February 21

1953: A coronation novelty was being shoved around in The Fishes Inn, Highworth, as a set of dominoes, embossed with gold on the back with a crown and the words: Elizabeth R 1953, was being used by two old enemies at Fives and Threes. Upstairs the Highworth Town Band was polishing its repertoire in readiness for coronation concerts.

1953: About 150 to 200 people attended a dance in aid of the Flood Relief Fund, which was held at The Elm Tree Hotel, Chiseldon. It was organised by the licensee Mr H L Railton. A dozen eggs given by Mr L Oliver was won by Mr Lister of Wanborough for 15 shillings. He returned them to the auction and they went on to raise another 10 shillings.

1963: Two Faringdon brothers were serving with the British troops guarding the Pirate Coast, the desolate, sandy coastline of Oman in the Persian Gulf. Arab raiders used to plunder the villages and the brothers told their mother in letters home that village life had not changed for hundreds of years. Michael and Leslie Boyle, whose mother, Mrs L Boyle lived in Southampton Street, were both Regular soldiers.

1963: The first of the new four-car intercity trains, built in Swindon, were inspected at Paddington by the Western Railway Board, following the first meeting of the newly-constituted board under the chairman Mr S E Raymond. It was the first time the B4 Bogie, a special Swindon development, had been built on to a multi-unit diesel train.

1973: Lone yachtsman Chay Blyth, who sailed the wrong way round the world, visited land-locked Swindon. He said that he was setting off again to sail the right way round the world. He said that he would be accompanied by a crew of 10 individuals some of them were his paratrooper friends. Chay was speaking at the Post House Hotel, Swindon to a crowd of more than 300 people, including the Mayor of Swindon, Coun Peter Firkins.

1973: The Swindon branch of the National Deaf Children's Society had circulated details of a new youth club to parents with deaf children. The letter said that the club would be run in co-operation with the town's road safety officer Ted Beachamp to ensure the children's safety. Activities planned included hiking, swimming and cycling. The club was set to meet at the Mountford Manor Junior School, Both Well Road, Walcot.

1437: James I, King of Scotland, was assassinated by a group of dissident nobles led by Sir Robert Graham.

1595: Robert Southwell, English poet and Jesuit martyr, was hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn.

1613: Michael Romanov was elected Tsar of Russia, founding the house of Romanov which ruled until the revolution in March 1917.

1849: Britain annexed the Punjab at the end of the Second Sikh War.

1858: The first electric burglar alarm was installed by Edwin T Holmes of Boston, Massachusetts.

1910: Sir Douglas Bader, Second World War fighter pilot, was born. Despite losing both legs, he continued to fly, and is regarded as a hero of the Battle of Britain.

1916: Germany launched an all-out attack on the French fortress of Verdun.

1949: A Woman To Remember, one of the first television soap operas, began in the United States.

1952: Identity cards were abolished in Britain.

1965: American Black Muslim leader Malcolm X was shot dead while addressing a meeting in New York.

1988: The grave of Boadicea, the warrior queen who fought the Romans almost 2,000 years ago, was located by archaeologists under Platform 8 at King's Cross railway station.

ON THIS DAY LAST YEAR: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were dressed like a couple of construction workers when they visited a unique Sunderland bridge which the city hopes will help regeneration in the area.

BIRTHDAYS: Robert Mugabe, president of Zimbabwe, 95; Jilly Cooper, author, 82; David Geffen, entertainment mogul, 76; Tyne Daly, actress, 73; William Baldwin, actor, 56; James Dean Bradfield, rock singer (Manic Street Preachers), 50; Jennifer Love Hewitt, actress/director, 40; Charlotte Church, singer and TV presenter, 33.