February 14

1953: One girl who was absent for a day, from Colville House School, Swindon, was eight-year-old Chrystine Green of Regent Circus, Swindon, who told her class mates that she had been to see the Queen at Buckingham Palace. She had gone with her father, Lt Comdr J A Green, Royal Navy, and her mother, when they visited the palace for him to receive the OBE from the queen, for non operational service in the Korean War. He was the base engineer at Sasebo, Japan. He had been in the Navy for 22 years and was a former Even Swindon School pupil.

1953: Returning to her home in Nairobi, after spending the Christmas holidays with her mother, Mrs K Chillcott of Bath Road, Swindon, Mrs Joan Singer gave birth to a baby, which was two months premature. Howard Laurence Tyler was born when the ship was passing through the Red Sea. He was christened by the ship's captain. Her husband, Leslie Singer, was previously employed by British Railways in Swindon for 11 years.

1963: A close look at some of the town's industry was taken by the Mayor of Swindon Coun A E Cockram when, with the Mayoress, he spent the day being shown round the Swindon factory of Garrard Engineering and Manufacturing Co. The Mayor was shown round by Mr A E Underwood, chairman of Garrards, which was part of the Plessey group.

1963: The revised proposal for the M4 London to South-Wales motorway was reported as having a serious effect on the amenities of the Lambourn Valley. It would mean, said the proposal, that there would be six major road crossings and a further three over the Lambourn River.

1973: Late one night a pint-sized woman was seen throwing a beefy man over her shoulder in Covingham, Swindon, as part of a new self defence course held at Dorcan Centre. The idea behind the course came from a female judo expert, who had been attacked by a youth in Covingham. It spurred her to come up with the six-week course, taken by judo teacher Phillip Chapman. 11 women took part in the course, which aimed to teach them how to cope with surprise attacks, by using judo moves. The tiny woman, who had felled her instructor successfully, said she had been practising on her husband when she wanted to watch a romantic film and he wanted to see Match of the Day.

1973: The Evening Advertiser quiz team romped home to victory in the BBC West TV quiz, Stop The Press. Three Gloucester viewers failed to stop the knowledge of chief reporter, Ron Coates, and reporters Shirley Mathias, and Lesley Fox scoring a win of 43 pints, the highest of the series.

Circa 270: St Valentine was thought to have been martyred by Roman Emperor Claudius II.

1766: Thomas Robert Malthus, economist and author of An Essay On The Principles Of Population (1798), was born. He saw famine, disease and disaster as a method of controlling the earth's fast-growing population.

1779: Captain James Cook, British explorer, was murdered by natives in Hawaii.

1822: Britain's postal services had to employ extra sorters as the fashion of sending messages to loved ones on this day continued to grow in popularity.

1895: The Importance Of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde had its premiere in London.

1929: The St Valentine's Day Massacre took place in a Chicago warehouse. Seven members of Bugs Moran's gang were gunned down, probably by mobsters from Al Capone's outfit.

1946: The Bank of England was nationalised.

1975: Sir Pelham Grenville (PG) Wodehouse, KBE, known affectionately as 'Plum' and writer of many humorous novels, notably the Jeeves series, died in the United States, aged 93.

1984: Britain's Torvill and Dean skated their way to a gold medal at the

Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, getting maximum points for artistic expression.

2013: Olympic and Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius was arrested on suspicion of murder after his girlfriend was shot dead at his home.

2018: Celebrations were held to mark the Angel of the North turning 20.

BIRTHDAYS: Carl Bernstein, Watergate journalist, 75; Alan Parker, film director, 75; Kevin Keegan, former footballer and ex-England manager, 68; Meg Tilly, actress, 59; Simon Pegg, actor/comedian, 49; Dean Gaffney, actor, 41; Rhydian Roberts, singer, 36; David Wheater, footballer, 32.