February 7


1953: Fifteen crew members of a giant, secret list B36 American bomber bailed out safely, before the machine crashed in Wiltshire. Trees, a foot thick, were snapped off like match sticks as the plane hurtled into the wood at Walsh Quarry near Lacock. The plane flew on for 30 minutes after the crew bailed out. Crew members were picked up at various point in Wiltshire and Berkshire. Sightseers were turned back by the United States Airforce officer who said the plane was still on the secret list.

1953: Swindon and District provided the BBC Any Questions team, which visited Vickers-Armstrong aircraft factory, with the largest audience that they had faced. 1000 people were present, providing 300 questions, covering a wide range of subjects, top being the recent flooding. Freddy Grisewood was the question master.

1963: The Incorporated Guild of Hairdressers, Wigmakers and Perfumers, one of the oldest guilds in British Hairdressing, had opened a branch in Swindon and District. Mr Peter Goldsworthy had been installed as Provincial Grand Master for Swindon and at 22 was believed to be the youngest provincial master in the guild. Mr John Titchener was master warden.

1963: A Civil Defence conference was held in Swindon with two important items on the agenda: the reorganisation of the Corps and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmourment. The conference was for South Western Region Civil Defence officers and it was held at the Civic Offices in Swindon for the first time. It was opened by the Mayor of Swindon Coun A E Cockram.

1973: Old people's flats were opened in Highworth by Mr A Burke-Jones, chairman of the Rural District Council. The flats were built by Hanover House Association with a £113,000 loan from the RDC. Residents complained about the over-head heating system which they said was eating up electricity and not providing adequate heat. Mrs Helen Gatzlass, who was leading the campaign, said residents could freeze to death.

1973: A Swindon team took part in the second round of the BBC TV West quiz, Stop The Press. The Swindon team lost at the Wyvern Theatre in the town, but the Evening Advertiser team were limbering up to fight back, when Ron Coates, Shirley Mathias and Lesley Fox faced questions at the BBC Bristol studios against a team of West Country viewers.


1301: The first Prince of Wales was created. Edward of Caernarvon later became Edward II.

1812: Charles Dickens was born at Landport, Portsmouth.

1845: The Portland Vase, a 10-inch Roman glass vessel, was smashed by a hooligan while on loan to the British Museum. It was successfully restored.

1928: An amended version of the Book of Common Prayer was approved by the Church of England.

1940: Walt Disney's Pinocchio had its world premiere.

1976: Two ladies made sporting history: Joan Bazely became the first woman referee of an all-male football match at Croydon, and Diana Thorne became the first woman jockey to win under National Hunt Rules.

1990: In the USSR, the Central Committee agreed to end the communist monopoly on power, paving the way for a multi-party democracy.

1991: The IRA launched a mortar bomb attack on 10 Downing Street from a van in Whitehall. No one was hurt.

2018: The Duchess of Cambridge prepared for a visit to Essex to open a new treatment centre to help people to beat addiction.

BIRTHDAYS: Mick McCarthy, football manager, 60; James Spader, actor, 59; Garth Brooks, country singer, 57; David Bryan, musician, 57; Eddie Izzard,

comedian/actor, 57; Ray Mears, survival expert/TV presenter, 55; Chris Rock,

actor/comedian, 54; Richie Burnett, darts player, 52; Ashton Kutcher, actor, 41.