1953: Former St Barnabas Church curate the Rev Harold Henry Higgins died, aged 84 at his home in Bradford-on-Avon. Mr Higgins, who was survived by his wife, son and daughter, had become the founding headmaster of Walton House School in Swindon, a school for boys. While in Swindon he had served on the Bristol Diocesan Mission and subsequently worked in the city. Appointed rector of West Kington near Chippenham in 1933, he remained there until retiring in 1950.

1963: Swindon Water Engineer’s Department warned of potential shortages as the recent heavy snowfall thawed. About a quarter of a million extra gallons of water per day was finding its way into the water system as the snow melted, but much of it was leaking away through fractures in pipework caused by ground frost.

1973: Olive Halliday, whose family home was in Swindon’s Poulton Street, married David Pryor in a ceremony conducted by her aunt, Salvation Army Major Freda Wilson. The venue was the Gorse Hill Salvation Army Citadel. The bride and groom were both members of the organisation, and Olive was leader of its Singing Company.


AD 304: Saint Agnes was martyred - burnt at the stake at the age of 13 when she refused to marry the husband chosen by her father.

1793: Louis XVI, King of France since 1774, was guillotined after being found guilty of treason.

1846: The Daily News, the newspaper edited by Charles Dickens, was first published.

1907: Taxi cabs were officially recognised in Britain.

1911: The first Monte Carlo Rally began.

1924: Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, father of the Russian Revolution, died of a brain haemorrhage at Gorki, outside Moscow.

1950: George Orwell (pen name of British author Eric Arthur Blair) died. His best known works include Animal Farm and 1984.

1954: The USA launched the USS Nautilus, the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine.

1976: British and French Concordes made their maiden flights from London to Bahrain and Paris to Rio de Janeiro.

1991: Iraq threatened to use shot-down allied airmen as human shields against bomb attacks.


Ken Maginnis, Baron Maginnis of Drumglass, politician, 81; Jack Nicklaus, former golfer, 79; Placido Domingo, tenor, 78; Martin Shaw, actor, 74; Jill Eikenberry, actress, 72; Billy Ocean, singer, 69; Geena Davis, actress, 63; Ian Salisbury, former cricketer, 49; Nicky Butt, former footballer, 43; Emma Bunton, singer, 43; Philip Neville, former footballer, 42.