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|
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 – The Sunday Telegraph newspaper first published.
- 19 February – Police break up a demonstration outside the Belgian embassy in London, protesting about the murder of the ex-Congolese Prime Minister, 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.
- 9 March – "Water towers" speech: The Minister of Health, Enoch Powell, in a speech to a Conservative Party conference, proposes closing down of large, traditional psychiatric hospitals in favour of more community-based care.
- 13 March
- 20 March – Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, becomes the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and it's 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 reaching speeds 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 not won the contest 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 organisation 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, due to concerns about the increasing volume of traffic. The new crossings first appeare on British streets in April 1962.
- 19 June – The British protectorate ends in Kuwait and it becomes an emirate.
- 27 June
July – September
- 3 July – Suicide Act 1961 decriminalises acts of, or attempts at suicide in England and Wales.
- 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 – At 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
- 10 August – The UK applies for membership of 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.
- 19–20 August – Race riots in Middlesbrough.
- 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 – Murder of Jacqueline Thomas: Police in Birmingham launch a murder inquiry after the body of a missing teenager 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".
- September – First Mothercare shop opens, as Mother-and-Child Centre in Kingston upon Thames.
- 4 September – James Pitman's Initial Teaching Alphabet is tested in a number of schools.
- 14 September – Film A Taste of Honey, including themes of interracial relationship, unmarried pregnancy and homosexuality, is released.
- 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 fifteen 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 rehouse families from inner city slums on Merseyside.
- 10 October – A volcanic eruption on the South Atlantic British overseas territory of Tristan da Cunha causes the island's entire population to be evacuated to Surrey, where they will remain until 1963.
- 25 October – The first edition of Private Eye, the satirical magazine, is published in London.
- 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", that is, opposed to the Sunday sale of alcohol.
- 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 – The RAF participates in air drops of food to flood victims in Somalia.
- 4 December – Birth control pills become available on the NHS after their availability is backed by Health Minister Enoch Powell.
- 9 December – Tanganyika gains independence from the United Kingdom.
- 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 James Bond 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
- 2 January – Neil Dudgeon, English actor
- 7 January – Ian Mercer, English actor
- 11 January – Jasper Fforde, fantasy novelist
- 12 January
- 13 January – Suggs, British ska singer (Madness)
- 16 January – Peter Tanfield, concert violinist
- 18 January – Peter Beardsley, English footballer and football coach
- 19 January – Wayne Hemingway, English designer
- 20 January – Janey Godley, Scottish comedian and writer
- 27 January – Gillian Gilbert, new wave keyboard player
- 31 January – Lloyd Cole, English rock singer-songwriter
- 14 February – Alison Saunders, Director of Public Prosecutions (England and Wales)
- 16 February – Andy Taylor, English rock guitarist and musician (Duran Duran)
- 17 February
- 19 February – Justin Fashanu, black British footballer (suicide 1998)
- 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
- 14 March – Marc Koska, English businessman and inventor
- 22 March – Giles Worsley, English architectural historian (died 2006)
- 26 March – William Hague, British statesman
- 27 March – Ellery Hanley, English rugby league footballer and coach
- 29 March – Michael Winterbottom, British filmmaker
- 1 April
- 3 April – Edward Highmore, English actor
- 6 April – Rory Bremner, impressionist, comedian and playwright
- 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
- 28 April – Grenville Davey, English sculptor
May – August
- 2 May
- 4 May – Jay Aston, English pop singer
- 7 May – Sue Black, forensic anthropologist
- 8 May – Janet McTeer, actress
- 12 May – Billy Duffy, English hard rock guitarist (The Cult)
- 14 May – Tim Roth, English actor
- 20 May – Clive Allen, footballer
- 28 May – Roland Gift, rock singer (Fine Young Cannibals)
- 30 May – Harry Enfield, English comedian
- 3 June – Ed Wynne, pyschadelic rock guitarist (Ozric Tentacles)
- 5 June – Rosie Kane, member of Scottish Parliament
- 6 June – George Mountbatten, 4th Marquess of Milford Haven, English polo player and businessman
- 13 June – Bob Crow, trade union leader (died 2014)
- 10 June – Maxi Priest, born Max Elliott, reggae singer
- 14 June – Boy George (O'Dowd), English new wave singer-songwriter
- 15 June – Dave McAuley, Northern Irish boxer
- 17 June – Muslimgauze, ethnic electronica and experimental musician (died 1999)
- 18 June – Alison Moyet, English new wave singer-songwriter
- 22 June – Stephen Batchelor, English field hockey player and coach
- 24 June
- 25 June – Ricky Gervais, English comedian
- 27 June
- 1 July
- 3 July – Suzanne Dando, English Olympic gymnast
- 5 July – Gareth Jones, Welsh television presenter
- 10 July – Carol Anne Davis, Scottish crime writer
- 12 July – Mark McGann, English actor, director, writer and musician
- 17 July – Jeremy Hardy, English comedian and broadcaster (died 2019)
- 26 July – David Heyman, English film producer (Heyday Films)
- 3 August – Nick Harvey, English politician
- 5 August – Janet McTeer, English actress
- 7 August
- 8 August
- 12 August – Lawrence (Hayward), alternative rock musician
- 16 August – Saskia Reeves, English actress
- 18 August – Huw Edwards, Welsh television journalist and news presenter
- 22 August – Roland Orzabal, English new wave singer-songwriter (Tears for Fears)
- 24 August – Jared Harris, English actor
September – December
- 7 September – Kevin Kennedy, British actor
- 13 September – Tom Holt, British author
- 20 September – Caroline Flint, politician
- 22 September – Liam Fox, British Conservative politician and Shadow Defence Secretary
- 25 September – Steve Scott, journalist and presenter
- 26 September – Will Self, English novelist, reviewer and columnist
- 29 September – Julia Gillard, Welsh-born Prime Minister of Australia
- 9 October – Julian Bailey, Formula 1 driver
- 10 October – Martin Kemp, actor and musician
- 11 October – Neil Buchanan, English television presenter
- 13 October – Rachel De Thame, English gardener and television presenter
- 14 October – Jim Burns, British science-fiction illustrator
- 16 October – Paul Vaessen, English footballer (died 2001)
- 20 October – Ian Rush, Welsh footballer and football manager
- 25 October – Pat Sharp, English radio DJ
- November – Sarah Holland, romantic novelist, actress and singer
- 3 November – David Armstrong-Jones, Viscount Linley, chairman of Christie's U.K. auction house
- 4 November
- 9 November
- 16 November – Frank Bruno, British boxer
- 18 November – Steven Moffat, Scottish screenwriter
- 20 November – Dave Watson, English footballer
- 22 November – Stephen Hough, classical pianist
- 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
- 5 December – Laura Flanders, British-born American journalist
- 12 December
- 19 December – Matthew Waterhouse, British actor
- 23 December – Carol Smillie, Scottish television presenter
- 29 December – Jim Reid, Scottish alternative rock singer-songwriter
- 31 December
- Shaun Greenhalgh, English art forger
- Sexton Ming, British artist, poet and musician
- Winsome Pinnock, black British playwright
- Gerard Woodward, British novelist and poet
- 26 January – Stan Nichols, English cricketer (born 1900)
- 30 January – John Duncan Fergusson, Scottish Colourist painter (born 1874)
- 4 February – Sir Philip Game, British Army officer, colonial governor and police officer (born 1876)
- 6 February – Lawrence Dundas, 2nd Marquess of Zetland, English politician (born 1876)
- 6 March – George Formby, Lancashire comic singer and performer (born 1904)
- 8 March – Sir Thomas Beecham, English orchestral conductor (born 1879)
- 12 March
- 18 March – E. Arnot Robertson, English novelist (born 1903)
- 7 April – Vanessa Bell, English artist and interior designer, member of the Bloomsbury Group (born 1879)
- 9 April – Oliver Onions (George Oliver), English novelist and ghost story writer (born 1873)
- 10 April – Sir John Hope Simpson, English public servant and politician (born 1868)
- 13 April – Dickie Dale, English motorcycle road racer, died as result of racing accident in Germany (born 1927)
- 22 April – Joanna Cannan, English pony book writer and detective novelist (born 1896)
- 4 June – William Astbury, English physicist and molecular biologist (born 1898)
- 28 June – Huw Menai, Welsh poet (born 1886)
- 3 September – Richard Mason, English explorer, killed in Brazil (born 1934)
- 27 September – Bentley Purchase, London coroner (born 1890)
- 1 October – Sir William Reid Dick, Scottish sculptor (born 1879)
- 13 October
- 14 October – Harriet Shaw Weaver, English political activist (born 1876)
- 3 November – Thomas Flynn, English Roman Catholic bishop of Lancaster (born 1880)
- 25 November – Adelina de Lara, English classical pianist and composer (born 1872)
- 2 December – Herbert Pitman, English merchant seaman, third officer on RMS Titanic (born 1877)
- 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. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "1960s". NHS Timeline. Nuffield Trust. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
- "Five Britons accused of spying for Moscow". BBC News. 13 March 1961. Archived from the original on 5 March 2008. Retrieved 10 February 2008. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "Key Dates". Royal Shakespeare Company. 2010. Archived from the original on 16 June 2010. Retrieved 30 June 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "1961". Those were the days. Express & Star. Retrieved 30 March 2012. Italic or bold markup not allowed in:
- "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. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- 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. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "Tottenham Hotspur results 1960/1961". Tottenham Hotspur Mad. Archived from the original on 1 October 2011. Retrieved 2 March 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- 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.
- Panayi, Panikos (May 1991). "Middlesbrough 1961: A British race riot of the 1960s?". Social History: 151.
- "Couple found shot in A6 lay-by". BBC News. 23 August 1961. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 10 February 2008. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- 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. Archived from the original on 19 March 2012. Retrieved 1 February 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "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. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "Birth control pill available to all". BBC News. 4 December 1961. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 10 February 2008. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "Tanzania". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency.. 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.