1983 in the United Kingdom
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|1983 in the United Kingdom:|
|1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985|
|Individual countries of the United Kingdom|
|England | Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales|
|Sport, Television and music|
Events from the year 1983 in the United Kingdom.
- 1 January - The British Nationality Act 1981 comes into effect creating five classes of classes of British nationality.
- 3 January - CITV is launched.
- 6 January - Danish fishermen defy the British government's prohibition on non-UK boats entering its coastal waters.
- 14 January - Stephen Waldorf shooting: Armed policeman shoot and severely injure an innocent car passenger in London, believing him to be escaped prisoner David Martin.
- 17 January
- 19 January - The two policemen who wounded Stephen Waldorf are charged with attempted murder and released on bail; they are suspended from duty pending further investigation.
- 23 January - The ban on non-British boats in British waters is lifted as the European Economic Community's Common Fisheries Policy comes into effect.
- 25 January - The Infrared Astronomical Satellite, the first-ever space-based observatory to perform a survey of the entire sky at infrared wavelengths, is launched. The satellite is a joint project between the American space agency NASA, the Netherlands Agency for Aerospace Programmes and the UK's Science and Engineering Research Council.
- 26 January - Red rain falls in the UK, caused by sand from the Sahara Desert in the droplets.
- 28 January - Escaped prisoner David Martin is re-arrested.
- 31 January - Seatbelt use for drivers and front seat passengers becomes mandatory, 11 years after becoming compulsory equipment.
- 1 February - TV-am broadcasts for the first time.
- 3 February - Unemployment stands at a record high of 3,224,715 - though the previous high reached in the Great Depression of the early 1930s accounted for a higher percentage of the workforce.
- 10 February - The dismembered remains of at least fifteen young men are found at a house in Muswell Hill, North London, victims of Dennis Nilsen.
- 15 February - The Austin Metro is now Britain's best selling car, having outsold every other new car registered in the UK during January.
- 24 February - Labour candidate Peter Tatchell loses the Bermondsey by-election to the Liberal Party's Simon Hughes.
- 26 February - Patrick Jennings, 37-year-old Arsenal and Northern Ireland goalkeeper, becomes the first player in the English game to appear in 1,000 senior football matches.
- 1 March - Austin Rover, the successor organisation to British car making combine British Leyland, launches the Austin Maestro. The Maestro is a medium-sized five-door hatchback with front-wheel drive. It replaces the ageing Allegro and provides the firm with a modern and practical competitor to the likes of the Ford Escort, Vauxhall Astra and Volkswagen Golf. A state of the art voice synthesizer is used on the top models, claiming it to be the worlds first talking car. The Maestro's chassis will also form the base of a larger four-door saloon which goes on sale next year to replace the outdated Morris Ital.
- 15 March - The Budget raises tax allowances, and cuts taxes by £2 billion.
- 26 March - Liverpool win the Football League Cup for the third year in succession, beating Manchester United 2-1 in the final at Wembley Stadium. The Reds, whose manager Bob Paisley will retire at the end of the current football season, are also on course to win the Football League First Division title for a record 14th time.
- 28 March - Ian MacGregor appointed as head of the National Coal Board.
- Vauxhall launches the all-new Nova supermini with a range of hatchbacks and saloons. It is the first Vauxhall to be built outside the United Kingdom, being assembled at the Zaragoza plant in Spain where it was launched seven months ago as the Opel Corsa, but plans to launch it on the British market had been attacked by trade unions who were angry at the fact that it would not be built in Britain.
- 1 April
- 4 April - The biggest cash haul in British history sees gunmen escape with £7 million from a Security Express van in London.
- 11 April - Richard Attenborough's 1982 film Gandhi wins eight Academy Awards.
- 21 April - The one pound coin introduced in England and Wales.
- 9 May - Margaret Thatcher calls a general election for 9 June. Opinion polls show her on course for victory with the Tories 8-12 points ahead of Labour, but it widely expected to form a significant overall majority due to the split in left-wing votes caused by the Alliance.
- 16 May - Wheel clamps are first used to combat illegal parking in London.
- 21 May - Manchester United and Brighton & Hove Albion draw 2-2 in the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium. The replay will be held in five days time.
- 26 May
- Manchester United defeat Brighton & Hove Albion 4-0 in the FA Cup final replay at Wembley Stadium. Bryan Robson scores two of the goals, with the other two coming from Arnold Muhren and 18-year-old Norman Whiteside.
- Opinion polls suggest that the Conservatives are looking set to be re-elected with a landslide. A MORI poll puts them on 51%, 22 points ahead of Labour.
- 1 June - Jockey Lester Pigott rides Teenoso to victory at the Epsom Derby, Pigott's ninth win.
- 9 June - Margaret Thatcher, Conservative Prime Minister of the United Kingdom since 1979, wins a landslide victory with a majority of 144 seats (though just 42% of the popular vote) over Michael Foot, who led a highly-divided and weakened Labour Party which earned only 28% of the vote. Among the new members of parliament are two Labour MP's, Tony Blair for Sedgefield in County Durham and Gordon Brown for Dunfermline East in Scotland. The election brings mixed results for the SDP-Liberal Alliance, who come close behind Labour in votes but has a mere 23 MPs in the new parliament compared to Labour's 209. The new 650-seat parliament will have 397 Conservative MP's, whereas Labour now has just 209.
- 10 June - Computer tycoon Clive Sinclair is knighted.
- 12 June - Michael Foot resigns as leader of the Labour Party. Neil Kinnock, shadow spokesman for education and MP for Islwyn in South Wales, is tipped to succeed him; however, the successor will not be confirmed until this autumn.
- 14 June - Roy Jenkins resigns as leader of the Social Democratic Party and is succeeded by David Owen. Although the SDP gained 25% (around 7 million) of the votes and fell just short of Labour in terms of votes, they attained only a fraction of the number of seats won by Labour.
- 15 June - The first episode of historical sitcom Blackadder is broadcast on BBC One television.
- 16 June - National Museum of Photography, Film and Television opens in Bradford.
- 7 July - New chancellor Nigel Lawson announces public spending cuts of £500 million.
- 13 July
- 19 July - A large new model of a flesh-eating dinosaur is erected at the Natural History Museum.
- 21 July - Former prime minister Harold Wilson is one of 17 life peerages announced today.
- 22 July - Production of the Ford Orion compact saloon begins.
- 26 July - A Catholic mother of ten, Victoria Gillick, loses a case in the High Court of Justice against the DHSS. Her application sought to prevent the distribution of contraceptives to children under the age of 16 without parental consent. The case goes to the House of Lords in 1985 when it is decided that it is legal for doctors to prescribe contraceptives to under-16s without parental consent in exceptional circumstances ("Gillick competence").
- 1 August - The new A-prefix car registration plates are launched.
- 5 August - 22 Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) members receive sentences totalling over 4,000 years from a Belfast Court.
- 29 August - ITV launches Blockbusters, a gameshow hosted by Bob Holness and featuring sixth formers as its contestants.
- 1 September - Ian MacGregor becomes chairman of the National Coal Board.
- 8 September - The National Health Service privatises cleaning, catering and laundering services in a move which Social Services Secretary Norman Fowler predicts will save between £90 million and £180 million a year.
- 11 September - The SDP Conference voted against a merger with the Liberals until at least 1988.
- 17 September - Anthony (Eric) Barker, Ian Bowman, Ian Chakravorty, John Huckerby, Robert Madkins and Penelope Maguire all started their 4 year BSc (Hons) Mathematics degree course at Leicester Polytechnic (now De Montford University). All eventually graduated in 1987, got married (and divorced), had lots of children, and lost "loads of money" to Eric playing cards, in the 30 intervening years.
- 21 September - The England national football team lose 1-0 to Denmark at Wembley Stadium in the penultimate qualifying game for Euro 84, making qualification unlikely.
- 22 September - Docklands redevelopment in East London begins with the opening of an Enterprise Zone on the Isle of Dogs.
- 25 September - Maze Prison escape: 38 IRA prisoners armed with six guns hijack a lorry and escape from HM Prison Maze in County Antrim, Northern Ireland; one guard dies of a heart attack and 20 others are injured in the attempt to foil the escape, the largest prison escape since World War II and in British history. 19 escapees are later apprehended
- 30 September - In the latest crackdown on football hooliganism, seven men (all members of the notorious Subway Army, a football firm associated with Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C.) are convicted of taking part in a fight near the club's stadium.
- 2 October - Neil Kinnock is elected leader of the Labour Party on the retirement of Michael Foot.
- 4 October - Richard Noble, driving the British turbojet-powered car Thrust2, takes the land speed record to 634.051 mph (1020.406 km/h) over 1 km (633.47 mph (1019.47 km/h) over 1 mile) at Black Rock Desert, USA, an increase of 40 mph over the previous kilometre record.
- 7 October - A plan to abolish the Greater London Council is announced.
- 14 October - Cecil Parkinson resigns as Trade and Industry Secretary following revelations about his relationship with Sarah Keays.
- 22 October - Over a million people demonstrate against nuclear weapons at a CND march in London.
- 24 October
- 19 October - The two policemen who shot Stephen Waldorf are cleared of attempted murder.
- 25 October - American forces invade the Commonwealth country of Grenada.
- 4 November - Dennis Nilsen is sentenced to life imprisonment.
- 13 November
- 16 November - England beat Luxembourg 4-0 in their final Euro 84 qualifying game but still fail to qualify for next summer's tournament in France as Denmark also win their final qualifying game. After the game, more than 20 England fans are arrested after going on a violent rampage in Luxembourg.
- 18 November - A 31-year-old Liverpool woman, Janet Walton, gives birth to female sextuplets.
- 23 November - The 23-mile M54 motorway opens, giving the M6 north of Wolverhampton a link with the new town of Telford in Shropshire.
- 24 November - Fifteen-year-old Lynda Mann is found raped and strangled in the village of Narborough.
- 26 November - Brink's-MAT robbery: In London, 6,800 gold bars worth nearly £26 million are taken from the Brink's-MAT vault at Heathrow Airport. Only a fraction of the gold is ever recovered, and only two men are convicted of the crime.
- 4 December - An SAS undercover operation ends in the shooting and killing of two IRA gunmen, a third is injured.
- 6 December - First heart and lung transplant carried out in Britain at Harefield.
- 8 December - The House of Lords votes to allow television broadcast of its proceedings.
- 10 December - William Golding wins the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his novels which, with the perspicuity of realistic narrative art and the diversity and universality of myth, illuminate the human condition in the world of today".
- 17 December - An IRA car bomb kills six, three police and three members of the public, and injures 90 outside Harrods in London.
- 25 December (Christmas Day) - A second IRA bomb explodes in Oxford Street, but this time nobody is injured.
- The Compact disc is first marketed in Britain.
- Designer and entrepreneur James Dyson produces his prototype vacuum cleaner.
- Hanson Trust takes over United Drapery Stores (UDS) to realise the assets of its high street shops.
- Thames Water shuts down the reciprocating stationary steam engines at its Waddon pumping station in Croydon, the last in Britain to pump drinking water by steam.
- Saga Magazine begins publication.
- Despite unemployment remaining in excess of 3 million, the battle against inflation which has largely contributed to mass unemployment is being won as inflation falls to 4.6% - the lowest level since 1966.
- Barbara Cartland writes 23 romantic novels.
- Howard Jacobson's first novel Coming from Behind.
- Terry Pratchett's first Discworld novel The Colour of Magic.
- Salman Rushdie's novel Shame.
- Graham Swift's novel Waterland.
- 14 March—Joe Flynn, actor
- 15 March—Sean Biggerstaff, actor
- 21 March—Bruno Langley, actor
- 28 March—Ryan Ashington, footballer
- 14 April—Simon Burnett, swimmer
- 15 April—Matt Cardle, singer
- 13 May—Natalie Cassidy, actress
- 30 May—Jennifer Ellison, actress
- 8 June —Allan Dick, Scottish field hockey goalkeeper
- 17 June—Lee Ryan, singer
- 30 June—Cheryl Cole, singer
- 20 July—Rory Jennings, actor
- 5 August—Sam Stacey, model
- 21 August—Chantelle Houghton, reality TV star
- 22 August—Julie Kilpatrick, Scottish field hockey player
- 24 August—Christopher Parker, actor
- 14 September–Amy Winehouse, singer songwriter (d. 2011)
- 30 September—Louise Munn, Scottish field hockey defender
- 10 November—Jo Ellis, English field hockey forward
- 17 November—Harry Lloyd, actor
- 20 December—Lucy Pinder, model
- 23 January - Fred Bakewell, cricketer (born 1908)
- 28 January - Billy Fury, singer songwriter (born 1940)
- 13 February - Edward Fletcher, Labour Member of Parliament (born 1911)
- 22 February - Sir Adrian Boult, conductor (born 1889)
- 8 March - William Walton, composer (born 1902)
- 3 April - Jimmy Bloomfield, former footballer and football manager (born 1934)
- 13 April - Gerry Hitchens, former footballer (born 1934)
- 15 March - Rebecca West, writer (born 1892)
- 21 May - Kenneth Clark, art historian (born 1903)
- 4 July - John Bodkin Adams, suspected serial killer (born 1899)
- 29 July - David Niven, actor (born 1910)
- 10 October - Ralph Richardson, actor (born 1902)
- 15 November - John Le Mesurier, actor (born 1912)
- 25 November - Anton Dolin, dancer and choreographer (born 1904)
- 30 November - Richard Llewellyn, novelist (born 1906)
- 11 December - Sir Neil Ritchie, general (born 1897)
- 13 December - Mary Renault, novelist (born 1905)
- 23 December - Colin Middleton, artist (born 1910)
- 26 December - Violet Carson, actress (born 1898)
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