1979 in the United Kingdom

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
1979 in the United Kingdom:
Other years
1977 | 1978 | 1979 (1979) | 1980 | 1981
Individual countries of the United Kingdom
England | Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales
Sport, Television and music

Events from the year 1979 in the United Kingdom.

Incumbents[edit]

Events[edit]

January[edit]

  • 5 January - Lorry drivers go on strike, causing new shortages of heating oil and fresh food.
  • 10 January - Prime Minister James Callaghan returns from an international summit to a Britain in a state of industrial unrest. The Sun newspaper reports his comments with a famous headline: "Crisis? What Crisis?"[1]
  • 15 January - Rail workers begin a 24-hour strike.
  • 22 January - Tens of thousands of public-workers strike in the beginning of what becomes known as the "Winter of Discontent".[2]

February[edit]

  • 1 February - Grave-diggers call off a strike in Liverpool which has delayed dozens of burials.
  • 2 February - Sid Vicious, the former Sex Pistols guitarist, is found dead in New York after apparently suffocating on his own vomit as a result of a heroin overdose. 21-year-old London-born Vicious (real name John Simon Ritchie) is on bail for the second degree murder of his girlfriend Nancy Spungen, who was found stabbed to death in a hotel room on 12 October last year.
  • 9 February - Trevor Francis signs for Nottingham Forest in British football's first £1 million deal.[3]
  • 12 February - Over 1,000 schools close due to the heating oil shortage caused by the lorry drivers' strike.
  • 14 February - "Saint Valentine's Day Concordat" between Trades Union Congress and Government, The Economy, the Government, and Trade Union Responsibilities, marks an end to the "Winter of Discontent".[4]
  • 15 February - Opinion polls show the Conservatives up to 20 points ahead of Labour, whose popularity has slumped due to the Winter of Discontent.[5]
  • 22 February - Saint Lucia becomes independent of the United Kingdom.[6]

March[edit]

April[edit]

  • 4 April - Josephine Whitaker, a 19-year-old bank worker, is murdered in Halifax; police believe that she is the 11th woman to be murdered by the Yorkshire Ripper.
  • 23 April - Anti-Nazi League protestor Blair Peach is fatally injured after being struck on the head probably by a member of the Metropolitan Police's Special Patrol Group.[12]
  • Undated: Statistics show that the economy shrank by 0.8% in the first quarter of the year, largely due to the Winter of Discontent, sparking fears that Britain could soon be faced with its second recession in four years.

May[edit]

June[edit]

July[edit]

August[edit]

September[edit]

  • 2 September - Police discover a woman's body in an alleyway near Bradford city centre. The woman, 20-year-old student Barbara Leach, is believed to be the 12th victim of the mysterious Yorkshire Ripper mass murderer.[30]
  • 5 September
  • 8 September - Wolverhampton Wanderers set a new national transfer record by paying just under £1,500,000 for Aston Villa and Scotland striker Andy Gray.[32]
  • 10 September - British Leyland announces that production of MG cars will finish in the autumn of next year, in a move which will see the Abingdon plant closed.
  • 14 September - The government announces plans to regenerate the London docklands with housing and commercial developments.
  • 21 September - A Royal Air Force Harrier jet crashes into a house in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire killing two men and a boy.[33]
  • 25 September - Margaret Thatcher opens the new Central Milton Keynes Shopping Centre, the largest indoor shopping centre in Britain, after its final phase is completed six years after development of the huge complex first began.[34]

October[edit]

November[edit]

  • November - British Leyland chief executive Michael Edwardes wins the overwhelming backing of more than 100,000 of the carmaker's employees for his restructuring plans, which over the next few years will result in the closure of several plants and the loss of some 25,000 jobs.[38]
  • 1 November - The government announces £3.5 billion in public spending cuts and an increase in prescription charges.
  • 5 November - The two men accused of murdering Lord Mountbatten and three others go on trial in Dublin.
  • 9 November - Four men are found guilty over the killing of paperboy Carl Bridgewater, who was shot dead at a farmhouse in the Staffordshire countryside 14 months ago. James Robinson and Vincent Hickey receive life sentences with a recommended minimum of 25 years for murder, Michael Hickey (also guilty of murder) receives an indefinite custodial sentence, while Patrick Molloy is guilty of manslaughter and jailed for 12 years.[39]
  • 11 November - Last episode of first series of sitcom To the Manor Born on BBC1 Television receives 23.95 million viewers, the all-time highest figure for a recorded programme in the UK.[40]
  • 13 November
    • The Times is published for the first time in nearly a year after a dispute between management and unions over staffing levels and new technology.[41]
    • Miners reject a 20% pay increase and threaten to go on strike until they get their desired pay rise of 65%.
  • 14 November - Vauxhall launches its first-ever front-wheel drive car - the Astra range of hatchbacks and estates - to compete in the growing family hatchback sector. It replaces the traditional rear-wheel drive Viva saloon, which had been produced in three incarnations since 1963. Initial production of the Astra will take place at the Opel factory in West Germany, with production set to be transferred to Britain by 1981.
  • 15 November
  • 21 November - Six months after winning the general election, the Conservatives are five points behind Labour (who have a 45% share of the vote) in an MORI opinion poll.[45]
  • 23 November - In Dublin, Ireland, Irish Republican Army member Thomas McMahon is sentenced to life in prison for the assassination of Lord Mountbatten.

December[edit]

  • 4 December - The Hastie Fire in Hull leads to the deaths of 3 boys and begins the hunt for Bruce George Peter Lee, the UK's most prolific killer.
  • 7 December - Lord Soames appointed as the transitional governor of Rhodesia to oversee its move to independence.[46]
  • 10 December
  • 14 December - Doubts are raised over the convictions of the four men in the Carl Bridgewater case after Hubert Vincent Spencer is charged with murdering 70-year-old farmer Hubert Wilkes at a farmhouse less than half a mile away from the one where Carl Bridgewater was murdered.[7]
  • 20 December - The government publishes the Housing Bill which will give council house tenants the right to buy their homes from the following year. More than 5 million households in the United Kingdom currently occupy council houses.[49]

On December 24, 1979, the Soviet Union invades Afghanistan, under the pretext of upholding the Soviet-Afghan Friendship Treaty of 1978.

Undated[edit]

Publications[edit]

Births[edit]

Deaths[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "'No chaos here' declares Callaghan". BBC News. 10 January 1979. Archived from the original on 5 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  2. ^ "Public sector strike paralyses country". BBC News. 22 January 1979. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  3. ^ "Forest break football transfer record". BBC News. 9 February 1979. Archived from the original on 29 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  4. ^ Marr, Andrew (2007). A History of Modern Britain. London: Macmillan. p. 376. ISBN 978-1-4050-0538-8. 
  5. ^ Barker, Geoffrey (27 February 1979). "PM desperate to save Labour". The Age (Melbourne). p. 7. Retrieved 2013-03-18. 
  6. ^ a b c Penguin Pocket On This Day. Penguin Reference Library. 2006. ISBN 0-14-102715-0. 
  7. ^ a b c [1][dead link]
  8. ^ "Three die in Golborne mine blast". BBC News. 18 March 1979. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  9. ^ "British ambassador assassinated in Holland". BBC News. 22 March 1979. Archived from the original on 4 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  10. ^ "Early election as Callaghan defeated". BBC News. 28 March 1979. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  11. ^ "Car bomb kills Airey Neave". BBC News. 30 March 1979. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  12. ^ "Blair Peach killed by police at 1979 protest, Met report finds". theguardian.com. 27 April 2010. Retrieved 9 November 2013. 
  13. ^ "Jubilee line facts, Transport for London website". Archived from the original on 12 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  14. ^ "Election victory for Margaret Thatcher". BBC News. 4 May 1979. Archived from the original on 19 December 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  15. ^ "John Major". [dead link]
  16. ^ "Liverpool's 11th title". The Sydney Morning Herald. 11 May 1979. p. 24. Retrieved 2013-03-18. 
  17. ^ [2][dead link]
  18. ^ a b Palmer, Alan; Veronica (1992). The Chronology of British History. London: Century Ltd. pp. 442–443. ISBN 0-7126-5616-2. 
  19. ^ "Price of milk shoots up". BBC News. 25 May 1979. Archived from the original on 19 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  20. ^ [3][dead link]
  21. ^ "Thorpe cleared of murder charges". BBC News. 22 June 1979. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  22. ^ "Queen oversees Manx millennium". BBC News. 5 July 1979. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  23. ^ "The world car that wasn't". Rootes-Chrysler.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-03-18. 
  24. ^ "Brighton bares all". BBC News. 9 August 1979. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  25. ^ "Freak storm hits yacht race". BBC News. 14 August 1979. Archived from the original on 1 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  26. ^ "Disgraced ex-MP released from jail". BBC News. 14 August 1979. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  27. ^ Caven, James (24 August 1979). "It's a £50m new-look". Evening Times (Glasgow). Retrieved 2011-09-22. 
  28. ^ "IRA bomb kills Lord Mountbatten". BBC News. 27 August 1979. Archived from the original on 21 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  29. ^ "Soldiers die in Warrenpoint massacre". BBC News. 27 August 1979. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  30. ^ "Ripper suspected of 12th murder". BBC News. 2 September 1979. Archived from the original on 1 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  31. ^ "Mountbatten buried after final parade". BBC News. 5 September 1979. Archived from the original on 1 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  32. ^ "Buchanan signs on for a Danish manager". Glasgow: The Herald. 8 September 1979. Retrieved 2011-09-22. 
  33. ^ "Harrier crash kills three". BBC News. 21 September 1979. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  34. ^ "The architectural secrets of Milton Keynes". How We Built Britain. BBC Beds Herts & Bucks. June 2007. Retrieved 2013-03-18. 
  35. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1979". Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  36. ^ "CIA Factbook entry for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines". Archived from the original on 13 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  37. ^ "Chairman Hua arrives in London". BBC News. 28 October 1979. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  38. ^ [4][dead link]
  39. ^ "Paperboy's killers convicted". BBC News. 9 November 1979. Retrieved 2013-03-18. 
  40. ^ "Britain's Most Watched TV – the 1980s". British Film Institute. 4 September 2006. Retrieved 2011-12-23. 
  41. ^ "Times returns after year-long dispute". BBC News. 13 November 1979. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  42. ^ "Changes in Bank Rate". Bank of England. Archived from the original on 2 January 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  43. ^ Tendler, Stewart; Bradley, Ian (16 November 1979). "Professor Blunt named as spy". The Times (60476) (London). p. 1. 
  44. ^ Mr. Anthony Blunt. Hansard HC Deb (21 November 1979) 974/402-520.
  45. ^ "Voting Intention in Great Britain: 1976-present". Ipsos MORI. Retrieved 2013-03-18. 
  46. ^ "Lord Soames to govern Rhodesia". BBC News. 7 December 1979. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  47. ^ "The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 1979". Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  48. ^ "Daredevil Kidd's 80ft river jump". BBC News. 10 December 1979. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  49. ^ "Council tenants will have 'right to buy'". BBC News. 20 December 1979. Archived from the original on 23 December 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  50. ^ [5][dead link]
  51. ^ Blythe, Max (2004). "Barnes, Dame (Alice) Josephine Mary Taylor (1912–1999)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2011-02-03. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
  52. ^ "Refurb for Tim Martin's first outlet". Property News. Morning Advertiser. Retrieved 2011-01-21. 
  53. ^ Abbot, R.J.; Lowe, A.J. (2003). "A new British species, Senecio eboracensis (Asteraceae), another hybrid derivative of S. vulgaris L. and S. squalidae L." (PDF). Watsonia 24: 375–388. Retrieved 2007-07-15. 
  54. ^ Wainwright, Martin (20 February 2003). "Blooming unexpected". Education Guardian (London: The Guardian). Retrieved 2008-02-13. 
  55. ^ Warburton, Dan (21 October 2009). "Viz comic all set to celebrate 30th birthday". Evening Chronicle (Newcastle upon Tyne). Retrieved 2013-03-18. 

See also[edit]