Swindon Advertiser: Blob Thursday, February 22 Sir Frederick Hastings Goldney, a former High Sheriff of Wilts and Mayor of Chippenham in 1874 and 1888, died at his home in Corsham, aged 94. He was a magistrate for 56 years and he sat regularly at Chippenham and Corsham until he was well over 90 years old. Described in the Advertiser as the “oldest mason in England, if not in the world,” Sir Frederick had joined the Lansdowne Lodge of Unity, Chippenham in 1869, and was Worshipful Master in 1874.

Swindon Advertiser: Blob Thursday, February 22 The Drove Road School for Senior Girls and Infants was under construction during the early months of 1940.

Swindon Advertiser: Blob Thursday, February 22 Racing at Newbury saw Quartier Maitre trained by Ivor Anthony at his Wroughton stables cruise to a three length victory in front of Mickey Mouse and Chorus Boy in the February Hurdle. The French-bred horse was strongly tipped to win the Lincolnshire Handicap in the spring when it was rumoured champion jockey Gordon Richards would be in the saddle.

Ivor Anthony announced that he would also be entering two runners in the Aintree Grand National, Royal Mail and The Uplifter.

Swindon Advertiser: Blob Friday, February 23 A second successful long range reconnaissance flight over Austria and Bohemia was confirmed today by the Air Ministry.

The first mission in January saw RAF planes return safely following a leaflet drop over Prague and Vienna. Pilots reported that Germany was thoroughly “blacked out” except for a town near the Swiss frontier. Other towns over which the RAF machines flew were Nuremberg, Munich, Lintz, Bratislava and Frankfurt. The Germans first denied that the flights had taken place, but later admitted that British planes had flown “far into her territory.” The Press Association reported that the second flight during the night of February 22, had taken off from France and was as long as that of the January one.

Swindon Advertiser: Blob Saturday, February 24 Popular performer Reginald ‘Mr Blackpool’ Dixon, resident organist at the famous Blackpool Tower ballroom, was due to appear in Swindon on Sunday in a sell-out concert organised by Swindon Press Alliance and Gaumont British Picture Corporation. Proceeds from the concert went to various local war charities and the Victoria Hospital, Swindon.

Swindon Advertiser: Blob Saturday, February 24 Photographs of the five fighting Page brothers, pictured right, appeared in the Saturday edition of the Advertiser. The sons of Sidney and Beatrice Page of 146 Croft Road were engaged in the theatre of war on two continents. Sidney George, 30, Joseph Henry, 27, and youngest brother Ernest C, 20, were serving in France while Albert E, 25, was in Egypt. Eldest brother William Thomas, 31, was pictured with no details as to where he was serving. The boys’ father, Sidney Charles had served during the last war.

Swindon Advertiser: Blob Monday, February 26 The first case of speeding under the new black out regulations was heard by Swindon Borough Magistrates. Hugh Thomas Mundy, surveyor’s clerk of 172 County Road, Swindon, was fined £1 , without endorsement, for travelling at 26 -28mph in Drove Road at 5.50pm on February 4. Mundy said it was the first time he had driven at night since the new regulation came in force, and he forgot all about it.

Swindon Advertiser: Blob Monday, February 26 The funeral took place of Lady Bolingbroke following her death on Friday at Lydiard Park. The former Mary Howard was buried alongside her husband in the St John family vault at St Mary’s Church, Lydiard Tregoze.

The couple had married in 1893 following a clandestine relationship that had lasted more than ten years, producing two illegitimate sons. The couple’s third son, Vernon Henry, born in 1896, went on to succeed to his father’s titles. The funeral was attended by family, friends, tenant farmers and workers on the Lydiard Park estate.

Lady Bolingbroke’s last years had been blighted by ill health and financial difficulties.

Swindon Advertiser: Blob Wednesday, February 28 Wiltshire County Council declared a vacancy in the office of County Councillor for the Swindon East No 1 county electoral division held by Mr TC Newman. Mr Newman had failed to attend any sort of meeting during the previous six months and the chairman, Lord Bath, said the Council had no option but to declare a vacancy. Lord Bath said he knew Mr Newman had been very much occupied in Swindon with finance and other matters, but he had not been to County Council meetings and he could only say he moved the motion with very great regret.

Swindon Advertiser: Blob Wednesday, February 28 Following a rise in the railway dividend pay-out Lord Horne, the chairman of the GWR, denied that the compensation agreement between the railways and the Government had unduly favoured the railway companies.

“We are confident that if there had been no war our figures for 1939 would have been as good as in 1937 when we earned over four per cent on our ordinary stock,” Lord Horne told the annual meeting in London.

He apologised to the public for war time inconveniences and said that passenger services had been increased to about 80 per cent of normal.

“This war will be far more bitter than the last,” he concluded. “It is already more brutal. “It will require from us much greater sacrifices and an incomparably greater effort.”