A year ago . . .
WATER piped into people’s homes in London and the Thames Valley reached record low temperatures, causing the number of reported leaks to rocket by 300 per cent. Icy water from reservoirs fell to just 1.8C compared with the Christmas Eve average of 7.3C. 1732Sir
Richard Arkwright, English inventor of the “spinning frame”, was born. 1834Hansom
cabs were patented by Joseph Hansom. He also designed Birmingham Town 1888Vincent
Van Gogh, pictured right, suffering severe depression which historians claim was increased by his companion Gauguin’s decision to leave their lodgings at Arles to escape winter, cut off his ear. 1905The
Aldwych Theatre in London opened. 1953In
the USSR, Lavrenty Beria and six others were executed for treason. 1972Managua,
capital of Nicaragua, was destroyed by an earthquake which killed many thousands of people. 1981Geoffrey
Boycott took his score to 86 not out against India at Delhi to become the (then) most prolific run-scoring batsman in Test history. 1986The
US plane Voyager completed the first non-stop flight round the world without refuelling.