1952: Wartime songs such as Lili Marlene and Mademoiselle from Armentieres were sung by members of Swindon Rotary Club at their weekly lunch, following a talk by Army song expert Mr G Jellicoe. He arrived with plenty of copies of the songs he described, which were distributed among members. Her explained that although certain songs might seem crude or coarse, their singers were always kind and good-humoured.

1962: Nearly 90 members attended a meeting of Christ Church Church of England Men's Society, held in the Vicarage Room in Bath Road. The speaker was the Rev WG Jeffroy curate at St Michael's, Highworth. He gave a talk called Disciples or Apostles, and this was followed by a general discussion led by the chairman, Mr P Williams.

1973: Swindon was reaping the benefits of a shortage of office space in London, according to a report by the Location of Offices Bureau. The document highlighted the acute lack of space both in the City and in the wider London area. The problem was partly down to severe planning restrictions in and around the capital, and led firms farther afield.


1274: Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland who defeated the English at

Bannockburn, was born at Turnberry, Ayrshire.

1690: William of Orange defeated the deposed Catholic King James II at the

Battle of the Boyne in Ireland.

1754: Shakespearean censor Thomas Bowdler was born. Though he loved the Bard's works, he considered some to be vulgar and "unfit to be read by a gentleman in the company of ladies". His solution was to cut lumps wholesale - and from this came the verb "to bowdlerise".

1776: Explorer Captain James Cook set sail from Plymouth on his third voyage of discovery, in search of a passage around the the northern coast of America from the Pacific side.

1937: George Gershwin, American composer, whose work included Rhapsody In Blue and Porgy And Bess, died aged 38 of a brain tumour.

1949: The first film made specially for British television, A Dinner Date With

Death, was shot at Marylebone Studios between July 11 and 14.

1950: Puppets Andy Pandy, Teddy and Looby Loo first appeared on BBC Television. The episodes were repeated for more than 25 years, until the film began to wear out, and Andy waved his last goodbye from the basket.

1975: China's great Terracotta Army was uncovered near the ancient capital of

Xian. More than 6,000 life-sized warriors were made around 206BC to guard the tomb of the first emperor.

1979: America's Skylab I returned to Earth after 34,981 orbits in six years.

1989: Theatre lights were dimmed in London and around Britain as a mark of

respect to Lord Olivier, who died in his sleep, aged 82.


Giorgio Armani, fashion designer, 84; John Kettley, TV weatherman, 66; Leon Spinks, former boxer, 65; Richie Sambora, rock guitarist (Bon Jovi), 59; Suzanne Vega, singer, 59; Craig Charles, comedian/actor, 54; Tony Cottee, former footballer, 53; Lil Kim, Rapper and pop star, 44.