March 9


1953: Three choirs from the Swindon and District took the first three places in the class for women's choirs, at the North Berkshire Music Festival, at Wantage. Sanford Evening Institute took first place, with Wroughton WI second, and Swindon Central Townwomen's Guild third. There were 11 choirs in the class.

1953: For the last time the annual reunion of the Swindon Old Headlandians Association incorporating the Old Euclideans Society took place at the school in Euclid Street. At a tea in the school hall Mr TG Magson, headmaster and president of the association, said the association would be sure of a warm welcome for next year's reunion at Headlands School. The school and the old students teams played football, hockey and netball earlier in the day on Headlands' playing fields

1963: A petition calling for an immediate General Election, signed by 26 men in the Spring and Blacksmith's Shop, at Swindon British Railway Locomotive Works, was sent to the Prime Minister. It said unemployment was snowballing and must be stopped at once. It accused the Tory Government's economic policy of rail and pit closures.

1963: More than 350 people, a record number, attended Hills' 20th annual dance at McIlroys Ballroom in Swindon. Dancing was to the Gordon Talbot Orchestra and the Barbados All Star Steel Band.

1973: Filming took place in Marlborough for the BBC TV series Some Mothers Do 'Av 'Em. The film crew had been recording Michael Crawford in the grounds of Manton House, home of racehorse trainer George Todd. The traffic was brought to a halt on Kingsbury Street, while the cameras recorded a small sequence outside Kingsbury Hill House School.

1973: Two Swindon women took part in the International Women's Day March in London. Mother of two, Mrs Fay Le Coyte, of Cricklade Street, assembled with an anonymous friend and many other women, from all over the country, at Speakers' Corner, Hyde Park, before marching down Trafalgar Square for the rally. Both women were members of the newly formed Swindon committee of CRACKERS, set up to aid housebound women with young children.

The World

1562: Kissing in public was banned in Naples, contravention being punishable by death.

1763: William Cobbett, political journalist and author of Rural Rides, was

born in Farnham, Surrey.

1796: Napoleon married society beauty Josephine de Beauharnais.

1831: The French Foreign Legion was founded by King Louis Philippe, with headquarters at Sidi-bel-Abbes in Algeria.

1862: The Battle of Hampton Roads, the first battle between iron-clad ships, took place during the American Civil War.

1917: Foreign intervention in the Russian Revolution begins as British troops land in Murmansk.

1956: Britain deported Archbishop Makarios from Cyprus for "actively fostering terrorism".

1973: In a referendum boycotted by most Catholics, Northern Ireland voted in favour of staying in the UK by a majority of 90-1.

1993: Rodney King testified at the federal trial of four Los Angeles police officers accused of violating his civil rights.

2018: A tree frog hitched a lift from South Africa to Scotland in a suitcase.

BIRTHDAYS: Neil Hamilton, politician and former Conservative MP, 70; Bill Beaumont, broadcaster and former rugby player, 67; Baron Willetts, member of the House of Lords, 63; Martin Fry, singer (ABC), 61; Juliette Binoche, actress, 55; Martin Johnson, former England rugby union team manager, 49; Kerr Smith, actor, 47; Juan Sebastian Veron, former footballer, 44; Oscar Isaac, actor, 40.