1952: Judge Kirkhouse Jenkins was unable to come to Swindon and preside over the County Court as he was suffering from mild influenza. He was one of many people laid low during a cold snap. The previous winter had seen him complain about the temperature at the Swindon court, which he compared to an ice house after two of the radiators failed on one of the coldest days of the year.

1952: Highworth Coronation Committee learned to its sadness that stage and BBC star Wilfred Pickles would be unable to kick off its Coronation football match between Westrop Rovers and Highworth Town the following year. A letter from Mr Pickles, explaining that he was unable to accept the invitation as he would be appearing in a West End play on the day in question, was read out at a committee meeting.

1962: The Mayor of Swindon, Coun AE Cockram, spoke out against a plan by the Swindon Council of Social Services and Citizens Advice Bureau to hand out six-shillingS - equivalent to 30 decimal pence - to the elderly. The sum, he said, was a pittance he would be ashamed to give, and he called for it to be increased. The meeting agreed to reconsider the matter.

1962: Although he had only been involved in kart racing for two seasons, 25-year-old Highworth man Brian Archer had already won trophies at eight meetings. A member of the Swindon Gazelle team, he raced a Super Shrike Contessa machine, having got a taste for the sport while attending as a spectator.

1972: A former BBC programme maker said community television of the kind Swindon was shortly to have would explode the myth that working in television was for “...mystery-mongers who know better than the rest of us.” Tony Gibson, who was by that time director of the television unit at Goldsmith’s College in London, added that community television would not treat the public as “...stooges just to be used and then left on the cutting room floor.”

1972: Devizes MP Charles Morrison asked the Department of the Environment to keep Chiseldon out of the control of the Swindon-Highworth council planned under forthcoming local government alterations. The plan to include Chiseldon, he said, had come as a shock to residents.


1889: Poet Robert Browning died - his tomb is in Westminster Abbey.

1901: The first transatlantic wireless message was sent 1,800 miles from Cornwall to St John’s, Newfoundland, where it was received by Marconi.

1911: Delhi replaced Calcutta as the capital of India and King George V and Queen Mary attended the celebration.

1913: Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, stolen from the Louvre in Paris, was found in a bedroom of a small hotel in Florence.

1915: The German Junkers J1, the first all-metal aeroplane, was test flown at Dessau.

1925: The world’s first motel opened in California - starting the trend for overnight stops for motorists in individual accommodation.

1955: The hovercraft was patented by British engineer Christopher Cockerell.

1955: Bill Haley and the Comets recorded See You Later, Alligator at Decca Recording Studios, New York.

1963: Kenya became independent.

1988: A train crash at Clapham Junction killed 35 people and injured more than 100.

2917: Harry Potter author JK Rowling spoke of her pride at being made a Companion of Honour at Buckingham Palace.


Connie Francis, singer, 80; Dionne Warwick, singer, 78; Kenneth Cranham, actor, 74; Emerson Fittipaldi, former racing driver, 72; Jasper Conran, fashion designer, 59; Tracy Austin, former tennis player, 56; Will Carling, former rugby player, 53; Jennifer Connelly, actress, 48.