IT was the week when the pigeons of Swindon showed themselves too wily for human subterfuge.

A picture of a pigeon sitting nonchalantly atop a bird-scarer modelled on an owl was one of our more unusual images this week 16 years ago.

Another animal kingdom-related story was about a Swindon vet who decided to expand his skillset to cover all non-plant life forms by training as a doctor.

Smoking in pubs and restaurants would be commonplace until it was outlawed four years later, so a pizza chain’s decision to ban it was bound to divide opinion.