1951: The Parks Department has placed flowers on the Westcott Place Road island as part of the Swindon Corporation’s plan to beautify the approaches to the town. The Parks Department has also ploughed up vacant allotments to improve the appearance of vacant land in Swindon.

1951: Phillip Woodford completed the boat race in The River Kennet at Marlborough by walking the river. His craft, a big bath, became separated from its supporting drums, throwing him in the river. The race for home-made craft was organised by the Marlborough British Legion for gala week. The Marlborough Queen, Ann Keen, started the race.

1961: Shalbourne Conquest, a bay gelding, shown by Miss M de Beaumont of Shalbourne Manor, Marlborough, was placed first in the class of part-bred yearling colts, fillies and geldings at the Arab Horse Society Summer Show at Kempton Park. Shagya Basa, also owned by Miss de Beaumont, came first in the Anglo-Arabs class.

1961: An adder, two foot long, was spotted in a railway culvert of Springfield Road, Old Town, Swindon. It was subsequently shot with an airgun and buried in Grovelands Avenue by Timothy Shearman, 12, but more snakes had been spotted in previous weeks.

1971: nine month old Sarah Louise Jalley won the bonniest baby in the Evening Advertiser Baby Contest held at the Goddard Arms Hotel in Swindon. The judges were Daphne Bampton, June Borelli and the Mayor of Swindon Audrey Palmer.

1971: About 150 Jehovah’s Witnesses from the Swindon area have left for London. They were enroute to take part in the largest district convention ever held in the British Isles. More than 50,000 Witnesses were expected at the five-day convention at the Twickenham Rugby Ground.


1492: Christopher Columbus left Andalucia, Spain, on his first voyage to America. He was actually searching for a land called India.

1778: La Scala Opera House in Milan, the work of Giuseppe Piermarini, was opened.

1829: The cornet was first used in an orchestra, in a performance of Rossini’s William Tell in Paris.

1887: The soldier poet Rupert Brooke was born in Rugby. His early death on active service during the First World War made him a legendary figure but he never heard a shot fired in anger - he died from the combined results of a mosquito bite and sunstroke.

1914: The first ship passed through the Panama Canal.

1916: Sir Roger Casement, Irish nationalist, was hanged in London for treason because of his attempts to induce Germany to support the cause of Irish independence.

1926: Electric traffic lights were installed at Piccadilly Circus, the first in Britain.

1955: Samuel Beckett’s now-acknowledged classic Waiting For Godot was performed for the first time in London at the Arts Theatre. The performance was punctuated throughout with the clatter of seats as half the audience walked out.

1966: American comedian Lenny Bruce was found dead from a drugs overdose.

1977: Tandy Corporation released the TRS-80, one of the first personal computers available to the consumer market.

2004: The pedestal of the Statue of Liberty reopened after being closed for nearly 3 years following 9/11.

2005: President of Mauritania, Maaouya Ould Sid Ahmed Taya was overthrown in a military coup.

2010: Riots in Karachi, Pakistan, triggered after a senior politician was assasinated. The city-wide riots left 45 people dead and over 100 others injured.

2016: The book of the script of Harry Potter And The Cursed Child disappeared off shelves in the biggest single week of sales in the UK this decade.

BIRTHDAYS Tony Bennett, singer, 91; Steven Berkoff, actor/director and writer, 80; Martin Sheen, actor, 77; John Landis, film-maker, 67; Ossie Ardiles, former footballer and manager, 65; James Hetfield, singer/guitarist (Metallica), 54, Karlie Kloss, Victoria’s Secret model, 25.