1953: Led by The Moonrakers in traditional dress, 2,049 football supporters left Swindon Junction in four special trains for the Town’s third round FA Cup tie with Manchester City, in Manchester. Most of the supporters walked to the station in the cold, early morning darkness. Swindon Passenger Transport Department put on five special buses to take people to the station from Stratton Crossroads, Moredon, Bruce Street, Broome Manor Lane and Shrivenham Road.

1953: A young Swindonian, who might well have stepped from the pages of an A J Cronin novel, was America bound. Kenneth Howes of Langland Grove, was a designer with ideas, and for 11 years struggled to get them noticed. He was educated at Sanford Street School and studied engineering at The College, followed by a five year apprenticeship at the Great Western Railway Works. He then took a job in London for the American designer Raymond Loewy, and won a number of awards. His reward was a transfer to New York to work more closely with the famous designer.

1963: Keeping the family spirit alive in an expanding business was a difficult task, but Courage, Barclay and Simmonds Ltd managed it, said Mr R O Steel, Sales Director for the company, at a dinner and dance. It was organised by the Swindon branch of the firm at the Goddard Arms Hotel. Mr Steel was responding to a toast to the company provided by Mr R C Pitt, Swindon branch manager. About 150 people attended the dinner and dancing was to the Ken Exton Band.

1963: Temperatures were so low in Wiltshire that even salt was proving ineffective against the ruts of packed ice and black ice sheets which were making transport difficult, a Wiltshire County Council spokesman told the Evening Advertiser. All main roads were open, but traffic was restricted on the Swindon to Buckhampton Road. The Bristol Omnibus Company was still unable to run its services from Swindon to Devizes and on to Bristol.

1973: To mark the retirement of the editor of the Wiltshire Gazette and Herald, Mr Arthur Patchell was presented with a gift of money from colleagues at Newspaper House, Swindon. The money was to stock a rose garden in his new home in Northampton. Tributes were paid by Mr F Hazel, editor in chief of Wiltshire Newspapers, who made the presentation, Mr J Cole, the advertising manager, Mr S Fawell, production manager and Mr G Harmer, the news editor.

1973: Steven Hall, 17, a pupil of Headlands School, Swindon was awarded an open scholarship in mathematics and physics at St John’s College, Cambridge. Steven was the older son of Mr and Mrs L Hall of Ermin Street, Stratton St Margaret’


1645: Archbishop of Canterbury William Laud was beheaded on Tower Hill for treason.

1840: Sir Rowland Hill introduced the Penny Post - 112,000 letters were posted in London on the first day.

1863: The London Underground railway was opened by William Gladstone. The Metropolitan Railway went from Paddington to Farringdon Street, stopping at seven stations.

1880: Grock the circus clown was born as Adrien Wettach in Switzerland.

1890: Cleopatra’s tomb was discovered.

1901: The first oil strike - in Texas.

1920: The League of Nations held its first meeting at Geneva. It was dissolved in 1946 and replaced by the United Nations.

1929: The cartoon character Tintin appeared for the first time.

1935: The so-called King and Queen of Hollywood, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, were divorced.

1971: Coco Chanel, French fashion designer and one of the most influential couturiers of the 20th century, died aged 87.

1985: Eight people were killed in a gas blast in Putney, south-west London.

2007: David Beckham agreed to sign a five-year deal with US side Los Angeles Galaxy worth £128 million.

2019: The Duke of Cambridge witnessed two robotic operations on cancer patients during a visit to the Royal Marsden Hospital.


Rod Stewart, rock singer, 74; Aynsley Dunbar, rock drummer, 73; Donald Fagen, rock musician, 71; George Foreman, former boxer, 70; Pat Benatar, rock singer, 66; Shawn Colvin, folk singer, 63; Caroline Langrishe, actress, 61; Brian Cowen, former Irish prime minister, 59; Ian Poulter, golfer, 43.