1953: Swindon man Frank Brewer, Acting Deputy Secretary for Chinese Affairs with the Federation of Malaya, was made an OBE. The federation comprised states which are now part of Malaysia. Mr Brewer was the son of Mrs LM Brewer and the late Mr LA Brewer, and attended Commonweal School and Pembroke College, Oxford. He had joined the British Colonial Service before World War 2 and spent time as a prisoner of the Japanese after the colony was overrun.

1953: The 11th Swindon (All Saints) Scout Group gave the first of three performances of a pantomime, Humpty Dumpty, at the church hall in Southbrook Street. An Adver reviewer wrote: “The choice of this pantomime was an ambitious one. The performance is up to the standard of the group’s pre-war productions.”

1963: As Britain endured the heaviest snowfall in many years, Swindon Borough Corporation was spending up to £1,400 a day - an enormous sum for the time - on keeping as many streets as possible open. A Civic Offices spokesman said work was hampered by new falls which covered streets as soon as they were cleared.

1963: Elderly people living in bungalows in Greenhill Drive, Moredon, were hit hard by the poor weather, a meeting of Swindon Old People’s Welfare Committee heard. According to reports, there had been two instances of ceilings coming down because of melting snow and burst pipes. The committee unanimously agreed to make an urgent request for assistance to the local Council of Social Service. Stories were also heard of friends and neighbours valiantly making their way through deep snow to check on vulnerable elderly people.

1973: Britain had joined what was then known as the European Economic Community the year before, and children from 14 Swindon schools were to take part in a special Europe-themed exhibition at Swindon College. Projects included a report on a field trip to Normandy by boys and girls from Richard Jefferies School, and dolls in national costume made by pupils of Mountford Manor Infants’ School.

1973: Thieves who got into the garage of Swindon’s Park Evening Centre by knocking a lock from the door left with drinks valued at £6.50. A range of other crimes included the latest in a spate of chicken thefts from the Moormead Road allotments in Moredon.


17AD: Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso), the celebrated poet, died in Rome - as did the historian Livy, who wrote a 142-book history of the city.

1492: The Spanish army recaptured Granada from the Moors.

1757: Clive of India captured Calcutta after it had been seized by the Nawab of Bengal. The latter imprisoned 146 British prisoners in the notorious ‘black hole’. Only 23 survived.

1932: The Japanese set up the republic of Manchukuo after occupying Manchuria.

1946: King Zog was deposed as ruler of Albania.

1947: Cupro-nickel coins were issued by the British Mint to replace silver.

1952: Pope Pius XII declared that television was a threat to family life.

1971: Sixty-six people were crushed to death when a barrier collapsed at Glasgow Rangers’s Ibrox Park ground.

1974: Tex Ritter, American singing cowboy of stage and screen, died. He sang the title song for the classic western High Noon.

1987: The publishers of Enid Blyton’s Noddy books bowed to pressure groups and agreed to expunge all ‘racism’ from them.

2011: Oscar-nominated actor Pete Postlethwaite died after a long fight with cancer.

2018: Sandwich chain Pret A Manger introduced their 50p discount on hot drinks for customers who use reusable cups in an effort to ‘help change habits’.


David Bailey, photographer, 81; David Graveney, leading figure in English cricket, 66; Tia Carrere actress, 52; James Marshall, actor, 52; Cuba Gooding Jr, actor, 51; Christy Turlington, model, 50; Lucy Davis, actress, 46; Kate Bosworth, American actress, 36.