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|
Events from the year 1961 in the United Kingdom.
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 – Sunday Telegraph first published.
- 19 February – police break up a demonstration outside the Belgian embassy in London protesting about the murder of the ex-Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 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.
- 13 March
- 20 March – Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, becomes the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and its 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 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 failed to win it 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 organization 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. The new crossings appeared on Britain's roads in April 1962.
- 19 June – the British protectorate ends in Kuwait and it becomes an emirate.
- 27 June
July – September
- July – Government calls for a voluntary 'pay pause' in wage increases (continuing to April 1962).
- 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 – in 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 – the Lancashire-set film Whistle Down the Wind, starring Hayley Mills and Alan Bates, opens.
- 10 August – Britain applies for membership in 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.
- 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 – police in Birmingham launch a murder inquiry after the body of missing teenager Jacqueline Thomas 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, 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, 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 15 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 re-house 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 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 – Royal Air Force participates in air drops of food to flood victims in Somalia.
- 4 December – birth control pills become available on the National Health Service after their availability is backed by Health Minister Enoch Powell.
- 9 December – Tanganyika gains independence from the UK.
- 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 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 – Mark Wingett, British actor
- 12 January – Simon Russell Beale, British actor
- 13 January – Suggs, British singer (Madness)
- 18 January – Peter Beardsley, English footballer and football coach
- 19 January – Wayne Hemingway, English designer
- 31 January – Lloyd Cole, British singer and songwriter
- 14 February – Alison Saunders, Director of Public Prosecutions (England and Wales)
- 16 February – Andy Taylor, British 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
- 26 March – William Hague, British statesman
- 27 March – Ellery Hanley, English rugby league footballer and coach
- 29 March – Michael Winterbottom, British filmmaker
- 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
May – August
- 2 May – Phil Vickery, British celebrity chef
- 4 May – Jay Aston, English singer
- 8 May – Janet McTeer, actress
- 12 May – Billy (William H) Duffy, English guitarist (The Cult)
- 14 May – Tim Roth, English actor
- 30 May – Harry Enfield, English comedian
- 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
- 14 June – Boy George, English musician
- 15 June – Dave McAuley, Northern Irish boxer
- 22 June – Stephen Batchelor, English field hockey player and coach
- 25 June – Ricky Gervais, English comedian
- 27 June – Meera Syal, British comedian and writer
- 1 July – Diana, Princess of Wales (died 1997)
- 5 July – Gareth Jones, Welsh TV presenter
- 17 July – Jeremy Hardy, English comedian and broadcaster
- August – Saskia Reeves, English actress
- 3 August – Nicholas Harvey, English politician
- 7 August
- 22 August – Roland Orzabal, English musician (Tears for Fears)
September – December
- 7 September – Kevin Kennedy, British actor
- 13 September – Tom Holt, British author
- 22 September – Liam Fox, British Conservative politician and Shadow Defence Secretary
- 26 September – Will Self, English novelist, reviewer and columnist
- 29 September – Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of Australia
- 9 October – Julian Bailey, Formula 1 driver
- 10 October – Martin Kemp, actor and musician
- 11 October – Neil Buchanan, English TV presenter
- 20 October – Ian Rush, Welsh footballer and football manager
- 25 October – Pat Sharp, English radio DJ
- 3 November – David Armstrong-Jones, Viscount Linley, chairman of Christie's U.K. auction house
- 4 November – Nigel Worthington, Northern Irish footballer and football manager
- 9 November – Jill Dando, television newsreader (died 1999)
- 16 November – Frank Bruno, British boxer
- 20 November – Dave Watson, English footballer
- 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
- 12 December
- 19 December – Matthew Waterhouse, British actor
- 23 December – Carol Smillie, Scottish TV presenter
- 29 December – Jim Reid, Scottish musician
- 31 December – Sharon Gibson, English javelin thrower
- 26 January – Stan Nichols, English cricketer (born 1900)
- 6 March – George Formby, Lancashire singer, comedian and actor (born 1904)
- 8 March – Thomas Beecham, English conductor (born 1879)
- 7 April – Vanessa Bell, English artist and interior designer (born 1879)
- 28 June – Huw Menai, Welsh poet (born 1886)
- 1 October – Sir William Reid Dick, Scottish sculptor (born 1879)
- 13 October
- 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.
- "Five Britons accused of spying for Moscow". BBC News. 13 March 1961. Archived from the original on 5 March 2008. Retrieved 10 February 2008.
- "Key Dates". Royal Shakespeare Company. 2010. Archived from the original on 16 June 2010. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
- "1961". Those were the days. Express & Star. Retrieved 30 March 2012.
- "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.
- 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.
- "Tottenham Hotspur results 1960/1961". Tottenham Hotspur Mad. Retrieved 2 March 2011.
- 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.
- "Couple found shot in A6 lay-by". BBC News. 23 August 1961. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 10 February 2008.
- 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.
- "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.
- "Birth control pill available to all". BBC News. 4 December 1961. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 10 February 2008.
- "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.