1948 in the United Kingdom
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|1948 in the United Kingdom|
|1946 | 1947 | 1948 | 1949 | 1950|
|Individual countries of the United Kingdom|
|England | Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales|
|Sport, television and music|
- 1 January – British Railways created when the government nationalizes the railway industry.
- 4 January – Burma gains its independence from the United Kingdom.
- 5 January – the first episode of the radio serial drama Mrs Dale's Diary is broadcast on the BBC Light Programme.
- 12 January – the London Co-operative Society opens Britain's first supermarket, in Manor Park, London. In the same month, Marks & Spencer introduce self-service in the food department of their Wood Green store and also this year Portsea Island Mutual Co-operative Society opens a self-service supermarket in Portsmouth.
- 17 January – all-time highest attendance for an English Football League game as 83,260 people watch Manchester United draw with Arsenal in a match played at Maine Road.
- 30 January – 8 February: Great Britain and Northern Ireland compete at the Winter Olympics in St. Moritz, Switzerland, and win 2 bronze medals.
- 4 February – Ceylon (later renamed Sri Lanka) becomes independent within the British Commonwealth. George VI becomes King of Ceylon.
- Trades Union Congress and Government agree a formal policy of voluntary wage restraint.
- The Administrative Staff College (established in 1945) runs its first courses at Greenlands, Henley-on-Thames, the UK's first business school.
- The "New Look" in women's fashion becomes available in British stores.
- 17 March – Britain signs the Treaty of Brussels with Belgium, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
- 23 March – the radio comedy Take It From Here, written by Frank Muir and Denis Norden, is first broadcast by the BBC.
- 1 April
- 15 April – Rowntree's introduce Polo mint sweets.
- 16 April – arrival of Australian cricket team in England for a tour in which it will not lose a match.
- 21 April – National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain gives its first concert.
- 24 April – Manchester United F.C. defeat Blackpool 4–2 in the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium to claim their first major trophy for 37 years.
- 30 April – the Land Rover is unveiled at the Amsterdam Motor Show.
- 4 May – release of Sir Laurence Olivier's film of Shakespeare's Hamlet, which will be the first British film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.
- 13 May – National Assistance Act supersedes the old Poor Law system.
- 14 May – the murder of June Anne Devaney, a three-year-old girl in Blackburn leads to the fingerprinting of more than 40,000 men in the city in an attempt to find the murderer.
- 14–15 May – at midnight, the British Mandate of Palestine is officially terminated as the state of Israel comes into being.
- June – Professor Lillian Penson becomes the first woman elected to serve as Vice-Chancellor of a British university (London).
- 5–13 June – first Aldeburgh Festival.
- 21 June – the Manchester Baby, the world's first electronic stored-program computer, runs its first program.
- 22 June
- 1 July
- The Town and Country Planning Act 1947 and its equivalent in Scotland come into effect as the foundation of modern town and country planning in the United Kingdom, requiring planning permission for land development and establishing the system of Listed buildings.
- The National Museum of Wales opens the Welsh Folk Museum at St Fagans to the public, the first open-air museum in the UK (director: Iorwerth Peate).
- 4 July – 1948 Northwood mid-air collision: A Scandinavian Airlines Douglas DC-6 and an Avro York of No. 99 Squadron RAF collide over Northwood, London and crash killing all 39 people aboard both aircraft.
- 5 July
- The National Health Service begins functioning, giving the right to universal healthcare, free at point of use.
- Changes to the National Insurance social insurance scheme come into effect.
- The Children Act 1948 comes into effect, transferring responsibility for child welfare from Poor Law Guardians, Approved schools and voluntary organisations to new local authority Children’s Departments with professional Children’s Officers.
- 15 July – first London chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous.
- 25 July – end of post-war bread rationing.
- 29 July – 14 August: Olympic Games held in London. Great Britain and Northern Ireland win 3 gold, 14 silver and 6 bronze medals at the event, which is televised by the BBC.
- 29 July
- 30 July – gas boards created as the government nationalises the gas industry.
- 18 August – jockey Lester Piggott, aged 12, wins his first race, at Haydock Park Racecourse.
- 6 September – flying the de Havilland DH 108, John Derry becomes the first British pilot to break the sound barrier.
- 8 September – Terence Rattigan's play The Browning Version premieres in London.
- October – the Hoover Company open a new factory for the mass production of washing machines at Merthyr Tydfil.
- 12 October – topical debate programme Any Questions? first broadcast on the BBC Home Service. It will still be on the radio more than sixty years later.
- 20 October – 1948 KLM Constellation air disaster: a KLM Lockheed Constellation airliner crashes into power cables on approach to Prestwick Airport in Scotland, killing all 40 people on board.
- 27 October – 6 November: first postwar Motor Show held at Earls Court, London. A record 562,954 visitors witness a wide range of new products from British manufacturers. Most successful will be the Morris Minor and Land Rover; but there are also the Morris Six, new Morris Oxford and Wolseley 4/50; Jaguar XK120, the world's fastest production car at this time, and Mark V; Hillman Minx Mark III; Austin A70 and Atlantic; Vauxhall Velox and Wyvern; Singer SM1500; Sunbeam-Talbot 90; and Bristol 401.
- November – Snettisham Hoard discovered near King's Lynn.
- 8 November – the King issues Letters Patent granting the title of Prince or Princess of the United Kingdom, with the style Royal Highness, to the children of The Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh. Their first child is due later this month.
- 14 November – Princess Elizabeth gives birth to a son.
- 15 November – rising actor and comedian Ronnie Barker, aged 19 and from Bedford, makes his stage debut in the play Quality Street at the County Theatre in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.
- 19 November – Peter Griffiths is hanged at Liverpool's Walton Gaol for the murder of June Anne Devaney.
- December – Patrick Blackett wins the Nobel Prize in Physics "for his development of the Wilson cloud chamber method, and his discoveries therewith in the fields of nuclear physics and cosmic radiation".
- 10 December – T. S. Eliot wins the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry".
- 15 December – the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh's one-month-old son (later The Prince of Wales) is christened His Royal Highness Charles Philip Arthur George of Edinburgh.
- 20 December – Scottish advocate Margaret Kidd becomes the first British woman King's Counsel in Britain.
- 26 December – the first series of Reith Lectures, Bertrand Russell on Authority and the Individual, begins broadcasting on the BBC Home Service.
- From the end of the year, manufacturers are permitted to make Utility furniture to their own designs.
- “Black widow” road safety poster (slogan: “Keep death off the road – Carelessness kills”) by William Little issued.
- Jocelyn Brooke's semi-autobiographical novel The Military Orchid, first of the Orchid trilogy, and The Scapegoat.
- Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot novel Taken at the Flood.
- Winston Churchill's The Gathering Storm, first volume of his history The Second World War.
- T. S. Eliot's Notes Towards the Definition of Culture.
- Graham Greene's novel The Heart of the Matter.
- Aldous Huxley's novel Ape and Essence.
- F. R. Leavis's literary criticism The Great Tradition.
- Nevil Shute's novel No Highway.
- Evelyn Waugh's novel The Loved One.
- I-Spy series inaugurated.
- 2 January
- 10 January – David Neuberger, Baron Neuberger of Abbotsbury, lawyer and judge
- 12 January
- 19 January – Mal Reilly, English rugby player and coach
- 20 January – Nigel Williams, author, playwright, and screenwriter
- 22 January – Liz Lynne, Liberal Democrat politician
- 27 January – Gordon Henderson, Conservative politician
- 11 February – Roger Mills, race walker
- 24 February – Peter Melchett, public servant (died 2018)
- 5 March – Richard Hickox, English orchestral conductor (died 2008)
- 7 March – Rupert Jackson, judge
- 8 March – Mel Galley, guitarist (died 2008)
- 21 March – Robert Watson, atmospheric chemist
- 22 March – Andrew Lloyd Webber, composer
- 1 April
- 4 April – Derek Thompson, Northern Irish actor
- 12 April
- 18 April – Kevin Finnegan, English boxer (died 2008)
- 21 April – Alan West, Baron West of Spithead, admiral and politician, Minister for Security
- 20 April – Hugh Roberts, English historian and curator
- 28 April – Terry Pratchett, comic fantasy and science fiction author (died 2015)
- 3 May – Denis Cosgrove, geographer (died 2008)
- 12 May – Joe Tasker, mountaineer (died 1982)
- 31 May – John Bonham, rock drummer (Led Zeppelin) (died 1980)
- 1 June – Joe Andrew, author and academic
- 4 June – Bob Champion, jump jockey
- 19 June – Barry Hearn, accountant and businessman
- 21 June – Ian McEwan, novelist
- 24 July – Michael Coveney, English author and critic
- 20 August – Bill Griffiths, poet and scholar (died 2007)
- 1 September – Alastair Redfern, bishop
- 19 September – Jeremy Irons, actor
- 26 September – Olivia Newton-John, singer
- 27 September – Michele Dotrice, actress
- 29 September – Ross Benson, journalist (died 2005)
- 6 October – Gerry Adams, Irish Republican politician
- 9 October – Oliver Hart, economist, recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences
- 12 October – Rick Parfitt, rock musician (Status Quo) (died 2016)
- 15 October – Chris de Burgh, musician, in Venado Tuerto, Argentina
- 3 November – Lulu, born Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie, Scottish singer and entertainer
- 14 November
- 25 November – Paul Murphy, Welsh Labour politician
- 2 December – Patricia Hewitt, Labour politician
- 9 December – Jonathan Sumption, lawyer, judge and historian
- 29 December – Peter Robinson, First Minister of Northern Ireland
- 30 December – Kim McLagan, fashion model (died 2006)
- 31 December – Stephen Cleobury, organist and director of music
- 4 February – Edward Stanley, 17th Earl of Derby, soldier, Conservative politician, diplomat and racehorse owner (born 1865)
- 6 February – John Sankey, 1st Viscount Sankey, lawyer, judge, Labour politician and Lord Chancellor of Great Britain (born 1866)
- 29 February – Robert Barrington-Ward, barrister and journalist, editor of The Times since 1941 (born 1891)
- 13 March – Princess Helena Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein, granddaughter of Queen Victoria (born 1870)
- 23 March – Field Marshal George Milne, 1st Baron Milne, Chief of the Imperial General Staff (born 1866)
- 2 May – A. H. Fox Strangways, musicologist, translator, editor and music critic (born 1859)
- 13 May – Peter Wentworth-Fitzwilliam, 8th Earl Fitzwilliam, soldier and aristocrat (born 1910)
- 29 May – Dame May Whitty, actress (born 1865)
- 21 June – Sir Ernest Beachcroft Beckwith Towse, army officer awarded the Victoria Cross (born 1864)
- 12 August – Harry Brearley, inventor (born 1871)
- 17 August – Dame Lilian Braithwaite, actress (born 1873)
- 22 August – Sophia Duleep Singh, Princess and suffragette (born 1876)
- 10 September
- 4 November – Albert Stanley, 1st Baron Ashfield, businessman and chairman of the London Passenger Transport Board (1933–1947) (born 1874)
- 24 November – Nellie Wallace. music hall star (born 1870)
- 31 December – Sir Malcolm Campbell, racing motorist and motoring journalist, achieved world land and water speed records (born 1885)
- "The Lost Decade Timeline". bbc.co.uk. BBC. Archived from the original on 21 August 2006. Retrieved 2007-09-25.
- The Hutchinson Factfinder. Helicon. 1999. p. 501. ISBN 978-1-85986-000-7.
- Palmer, Alan; Veronica (1992). The Chronology of British History. London: Century Ltd. pp. 398–399. ISBN 978-0-7126-5616-0.
- Kynaston, David (2007). Austerity Britain 1945–1951. London: Bloomsbury. ISBN 978-0-7475-7985-4.
- Bevan, Chris (11 May 2003). "Maine Road through the ages". BBC Sport. Retrieved 24 June 2007.
- "Sri Lanka". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved on 25 September 2007.
- Penguin Pocket On This Day. Penguin Reference Library. 2006. ISBN 978-0-14-102715-9.
- Pitcher, Harvey (2002). The J-type van. Birmingham: Past Masters. ISBN 978-0-9543982-0-0.
- "Dame Ruth King". The Daily Telegraph. London. 28 February 2001. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
- FA Cup Final 1948. Archived 19 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- "British Social Policy, 1601–1948". An introduction to Social Policy. Archived from the original on 24 July 2007. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
- "The Northolt Disaster". Flight: 30. 8 July 1948. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
- Batty, David (18 May 2005). "Timeline: a history of child protection". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 15 September 2010.
- "Mandeville Legacy". Retrieved 4 September 2012.
- CET Record-Breakers
- "Power to order flogging: Abolition approved in Committee". The Times. 12 December 1947. Retrieved 13 June 2010.
- "Plays". Terence Rattigan. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 16 July 2010.
- At about 23:32 UTC. "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 18 November 2014. Contemporary British reports, e.g. The Times newspaper (October 1948) and the Court of Investigation report (November 1949), cite the accident as occurring early on 21 October.
- Chapman, Giles (25 July 2008). "British Motor Show: Golden years". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 23 August 2010.
- The Royal Family - The Prince of Wales - Background
- "Ronnie Barker statue unveiled". BBC News. 30 September 2010. Archived from the original on 3 October 2010. Retrieved 30 September 2010.
- "The Nobel Prize in Physics 1948". Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 25 September 2007.
- "The Nobel Prize in Literature 1948". Archived from the original on 11 October 2007. Retrieved 25 September 2007.
- Announcement of the christening of Lady Louise Windsor Archived 31 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- "Dame Margaret Henderson Kidd". On this day in Scotland. ianthepict. 14 March 2012. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
- "1940s" (PDF). The BBC Story. BBC. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 December 2011. Retrieved 26 June 2010.
- Evans, Paul; Doyle, Peter (2009). The 1940s Home. Oxford: Shire Publications. ISBN 978-0-7478-0736-0.
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