A WONDERFUL new book published to celebrate the Gazette’s 200th anniversary has pictures that will bring back memories on every page.

Included in Yesterdays are photographs from moments in history of all the main towns on the Gazette patch that were taken by our photographers over the years and turned into an archive by the late, great Gazette photographer Colin Kearley.

Included is a picture of children from Monkton Park Primary cutting the turf for the Olympiad sports centre in 1986. The Olympiad opened its doors three years later but there was upset among quite a few Chippenham families in 1984 when the old 55-yard-long outdoor pool was closed to make way for the brave new world of leisure centres.

It is remembered nostalgically on the Chippenham website Veg Plotting by one person who moved to the town just before it closed. She remembers her husband being a member of Chippenham Swimming Club and training in the pool. She writes: “I quite often joined him on training sessions too and in the summer some of these were held at the outdoor pool.

“This was fine most of the time, but backstroke was always a little tricky. Following a cloud isn’t quite the same as following the lines usually found on the ceilings of indoor pools and I usually ended up in tangled mess with a lane rope.

“However, in the mid-1980s it was announced the outdoor pool would close and be replaced by a sparkly new indoor leisure pool and sports centre. This didn’t go down well with lots of Chippenham’s residents at all and there was an active campaign to save the pool.

“The closure still went ahead as the council said it wasn’t economically viable to repair and keep the pool open. Ironically, when The Olympiad opened in 1989, it had gone massively over budget. If I remember rightly it cost £6 million rather than the £4 million originally proposed and considerably more than the projected costs to repair the old pool.”

Another picture in the book is from Devizes Carnival fun fair and shows Mayor Fred Kirby with a group of children. Devizes carnival celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2012 and historian and carnival expert Dave Buxton used the occasion to give a lecture at Wiltshire Museum on its history.

He told how the event started as a fundraiser for Devizes Hospital. and how in its early years it was enormously popular raising large amounts of money for charity, with bands and floats on the back of horse-drawn wagons.

But during the 1970s the carnival became less popular and was in danger of fading away. He explained how the formation of what is today Devizes Outdoor Celebratory Arts helped transform its fortunes by adding new events such as the International Street Festival which has become one of the biggest in the South West and brings thousands of people onto the streets of Devizes.

This year’s street festival is on August 28 and 29 with the carnival parade the following Saturday, September 3.

The third picture we have reproduced from Yesterdays is a reminder of a time when American troops were a regular site in the Marlborough area. It shows US Army trucks on Postern Hill, Marlborough in the 1940s.

Members of the Screaming Eagles Living History Group help keep alive the memories of American servicemen stationed in Aldbourne during the Second World War.

Aldbourne became home from home for members of Easy Company 506 Parachute Infantry Regiment 101st Airborne division as they prepared to join in the war in Europe with many paying the ultimate sacrifice.

The memory of the American troops, whose sacrifices inspired the TV series and big screen movie Band of Brothers, is perpetuated by the Screaming Eagles Living History Group that has an annual march around the Aldbourne and Ramsbury area where the original American troops were based.

The book is now available to buy priced at £5.95 from our office at 15 Duke Street, Trowbridge, BA14 8EF and selected newsagents.