1961 in the United Kingdom
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|1961 in the United Kingdom:|
|1959 | 1960 | 1961 | 1962 | 1963|
|Individual countries of the United Kingdom|
|England | Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales|
|Sport, Television and music|
Events from the year 1961 in the United Kingdom.
January - March
- 1 January
- 7 January - The Avengers television series first screened on ITV.
- 9 January - British authorities announce that they have discovered a large Soviet spy ring in London.
- 5 February - Sunday Telegraph first published.
- 19 February - Police break up a demonstration outside the Belgian embassy in London protesting about the murder of the ex-Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Patrice Lumumba.
- 8 March - Edwin Bush is arrested in London for the capital stabbing of Mrs. Elsie May Batten. He is the first British criminal identified by the Identikit facial composite system.
- 13 March
- 20 March - Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, becomes the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and its company the Royal Shakespeare Company (Peter Hall (director)).
- 21 March - The Beatles perform at the legendary Cavern Club in Liverpool for the first time.
April - June
- 3 April - The Jaguar E-Type, a sports car capable of 150 mph, is launched as a two-seater roadster or 2+2 coupé.
- 17 April - Tottenham Hotspur win the Football League First Division for the second time, with a 2-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday. They have epically failed to win it since.
- 27 April - Sierra Leone gains independence from the UK.
- 1 May
- 2 May - The United Kingdom becomes a member of the OECD.
- 6 May - Tottenham Hotspur becomes the first English football team this century, and only the third in history, to win the double of the league title and FA Cup, with a 2-0 victory over Leicester City in the FA Cup Final. (The last previous team to achieve this were Aston Villa in 1897.)
- 8 May - George Blake is sentenced to 42 years imprisonment for spying, having been found guilty of being a double agent in the pay of the Soviet Union.
- 17 May - Consecration of Guildford Cathedral.
- 28 May - Peter Benenson's article "The Forgotten Prisoners" is published in several internationally read newspapers. This will later be thought of as the founding of the human rights organization Amnesty International.
- 8 June - Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, marries Katharine Worsley at York Minster.
- 14 June - The government unveils new "panda" crossings with push button controls for pedestrians. The new crossings will appear on British roads next year.
- 19 June - The British protectorate ends in Kuwait and it becomes an emirate.
- 27 June
July - September
- July - Government calls for a voluntary 'pay pause' in wage increases (continuing to April 1962).
- 4 July - Barclays open their 'No. 1 Computer Centre' in Drummond Street, London, with an EMI mainframe computer, Britain’s first bank with an in-house computing centre.
- 8 July - In an all-British women's final to The Championships, Wimbledon in tennis, Angela Mortimer beats Christine Truman.
- 21 July - The Runcorn Widnes Bridge (later known as the Silver Jubilee Bridge) over the River Mersey opened by Princess Alexandra.
- 25 July - The Lancashire-set film Whistle Down the Wind, starring Hayley Mills and Alan Bates, opens.
- 10 August - Britain applies for membership in the EEC.
- 16 August - The play Lady Chatterley by John Harte - based on D. H. Lawrence's novel - opens at the Arts Theatre in London and is well reviewed by West End theatre critic Harold Hobson.
- 23 August - Police launch a manhunt for the perpetrator of the A6 murder, who shot dead 36-year-old Michael Gregsten and paralysed his mistress Valerie Storie.
- 25 August - Police in Birmingham launch a murder inquiry after the body of missing teenager Jacqueline Thomas is found on an allotment in the Alum Rock area of the city.
- 31 August - Premiere of the film Victim, notable as the first in English to use the word "homosexual".
- 4 September - James Pitman's Initial Teaching Alphabet is tested in a number of schools.
- 16 September - Three people die and 35 are injured when a stand collapses during a Glasgow Rangers football match at Ibrox Park.
- 17 September - Police arrest over 1,300 protesters in Trafalgar Square during a CND rally.
October - December
- October - Acker Bilk's Stranger on the Shore released.
- 1 October - Religious programme Songs of Praise first broadcast on BBC Television; it will still be running fifty years later.
- 9 October - Skelmersdale, a small Lancashire town 15 miles north-east of Liverpool, is designated as a new town and its population will expand over the coming years, bolstered by large council housing developments to re-house families from inner city slums on Merseyside.
- 10 October - The population of the South Atlantic island of Tristan da Cunha is evacuated to Britain because of a volcanic eruption.
- 25 October - The first edition of Private Eye, the satirical magazine, is published.
- 8 November - In a referendum on Sunday opening of public houses in Wales, the counties of Anglesey, Cardiganshire, Caernarfonshire, Carmarthenshire, Denbighshire, Merionethshire, Montgomeryshire and Pembrokeshire all vote to stay "dry".
- 9 November - At the Lyceum Theatre, London, Miss United Kingdom, Welsh-born Rosemarie Frankland, becomes the first British winner of the Miss World beauty pageant.
- 27 November - Royal Air Force participates in air drops of food to flood victims in Somalia.
- 4 December - Birth control pills become available on the National Health Service after their availability is backed by Health Minister Enoch Powell.
- 9 December - Tanganyika gains independence from the UK.
- Park Hill Flats, Sheffield, opened.
- Release of short documentary film Seawards the Great Ships, which will be the first Scottish film to win an Academy Award.
- Agatha Christie's novel The Pale Horse.
- Ian Fleming's novel Thunderball.
- Richard Hughes' novel The Fox in the Attic.
- John le Carré's first novel Call for the Dead, introducing the character George Smiley.
- Iris Murdoch's novel A Severed Head.
- Muriel Spark's short novel The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.
- Evelyn Waugh's novel Unconditional Surrender, last of the Sword of Honour trilogy.
- Parker Morris Committee's report Homes for Today and Tomorrow.
- Raymond Williams's The Long Revolution sets out the importance of cultural change.
January - April
- 1 January - Mark Wingett, British actor
- 12 January - Simon Russell Beale, British actor
- 13 January - Suggs, British singer (Madness)
- 18 January - Peter Beardsley, English footballer and football coach
- 31 January - Lloyd Cole, British singer and songwriter
- 16 February - Andy Taylor, British musician (Duran Duran)
- 20 February - Imogen Stubbs, British actress
- 24 February - John Grogan, British Labour politician
- 3 March - Fatima Whitbread, British javelin thrower and Olympic medallist
- 12 March - Betty Sworowski, English racewalker
- 26 March - William Hague, British Politician
- 27 March - Ellery Hanley, English rugby league footballer and coach
- 29 March - Michael Winterbottom, British filmmaker
- 14 April - Robert Carlyle, Scottish actor
- 17 April - Bella Freud, British fashion designer and columnist
- 18 April - Jane Leeves, English actress
- 20 April - Nicholas Lyndhurst, actor
May - August
- 2 May - Phil Vickery, British celebrity chef
- 4 May - Jay Aston, English singer
- 8 May - Janet McTeer, British actress
- 12 May - Billy (William H) Duffy, English guitarist (The Cult)
- 14 May - Tim Roth, English actor
- 30 May - Harry Enfield, English comedian
- 5 June - Rosie Kane, member of Scottish Parliament
- 13 June - Bob Crow, British trade union leader
- 14 June - Boy George, English musician
- 15 June - Dave McAuley, Northern Irish boxer
- 25 June - Ricky Gervais, English comedian
- 27 June - Meera Syal, British comedian and writer
- 1 July - Diana, Princess of Wales (died 1997)
- 17 July - Jeremy Hardy, English comedian and broadcaster
- August - Saskia Reeves, English actress
- 3 August - Nicholas Harvey, English politician
- 7 August - Brian Conley, English comedian, television presenter, singer and actor
- 22 August - Roland Orzabal, English musician (Tears for Fears)
September - December
- 7 September - Kevin Kennedy, British actor
- 13 September - Tom Holt, British author
- 22 September - Liam Fox, British Conservative politician and Shadow Defence Secretary
- 26 September - Will Self, English novelist, reviewer and columnist
- 29 September - Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of Australia
- 9 October - Julian Bailey, Formula 1 driver
- 10 October - Martin Kemp, actor and musician
- 11 October - Neil Buchanan, English TV presenter
- 20 October - Ian Rush, Welsh footballer and football manager
- 25 October - Pat Sharp, English radio DJ
- 3 November - David Armstrong-Jones, Viscount Linley, chairman of Christie's U.K. auction house
- 4 November - Nigel Worthington, Northern Irish footballer and football manager
- 9 November - Jill Dando, television newsreader (died 1999)
- 16 November - Frank Bruno, British boxer
- 20 November - Dave Watson, English footballer
- 26 November - Karan Bilimoria, Baron Bilimoria, British Asian entrepreneur and university chancellor
- 28 November - Martin Clunes, actor
- 11 December - Marco Pierre White, British chef and restaurateur
- 12 December
- 19 December - Matthew Waterhouse, British actor
- 29 December - Jim Reid, Scottish musician
- 31 December - Sharon Gibson, English javelin thrower
- 26 January - Stan Nichols, English cricketer (born 1900)
- 6 March - George Formby, British singer, comedian and actor (born 1904)
- 8 March - Thomas Beecham, English conductor (born 1879)
- 7 April - Vanessa Bell, English artist and interior designer (born 1879)
- 28 June - Huw Menai, Welsh poet (born 1886)
- 1 October - Sir William Reid Dick, Scottish sculptor (born 1879)
- 13 October
- 24 December - Charles Hamilton, English children's story writer (born 1876)
- Marr, Andrew (2007). A History of Modern Britain. London: Macmillan. p. 189. ISBN 978-1-4050-0538-8.
- Thurlow, Richard (1987). Fascism in Britain. London. p. 246. ISBN 1-86064-337-X.
- Wall, Patrick (1968). "The Monday Club - Organization & Membership". Student Power.
- Seyd, Patrick (1972). "Factionalism within the Conservative Party: The Monday Club". Government and Opposition 7 (4).
- Penguin Pocket On This Day. Penguin Reference Library. 2006. ISBN 0-14-102715-0.
- "Lumumba rally clashes with UK police". BBC News. 19 February 1961. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 10 February 2008.
- "Five Britons accused of spying for Moscow". BBC News. 13 March 1961. Archived from the original on 5 March 2008. Retrieved 10 February 2008.
- "Key Dates". Royal Shakespeare Company. 2010. Archived from the original on 16 June 2010. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
- "1961". Those were the days. Express & Star. Retrieved 30 March 2012.
- "English Premier League 1960/1961". Tottenham Hotspur Mad. Retrieved 2 March 2011.
- "Sierra Leone wins independence". BBC News. 27 April 1961. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 10 February 2008.
- Palmer, Alan; Veronica (1992). The Chronology of British History. London: Century Ltd. ISBN 0-7126-5616-2.
- Bolton Evening News, 2 May 1961.
- "Ratification of the Convention on the OECD". Archived from the original on 17 September 2009. Retrieved 14 September 2009.
- "Tottenham Hotspur results 1960/1961". Tottenham Hotspur Mad. Retrieved 2 March 2011.
- Basset, Anita (1963). A Factual Guide to Guildford Cathedral.
- "Panda replaces zebra at road crossing". BBC News. 14 June 1961. Retrieved 30 March 2012.
- "The Computer Centre Opens". Spread Eagle: 252. 1961.
- Barclays Group Archives. Barclays Fact Sheet: Principal Events, 2.
- "Dramatic End to Britain's Memorable Wimbledon". The Times (London). 10 July 1961. p. 3.
- "Couple found shot in A6 lay-by". BBC News. 23 August 1961. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 10 February 2008.
- Cowan, Mark (3 June 2010). "Did this man escape justice for Jackie's murder?". Birmingham Mail (Trinity Mirror). Retrieved 18 February 2012.
- "Intelligent Film On Homosexuality". The Times (London). 30 August 1961. p. 11. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
- "Special events in the development of women's equality". Catherine of Siena Virtual College. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
- "Worldwide Disasters". Hillsborough Football Disaster. Retrieved 30 March 2012.
- "Skelmersdale Development Corporation records". Access to Archives. The National Archives. Retrieved 30 March 2012.
- "RAF flies aid to flood-stricken Somalia". BBC News. 27 November 1961. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 10 February 2008.
- "Birth control pill available to all". BBC News. 4 December 1961. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 10 February 2008.
- Tanzania entry at The World Factbook. Retrieved on 10 February 2008.
- Harwood, Elain (2003). England: a Guide to Post-War Listed Buildings (rev. ed.). London: Batsford. ISBN 0-7134-8818-2.