Wednesday, January 11, 2012
February 1-7, 1940
One family had a lucky escape when fire broke out at their home in Regent Place during the early hours of Thursday morning.
Mrs Clark and her three year old daughter, who were sleeping downstairs, managed to get to safety through the backway and were found by fire fighters sheltering in an outhouse.
Trapped in a smoke filled bedroom with his retreat cut off by the blazing staircase, Mr. W. Clark leapt to safety from a first floor window.
Flames spread to a neighbouring house but the Fire brigade soon had what was described as a 'major outbreak' under control. The whole of the staircase in the Clarks' home was burnt out, and considerable damage was done to the living room.
A new wartime slogan 'Look Out in the Blackout' was announced as 4,133 deaths on the road during October to January was announced, the majority involving pedestrians. With the speed limit reduced to 20 mph in built up areas, some basic safety precautions were issued including a reminder 'to always pause after leaving a lighted building or vehicle to allow the eyes to become accustomed to the darkness.'
More than one hundred burst water pipes, caused by Arctic weather conditions during January were reported at a meeting of the Highworth District Council on Wednesday February 7. And Mr H. Cook, Swindon's official meteorologist, reported 62 hours of sunshine during January compared to 33 hours in January 1939. However, temperatures were the lowest recorded for many years with 33 degrees of frost on one occasion.