1954 in the United Kingdom
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|1954 in the United Kingdom|
|1952 | 1953 | 1954 | 1955 | 1956|
|Individual countries of the United Kingdom|
|England | Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales|
|Sport, television and music|
- 10 January – a British Overseas Airways Corporation de Havilland Comet jet airliner on BOAC Flight 781 from Singapore to London crashes in the Mediterranean Sea following fatigue failure, killing all 35 on board.
- 25 January – first broadcast of Dylan Thomas's radio play Under Milk Wood, two months after its author's death, with Richard Burton as 'First Voice', on the BBC Third Programme.
- 12 February
- 23 March – film of Doctor in the House released.
- 24 March – after an eight-day trial at Winchester Assizes, The Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, Peter Wildeblood and Michael Pitt-Rivers are convicted of "conspiracy to incite certain male persons to commit serious offences with male persons" or buggery and related charges. Pitt-Rivers and Wildebood are sentenced to eighteen months and Lord Montagu to twelve months in prison.
- 2 April – BBC Television broadcasts the opening episode of The Grove Family, the first British TV soap opera.
- 3 April – Oxford wins the 100th Boat Race.
- 24 April – Wolverhampton Wanderers win the Football League First Division title for the first time in their history. The result ends the hopes that their local rivals, FA Cup finalists West Bromwich Albion, had of becoming the first team of the 20th century to win the double of the league title and FA Cup.
- 1 May – West Bromwich Albion win the FA Cup for the fourth time in their history with a 3-2 win over Preston North End in the final at Wembley Stadium.
- 6 May – Roger Bannister becomes the first person to break the four-minute mile, at the Iffley Road Track of the University of Oxford.
- 29 May – Diane Leather becomes the first woman to break the five-minute mile, at the Alexander Sports Ground in Birmingham.
- 6 June
- 12 June – an Irish Republican Army unit carries out a successful arms raid on Gough Barracks in Armagh, signalling the renewal of IRA activity following a long hiatus.
- 30 June – Britain witnesses its first eclipse since 1927 as the eclipse in America casts its shadow over Europe and Asia.
- July – Crichel Down affair, a political scandal over compulsory land purchase leads to resignation of Sir Thomas Dugdale, the government minister responsible.
- 4 July – fourteen years of rationing during and following World War II comes to an end when meat officially comes off ration.
- 15 July – Donald McGill, the artist of saucy seaside postcards, found guilty of breaching the Obscene Publications Act 1857 in Lincoln.
- 19 July – United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority established by the Atomic Energy Act "to produce, use and dispose of atomic energy and carry out research into any matters therewith".
- 4 August – maiden flight of the English Electric Lightning P-1 supersonic fighter plane.
- 5 August – Julian Slade's musical Salad Days opens in London, following a premiere at the Bristol Old Vic; it becomes the longest-running musical in British theatre history until 1960.
- 3 September – the National Trust for Scotland acquires Fair Isle.
- 14 September – Benjamin Britten’s chamber opera The Turn of the Screw receives its world premiere at the Teatro La Fenice, Venice.
- 15 September – the Wolfenden Committee, set up to report on "Homosexual Offences and Prostitution", convenes for the first time
- 18 September
- Marble head of Mithras from London Mithraeum unearthed in Walbrook Square.
- The Last Night of the Proms for the first time features the almost invariable coupling of Sir Henry Wood's 1905 Fantasia on British Sea Songs, Sir Edward Elgar's 1902 setting of "Land of Hope and Glory", Sir Hubert Parry's 1916 setting of William Blake's "Jerusalem", and "Rule, Britannia!".
- 22 September – Terence Rattigan's plays Separate Tables premiere in London.
- 13 October – Chris Chataway breaks the world record for the 5000 metres by five seconds.
- 14 October – the Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie visits the United Kingdom.
- 19 October
- November – postwar government limitations on housebuilding are lifted.
- 2 November – radio comedy series Hancock's Half Hour first aired.
- 13 November
- 27 November – the South Goodwin lightvessel is wrecked on the Goodwin Sands with the loss of six of the seven on board. The tanker World Concord breaks in two in the Irish Sea.
- 29 November – the leading case of Ladd v Marshall is decided in the Court of Appeal of England and Wales, establishing criteria for the Court to admit fresh evidence in a case on which a judgement has already been delivered.
- 30 November – Winston Churchill becomes the first, and as of 2018 the only, British Prime Minister to reach his 80th birthday while still in office.
- 25 December – 1954 Prestwick air disaster: BOAC Boeing 377 Stratocruiser G-ALSA crashes on landing at Prestwick Airport from London in poor visibility at 03:30, killing 28.
- Undated – the first UK Wimpy Bar is opened at the Lyons Corner House in Coventry Street, London.
- Kingsley Amis's novel Lucky Jim.
- Agatha Christie's novel Destination Unknown.
- Ian Fleming's James Bond novel Live and Let Die.
- William Golding's novel Lord of the Flies.
- C. S. Lewis's novel The Horse and His Boy.
- Iris Murdoch's novel Under the Net.
- Alan S C Ross's paper "Linguistic class-indicators in present-day English" in Neuphilologische Mitteilungen.
- Rosemary Sutcliff's historical children's novel The Eagle of the Ninth illustrated by C. Walter Hodges, the first in the series of the same name.
- J. R. R. Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers, the first two volumes of The Lord of the Rings.
- 4 January – Dave Ulliott, professional poker player (died 2015)
- 6 January – Anthony Minghella, film director (died 2008)
- 9 February – Kevin Warwick, scientist
- 16 February – Iain Banks, writer (died 2013)
- 20 February – Anthony Head, actor
- 4 March – Willie Thorne, snooker player
- 8 March – David Wilkie, swimmer
- 13 March – Valerie Amos, Baroness Amos, politician
- 17 March – Lesley-Anne Down, actress
- 24 March – Jude Kelly, arts administrator
- 1 April – Arnold Sidebottom, footballer and cricketer
- 19 April – Trevor Francis, footballer
- 1 May – Archie Norman, politician and businessman
- 8 May – Gary Wilmot, entertainer
- 9 May – Andrew Dillon, businessman
- 10 July – Neil Tennant, musician
- 18 July – Peter Crane, English-American botanist and academic
- 2 August – Sammy McIlroy, Northern Irish footballer and football manager
- 11 August – Joe Jackson, singer
- 25 August – Elvis Costello, singer
- 15 September – Colin Cunningham, swimmer
- 3 November – Adam Ant, singer
- 8 November – Kazuo Ishiguro, Japanese-born author, recipient of Nobel Prize in Literature
- 5 December – Hanif Kureishi, novelist and screenwriter
- 8 December – Louis de Bernières, author
- 25 December – Annie Lennox, singer
- 31 December – Alex Salmond, Scottish National Party leader
- 18 January – Sydney Greenstreet, actor (born 1879)
- 20 January – Fred Root, cricketer (born 1890)
- 8 February – Ronald Niel Stuart, Royal Navy Captain (born 1886)
- 26 March – James Peters, black rugby union international (born 1879)
- 6 May – B. C. Forbes, Scottish-born publisher (born 1880)
- 7 June – Alan Turing, mathematician, logician and cryptographer (born 1912)
- 11 July – Henry Valentine Knaggs, physician and author (born 1859)
- 24 September – Edward Pilgrim, victim of bureaucracy (born 1904)
- 20 December – James Hilton, novelist (born 1900)
- "Comet jet crashes with 35 on board". On This Day. BBC News. 10 January 1954. Archived from the original on 12 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-05.
- "New authority for atomic energy". On This Day. BBC News. 12 February 1954. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-06.
- Palmer, Alan; Veronica (1992). The Chronology of British History. London: Century Ltd. pp. 407–408. ISBN 0-7126-5616-2.
- Aldrich, Robert; Wotherspoon, Garry (2001). Who's Who in Contemporary Gay and Lesbian History: from World War II to the Present Day. London: Routledge. p. 445. ISBN 0-415-22974-X. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
- "The Grove Family". Whirligig. Archived from the original on 10 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-05.
- "Oxford wins 100th Boat Race". On This Day. BBC News. 3 April 1954. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-06.
- World Football Legends homepage Archived 5 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
- West Bromwich Albion homepage Archived 18 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Bannister breaks four-minute mile". On This Day. BBC News. 6 May 1954. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-06.
- "Diane Leather". Sporting Heroes. Retrieved 2012-11-12.
- "50 years ago Roger Bannister became a sporting legend with his four-minute mile: Why is his female equivalent just seen as an also-ran?". The Independent. London.
- "The Lost Decade Timeline, BBC". Archived from the original on 21 August 2006. Retrieved 2008-02-06.
- Penguin Pocket On This Day. Penguin Reference Library. 2006. ISBN 0-14-102715-0.
- "Three continents see eclipse of sun". On This Day. BBC News. 30 June 1954. Retrieved 2012-11-12.
- Brown, R. Douglas (1955). The Battle of Crichel Down. London: Bodley Head.
- Kynaston, David (2009). Family Britain, 1951-57. London: Bloomsbury. ISBN 978-0-7475-8385-1.
- "Housewives celebrate end of rationing". On This Day. BBC News. 4 July 1954. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-06.
- Munn, Andy. "UKAEA – The First Fifty Years". Caithness.Org. Retrieved 2011-02-05.
- Harwood, Elain (2003). England: a Guide to Post-War Listed Buildings (rev. ed.). London: Batsford. ISBN 0-7134-8818-2.
- Berry, George (1970). Discovering Schools. Tring: Shire Publications. ISBN 0-85263-091-3.
- "National Trust buys remote island". On This Day. BBC News. 3 September 1954. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-06.
- Kennedy, Michael (2001). "Benjamin Britten". In Holden, Amanda. The New Penguin Opera Guide. London: Penguin. p. 128. ISBN 0-14-029312-4.
- "Plans to dismantle and move the reconstructed Roman temple of Mithras to temporary storage, ahead of a more faithful reconstruction, will begin on the 21 November 2011 by Museum of London Archaeology". Heritage Daily. 2011-11-18. Retrieved 2012-12-28.
- Cannadine, David (2008). "The 'Last Night of the Proms' in historical perspective". Historical Research. 31: 315–349. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2281.2008.00466.x. Retrieved 2018-08-31.
- "Plays". Terence Rattigan. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2010-07-16.
- "Chataway beats 5,000m world record". On This Day. BBC News. 13 October 1954. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-06.
- "Ethiopian emperor visits UK". On This Day. BBC News. 14 October 1954. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-06.
- "'Metal fatigue' caused Comet crashes". On This Day. BBC News. 19 October 1954. Retrieved 2012-11-12.
- "Goodwin: The Forgotten Tragedy". National Maritime Museum Cornwall. April 2010. Retrieved 2013-01-28.
- "Wimpy Moments". Wimpy. 2010. Archived from the original on 28 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-01.