The Military Army Blog

On this day from Monday July 25 2016

Monday, July 25

1950: Few people realised that Swindon has existed for as long as 1,500 years, members of the Swindon Inner Wheel were told by Mr N G Liddiard, Public Relations Assistant at Swindon Town Council. He said the recently discovered documents concerning the Goddard family, when deciphered, would fill in what was almost a blank period in the town’s history from 1664.

1960: One question remained unanswered at a public inquiry in Swindon. Who planted barley on the six and half acre field at the Butts, Oxford Road, Stratton[1] St Margaret, the former Civil Servants playing field? The owners of the site deny all knowledge. Penstone Finance Ltd of Swindon, who were refused permission to built an 11,000 petrol filling station on the site, said it was a mystery to them.

1970: A group of 25 Spanish students have arrived in Swindon as guests of Mr A T Wright, head of Modern Languages Department at Park North[2] School. The 11 young men and 14 girls are mostly final year students of English at Valencia University and have come over with their lecturer to spend a month improving their English at the Park Evening Centre.

Tuesday July 26

1950: Conservative party agent in Swindon since 1947, Mr J P S Warboys has accepted an invitation made before the last election to become agent of Newcastle Under-Lyme division of Shropshire. He is succeeded by Wiltshire-born Frank W Smith who for the last three years has been agent for Newton, Lancashire division. Frank was unanimously approved by the Executive Council for the Swindon Division Conservative Association.

1960: The parents of most of the 230 pupils at Wroughton[3] Primary School saw examples of their children’s work and art in the classroom, a physical training lesson in the playground, an offering from the music and poetry class, country dancing display from the 4th year, and also girls modelling the clothes they had made in the needlework class.

1970: The Patriots Arms in Chiseldon[4] is one of three public houses highly recommended in an annual floral competition, run by a leading brewery. The competition was open to 1,500 pubs in an area stretching from the South Midlands to the Isle of Wight. The aim of the competition was to improve the appearance of pubs in England.

Wednesday, July 27 1950: Men of the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry with vehicles and arms were positioned in the centre of Swindon’s Regent Circus. They were engaged upon a Territorial recruitment campaign in connection with a film about the Guards Armoured Division which is being shown at the Regent Cinema.

1950: Sunshine attracted a large attendance at the garden fete held in the grounds of Westlecot Manor in aid of the Educational Funds Appeal at the Royal College of Nursing (Swindon and district branch.) The deputy major of Swindon Coun F E Akers performed the opening ceremony and he was welcomed by Lady Tritton chairwoman of the Social Committee of the Fund.

1960: Wootton Bassett[5] scoring side of the season’s Morse Shield Competition, qualified to meet Collegians (Shrivenham[6]) in the semi final by defeating Garrards in Swindon. With Richardson their opening batsman scoring 42 not out, Wootton Bassett scored 98 for six and then dismissed Garrards for 80.

1960: 400 employees of the Wootton Bassett and H O Wills Swindon Tobacco Factory were recommended by fulltime union officials to ban overtime, unless there is an early resumption of talks on the tobacco workers’ union claim for more pay, rejected by the employers.

1970: The Aldbourne Marathon Bedpushers who are trying to raise money for a 1,200 heart machine for Princess Margaret Hospital[7] made a bonus of 34 with a trial run. 20 bedpushers took a bed from Aldbourne to Swindon and back, and then from Aldbourne to Marlborough receiving donations on the way. The marathon bedpush is a 400-mile tour from the south to the west of England.

1970: Examples of modernisation work carried out at the Swindon Railway Village will be on display when two show houses in Taunton Street are open to the public. They are the first of the 28 houses to be completed as part of the pilot scheme undertaken by the Swindon Corporation.

Thursday, July 28

1950: A formidable array of international, county and Olympic swimmers and divers all made an appearance in Swindon at the borough’s Jubilee Water Carnival at Coate. They included two water polo teams and a five-man diving team. From the boathouse to the children’s paddling pool, 1,000 yards, the North Promenade has been made a veritable fairyland by coloured lights to illuminate the water carnival 1950: 504 Company RASC (TA) is moving from the Church Place Drill Hall, which since its formation in 1947 has been its base, shared with the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry. The company is to move into the Stratton Factory Camp with ample garages and works for its vehicles, along with offices, stores, officers’ mess, servants mess, canteen and lecture room.

1960: The Duke of Edinburgh Royal Regiment, formed last year by the amalgamation of the Wiltshire Regiment and the Royal Berkshire Regiment, plan to hold an ‘at home’ day with the object of showing the regiment to its communities.

1960: Malcolm Church, 21, of Manor Crescent, Moredon[8], Swindon, the man who got married three months earlier than planned so that he could go on a six-month trip to America without spoiling his wedding day or honeymoon, is back, reunited with his wife Patricia. Malcolm is a draughtsman employed by Plessey Co’s Kembrey Street factory.

1970: A nine-man team from the 1st Battalion of the Duke of Edinburgh Regiment (Berks and Wilts) has won the Cambrian March, one of the Army’s toughest endurance tests. It was a two-day march over a gruelling 30-mile cross country course across the mountains of mid Wales.

1970: Mrs S Hill received a long service medal marking 15 year service, from Mrs A Sheppard, a founder member of the Purton[9] Branch, British Red Cross Society, at Red House in Purton.

1950: Veteran hurdle-maker, George Saunders of Greenhill, Wootton Bassett celebrates his 90th birthday and he is still working, although demand for his hurdles have been slowly dropping for many years. He still keeps busy by market gardening as well.

1950: Among the 2,200 women from all over the world who are attending the 5th congress of International Federation of Business and Professional Women are six Swindon women. Presiding over the all-women’s conference is Sally Bishop, who is a barrister and has a job in the US Treasury Department. The six Swindon women are: Miss N Whiting, Mrs D E Dibden, Mr M B Gardner, Miss F J Gay, Miss Forth and Marion Crowdy.

1960: A 17-year-old member of the Swindon Air Training Corps has been granted a 150 flying scholarship. He is Cadet Sgt David V Loveday of Goddard Avenue, who is a pupil at Commonweal Grammar School. He will be given the chance to take a course of 30 flying hours training to fly light aircraft.

1960: More than 30 young members of the Swindon and Wootton Bassett branch of the Vale of the White Horse Pony Club competed at the equestrian day at Broad Hinton. Mrs L Balfour judged the various classes.

1970: A public meeting in Cricklade[10] voted unanimously to try to get an access at the North end of the town included in the proposed bypass scheme. The meeting agreed to form a sub committee to investigate the bypass scheme in detail and report back, recommending what actions should be taken.

1970: Blonde Sue Bryant won the Swindon heat of the Miss Harlech Television West bathing beauty contest at McIlroys Ballroom. Sue, a 21-year-old freelance fashion model from Bristol beat 15 other girls and will now be competing in the finals at Weston Supermare. One of the judges was the Evening Advertiser’s news editor Geoff Harmer.

Saturday, July 30

1950: The Christ Church[11] bells rang out a peal in honour of the silver wedding anniversary of Canon and Mrs J Gilbert. The Canon is Vicar of the Parish Church. This composition of Grandsire Caters was conducted by Mr W Kynaston.

1950: Lending books popular at the Central Lending Library of Swindon Public Library were: Non fiction – Grand Alliance by Winston Churchill, Genius of Europe by Havelock Ellis, Happy Odyssey by Lt Gen Sir A Carton de Wiant. Fiction: Quorum by Phyllis Bentley, Such Darling Dodos by Angus Wilson and Earth Abides by S R Stewart.

1960: Every day at noon, Edward John Tilling, the verger of Liddington Parish Church, 85, rings the Angelus Bell in the church. Bell ringing is one of his hobbies and the church cat is also an enthusiast, as every day he follows John to church to listen while the bell rings. John used to be the butler at the Rectory for a number of years and his wife, Jane, was the cook.

1960: More than 400 people attended a Top 20 Club Show at the Locarno Ballroom, Swindon. A Spot The Tune competition was won by Frances King of Walcot[12] Road, Swindon. Percy Price was the disc jockey.

1970: Highworth[13] deep sea angers club recently made an all-night quest after congers from a new mark over rocky ground five miles off The Needles. The anglers were soon having fast sport, spread over a couple of hours. Around midnight they caught 11 conger eels, bass, skate and pollock 1970: North Wiltshire Civil Defence Engineer, Mr J Harding, is concerned about what would happen to Stratton St Margaret in the event of a nuclear war. He warned Highworth Rural Council that there should be one community adviser to every 1,000 people. So far Stratton St Margaret has just one adviser who had attended a civil defence study course, Mr Harding recommended appointing another.


  1. ^ Stratton (
  2. ^ Park North (
  3. ^ Wroughton (
  4. ^ Chiseldon (
  5. ^ Wootton Bassett (
  6. ^ Shrivenham (
  7. ^ Princess Margaret Hospital (
  8. ^ Moredon (
  9. ^ Purton (
  10. ^ Cricklade (
  11. ^ Christ Church (
  12. ^ Walcot (
  13. ^ Highworth (

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