Monday, March 12, 2012

August 8-14, 1940

An Advertiser photographer captured fire fighters at work during a blaze which destroyed two properties at Hinton Parva.

The lack of an adequate water supply beat the efforts of Swindon fireman fighting to save the thatched cottages, owned by Mr J. W. Hill of Upper Farm.

Neighbours and farm workers rescued the contents of the cottages, home to two young families.

“When firemen found that they could not save the premises they protected the furniture and stood by as the whole of the roof became enveloped in flames and blazed furious,” reported the Advertiser.

“Soon after that the roof and later the upper floors caved in and the pair of cottages was a roaring inferno. It was not long before there was little more than a charred and blackened shell left.”

It was believed that a defective flue from the washing coppers had caused the outbreak.

Triplets were among the attendants at the wedding of their sister Miss Elsie Franklin of 31 Commercial Road, Swindon and Mr Archie Edward George Waldron, 56 Prospect Place at the Parish Church, Swindon.

Ten year old bridesmaids Barbara and Joan wore daffodil silk crepe dresses while their page boy brother Eric was dressed in pale blue velvet with a blue satin blouse.

Following a reception at the Park View Hotel the newlyweds left for a touring honeymoon before settling down to married life in Wolverhampton.

Members of the Blunsdon Women’s Institute took part in a marathon jam making exercise to ensure that none of the local fruit harvest went to waste.  Members made more than 1,000 pounds of plum jam ably assisted by a couple of young volunteers. Nita McLellan 14 and thirteen year old Tonie Bowly were chief jar washers at the event and were responsible for sealing down and labelling nearly one thousand pots of jam.

A daring thief smashed the window of a jewellers in Regent Street and made off with two trays of rings and several watches valued at approximately £80.

A police constable gave chase following the early morning smash and grab raid at Haywards Ltd., 56 Regent Street. Several rings were later found in a back street less than 50 years away but the thief ‘disappeared in the darkness.’

Swindon Wheelers’ member Charlie Poole entered the record books following a 12 hour, 103 mile long ride on his hand propelled tricycle. Charlie’s journey started at Common hill, Cricklade at 5am Sunday August 11, taking in Ashton Keynes, Minety, Somerford Keynes, Siddington, Cirencester, Stratton hill and back through Down Ampney to Cricklade – twice, eventually finishing at Latton where Charlie was described as ‘without being in the least distressed.’

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