1953: Interest among young people from Chiseldon in joining the Red Cross was growing steadily, according to figures released by the humanitarian organisation. A new Boys’ Cadet Unit, led by Cadet Officer FG Perren, had been formed, while a corresponding Girls’ Cadet Unit, led by Cadet Officer Miss Molly Heath, was also thriving.

1953: Darts enthusiasts at Gorse Hill’s Duke of Edinburgh Inn were both surprised and delighted - as an Adver journalist of the day put it - to see a woman score 180. Mrs Elsie Needham, who lived in Maidstone Road, was playing in a pairs knock-out competition against the Frome Hotel, a pub which stood at the corner of Maidstone Road and Hythe Road, and would close in the late 1970s. Mrs Needham had been playing darts since the early 1930s, and until 1953 had been landlady of the Bell in Broad Hinton. The 180 she scored was her third since taking up the sport.

1963: Former Swindon College student Miss Diane North was awarded a special prize of two guineas - equivalent to £2.10 in decimal currency - by the Hotel and Catering Institute for her performance in the City and Guilds of London Institute examinations. It signified that she was among the country’s top 25 candidates. Miss North, who lived in Naughton Road, Walcot, had completed her catering course and was now working with the school meals service at Moredon Secondary School.

1963: The Adver’s letters page received a complaint about the state of the Polo Ground, off Marlborough Road. A correspondent identified only as DBV highlighted the vandalism which had reduced two sheds to empty shells. A spokesman for the council said the sheds had been repeatedly vandalised, and when repairs were made the vandals simply returned. The isolated position of the sheds helped to make them an attractive target.

1973: A churchman called for the easing of cannabis laws when he addressed a meeting in Swindon. The Rev John Unsworth, minister of the Cotswold Group of Unitarian Churches, had been invited to speak to Swindon Unitarians. He said: It is a little unrealistic to send people top prison or fine them huge amounts for offences involving cannabis.”

1973: The speed and efficiency of supplies airlift to famine-hit Nepal earned RAF Lyneham congratulations from the Nepalese Government and the British Ambassador to Katmandu. In the first three days of the operation, Hercules had dropped more than 100 tons of grain.


1770: Daniel Lambert was born in Leicester - his adult weight was 739lb and his waist measured 102 inches. When he died it took 20 men to lower his coffin into the grave.

1781: Astronomer William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus.

1894: The first professional striptease took place at the Divan Fayonau Music Hall in Paris. Le Coucher d’Yvette, as the act was billed, showed a girl

undressing to go to bed.

1927: The lance ceased to be an official weapon in the British Army.

1928: The St Francis Dam near Los Angeles burst, flooding the countryside and killing around 450 people.

1935: The driving test was introduced in Britain. It was voluntary at this stage, becoming compulsory in June.

1938: Hitler invaded Austria, which was made a German Reich province named Ostmark.

1947: The Government announced a mid-week ban on sport to try to boost productivity.

1963: Chinese leader Mao Tse-Tung invited Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev for talks to try to heal relations.

1985: Russian leader Konstantin Chernenko was buried in Red Square as Mikhail Gorbachev became the youngest member of the ruling Politburo at 54.


Neil Sedaka, singer-songwriter, 80; Joe Bugner, former boxer, 69; William H Macy, actor, 69; Linda Robson, actress, 61; Adam Clayton, rock musician (U2), 59; Annabeth Gish, actress, 48; Stephen Maguire, snooker player, 38; Noel Fisher, actor, 35.