1952: Women outnumbered the men at a bachelors ball held in Cricklade Town Hall in aid of Coronation funds. Abut 250 people came from Salisbury, Warminster, Frome and all parts of Wiltshire to dance to the Harry Smith Orchestra.

1952: Mr Kenneth Ellis, the Swindon born bass, was reported to have agreed to return to Swindon to sing in a performance of Handel’s Messiah, at the Central Hall. Other well known singers at the concert were said to be Doris Gambell, Honor Stratton and Eric Greene. They were to be supported by a full choir and orchestra made up of 130 performers.

1962: Swindon Post Office was preparing for the onslaught of letters cards and parcels over Christmas. It was anticipated that there would be an increase on the one and a quarter million cards and letters of the previous year. The Post Office had brought the Sorting Office staff up to 700 to cope. The regular staff were supplemented by 150 students and unemployed men.

1962: Roger Brian Mayor, 20, of Southbrook Street, Swindon, was travelling to the engineering House in Bristol to receive his £50 prize for coming first in the first West of England apprenticeship competition. Roger was an apprentice with the Garrard Manufacturing and Engineering Co Ltd.

1972: Former motor racing champion, Graham Hill, was given a hero’s welcome when he visited a Swindon Secondary School. The British racing ace presented awards at the annual prizegiving of Churchfields School. Headmaster Ralph Owen said that the twice world champion had so fired pupils’ imaginations that hundreds of non-prizewinning students, unable to attend the ceremony, had signed a petition asking for Mr Hill to return and speak to the whole school.

1972: Swindon Methodist Central Hall, Regent Circus, was sold for more than £200,00. Property tycoon Mr Ramon Greene, who started business as an estate agent, bought the hall for £210,000. He said he wanted to build something which would be of use to Swindon both commercially and socially. Mr Greene has offices in London and Victoria Road, Swindon. Worshippers from the Methodist Central Hall would now move to the Baptist Tabernacle


43 BC: Cicero (Marcus Tullius), the great Roman orator, was executed for a series of attacks on Mark Antony.

1732: The original Covent Garden Opera House opened with Way Of The World, by William Congreve.

1783: William Pitt the Younger became the youngest of Britain’s prime ministers - he was 24.

1815: Marshal Ney, Napoleon’s most famous general, was executed for supporting Napoleon at Waterloo when he was ordered by the Allies to arrest him.

1817: Captain Bligh, captain of mutiny ship The Bounty, died in London.

1941: The Japanese attacked the US fleet in Pearl Harbour in Hawaii.

1982: Charles Brooks Jnr, a prisoner at Fort Worth, was executed by a lethal injection, the first to die by this method in the US.

1988: Peter Langan, restaurateur, co-owner with Michael Caine of the famous London brasserie Langan’s, died in a fire at his home.

2017: Fifteen new safety recommendations were announced following the Croydon tram crash.


Sue Johnston, actress, 75; Rosalind Ayres, actress, 72; Tom Waits, singer/songwriter, 69; Colin Hendry, former footballer, 53; Damien Rice, singer/songwriter, 45; John Terry, former footballer, 38; Emily Browning, actress, 30; Nicholas Hoult, actor, 29.