket, the first new county side for 70 years.

2012: A powerful typhoon that swept away emergency shelters, a military camp and possibly entire families in the southern Philippines killed around 350 people with nearly 400 missing.

2017: Ed Sheeran was named the biggest star on YouTube in the UK in 2017, topping the site’s most popular video lists for the year.


JoBeth Williams, actress/director, 70; Peter Willey, former Test umpire, 69; Geoff Hoon, politician, 65; Peter Buck, rock guitarist (REM), 62; Nick Park, animator, 60; Gordon Durie, former footballer, 53; Judd Apatow, film producer 51; Andrew Flintoff, former cricketer 41.