1985 in the United Kingdom

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United Kingdom 1985 in the United Kingdom United Kingdom
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Events from the year 1985 in the United Kingdom.






  • 3 March – The UK Miners' Strike, involving at its peak 142,000 mineworkers; ends after one year.[10]
  • 7 March – Two IRA members are jailed for 35 years at the Old Bailey for plotting the bombing campaign across London during 1981.
  • 11 March – Mohammed Al Fayed buys the London-based department store company Harrods.
  • 13 March – Rioting breaks out at the FA Cup quarter-final between Luton Town and Millwall at Kenilworth Road, Luton; hundreds of hooligans tear seats from the stands and throw them onto the pitch before a pitch invasion takes place, resulting in 81 people (31 of them police officers) being injured. The carnage continues in the streets near the stadium, resulting in major damage to vehicles and property. Luton Town win the game 1–0.
  • 19 March
    • After beginning the year with a lead of up to eight points in the opinion poll, the Conservatives suffer a major blow as the latest MORI poll puts them four points behind Labour, who have a 40% share of the vote.[11]
    • Ford launches the third generation of its Granada. It is sold only as a hatchback, in contrast to its predecessor which was sold as a saloon or estate, and in continental Europe it will be known as the Scorpio.[12]





  • 4 July
    • 13-year-old Ruth Lawrence achieves a first in Mathematics at the University of Oxford, becoming the youngest British person ever to earn a first-class degree and the youngest known graduate of the university.[23]
    • Unemployment for June falls to 3,178,582 from May's total of 3,240,947, the best fall in unemployment of the decade so far.
  • 13 July – Live Aid pop concerts in London and Philadelphia raise over £50,000,000 for famine relief in Ethiopia.[24]
  • 24 July – Country code top-level domain .uk registered.
  • 29 July – Despite unemployment having fallen since October last year, it has increased in 73 Conservative constituencies, according to government figures.


  • 7 August – White House Farm murders at Tolleshunt Darcy, Essex; 28-year-old Sheila Caffell is reported to have shot dead her six-year-old twin sons, and also her adoptive parents Nevill and June Bamber, before turning the gun on herself. Her 24-year-old brother Jeremy, who was also adopted, alerted the police to the house after telling them that he had received a phonecall from Nevill Bamber to tell him that his sister had "gone berserk" with a rifle.
  • 13 August
  • 22 August – 55 people are killed in the Manchester air disaster at Manchester International Airport when a British Airtours Boeing 737 burst into flames after the pilot aborts the take-off.
  • 24 August – Five-year-old John Shorthouse is shot dead by police at his family's house in Birmingham, where they were arresting his father on suspicion of an armed robbery committed in South Wales.[26]


  • September – SEAT, the Spanish carmaker originally a subsidy of Fiat but now under controlling interest from Volkswagen, begins importing cars to the United Kingdom. Its range consisted of the Marbella (a rebadged version of the Fiat Panda), the Ibiza hatchback and Malaga saloon.[27]
  • 1 September – A joint French-American expedition locates the wreck of the RMS Titanic.
  • 4 September – The first photographs and films of the RMS Titanic's wreckage are taken, 73 years after it sank.[28]
  • 6 September – The Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre opens in Glasgow.
  • 8 September – Jeremy Bamber is arrested on suspicion of murdering his adoptive parents, sister and two nephews at their Essex farmhouse last month, after police had originally believed that his sister had killed herself after shooting her parents and sons.
  • 9 September – Rioting, mostly motivated by racial tension, breaks out in the Handsworth area of Birmingham.[29]
  • 10 September
    • The riots in Handsworth escalated, with mass arson and looting resulting in thousands of pounds worth of damage, leaving several people injured, and resulted in the deaths of two people who died when the local post office was petrol-bombed. One of the fatalities was the owner of the post office.
    • Scotland national football team manager Jock Stein, 62, collapses and dies from a heart attack at the end of his team's 1–1 draw with Wales at Ninian Park, Cardiff, which secured Scotland's place in the World Cup qualification play-off.[30]
  • 11 September
    • The rioting in Handsworth ended, with the final casualty toll standing at 35 injuries and two deaths. A further two people are unaccounted for.
    • The England national football team secures qualification for next summer's World Cup in Mexico with a 1–1 draw against Romania at Wembley. Tottenham midfielder Glenn Hoddle scored England's only goal.
    • Enoch Powell, the controversial former-Conservative MP who was dismissed from the Shadow Cabinet seventeen years earlier for his Rivers of Blood speech on immigration, states that the riots in Handsworth were a vindication of the warnings he voiced in 1968.[31]
  • 17 September – Margaret Thatcher's hopes of winning a third term in office at the next general election are thrown into doubt by the results of an opinion poll, which shows the Conservatives in third place on 30%, Labour in second place on 33% and the SDP–Liberal Alliance in the lead on 35%.[32]
  • 28 September
    • A riot in Brixton erupts after an accidental shooting of a woman by police. One person dies in the riot, fifty are injured and more than 200 are arrested.[33]
    • Manchester United's excellent start to the Football League First Division season sees them win their tenth league game in succession, leaving them well-placed to win their first league title since 1967.
  • 29 September – Jeremy Bamber is re-arrested upon his return to England after two weeks on holiday in France and charged with five counts of murder.


  • 1 October
  • 5 October – Mrs. Cythnia Jarrett, a 49-year-old black woman, dies after falling over during a police search of her home on the Broadwater Farm estate in Tottenham, London.[36]
  • 6 October – PC Keith Blakelock is fatally stabbed during the Broadwater Farm Riot in Tottenham, London, which began after the death of Cynthia Jarrett yesterday. Two of his colleagues are treated in hospital for gunshot wounds, as are three journalists.[37]
  • 15 October – The SDP-Liberal Alliance's brief lead in the opinion polls is over, with the Conservatives now back in the lead by a single point over Labour in the latest MORI poll.[11]
  • 17 October – The House of Lords decides the legal case of Gillick v West Norfolk and Wisbech Area Health Authority,[38] which sets the significant precedent of Gillick competence, i.e. that a child of sixteen or under may be competent to consent to contraception or – by extension – other medical treatment without requiring parental permission or knowledge.
  • 24 October – Members of Parliament react to the recent wave of rioting, by saying that unemployment is an unacceptable excuse for the riots.
  • 28 October – Production of the Peugeot 309 begins at the Ryton car factory near Coventry. The 309, a small family hatchback, is the first "foreign" car to be built in the UK. It was originally going to be badged as the Talbot Arizona, but Peugeot has decided that the Talbot badge will be discontinued on passenger cars after next year and that the Ryton plant will then be used for the production of its own products, including a larger four-door saloon (similar in size to the Ford Sierra) which is due in two years.
  • 30 October – Unemployment is reported to have risen in nearly 70% of the Conservative held seats since October 1984.
  • 31 October – The two miners who killed taxi driver David Wilkie in South Wales eleven months earlier, have their life sentences for murder reduced to eight years for manslaughter on appeal.


  • 1 November
  • 5 November – Mark Kaylor defeats Errol Christie to become the middleweight boxing champion, after the two brawl in front of the cameras at the weigh-in.
  • 9 November – The Prince and Princess of Wales arrive in the United States for a visit to Ronald Reagan in Washington, D.C.[40]
  • 15 November – Anglo-Irish Agreement signed at Hillsborough Castle. Treasury Minister Ian Gow resigns in protest at the deal.[41]
  • 17 November – The Confederation of British Industry calls for the government to invest £1,000,000,000 in unemployment relief – a move which would cut unemployment by 350,000 and potentially bring it below 3,000,000 for the first time since late-1981.
  • 18 November – A coach crash on the M6 motorway near Birmingham kills two people and injures 51 others.[42]
  • 19 November – The latest MORI poll shows that Conservative and Labour support is almost equal at around 36%, with the SDP–Liberal Alliance's hopes of electoral breakthrough left looking bleak as they have polled only 25% of the vote.[43]
  • 22 November – Margaret Thatcher is urged by her MPs to call a general election for June 1987, despite the deadline not being until June 1988 and recent opinion polls frequently showing Labour and the Alliance equal with the Conservatives, although the Conservative majority has remained well into triple figures.
  • 25 November – Department store chains British Home Stores and Habitat announce a £1,500,000,000 amalgamation.
  • 27 November – Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock suspends the Liverpool District Labour Party amid allegations that the Trotskist Militant group was attempting to control it.[44]
  • 29 November


  • December – Builders Alfred McAlpine complete construction of Nissan's new car factory at Sunderland. Nissan can now install machinery and factory components and car production is expected to begin by the summer of next year.
  • 4 December – Scotland's World Cup qualification is secured by a goalless draw with Australia in the play-off second leg in Sydney.[46]
  • 5 December – It is announced that unemployment fell in November, for the third month running. It now stands at 3,165,000.[47]
  • 25 December – Charitable organisation Comic Relief is launched.
  • 26 December – Rock star Phil Lynott, formerly a member of the band Thin Lizzy, is rushed to hospital after collapsing from a suspected heroin overdose at his home in Berkshire.


  • Inflation stands at 6.1% – the highest since 1982, but still low compared to the highs reached in the 1970s.[48]
  • Peak year for British oil production: 127,000,000 tonnes.[34]
  • The first retailers move into the Merry Hill Shopping Centre near Dudley, West Midlands. A new shopping centre is scheduled to open alongside the developing retail park in April 1986 and it is anticipated to grow into Europe's largest indoor shopping centre with further developments set to be completed by 1990, as well as including a host of leisure facilities.[49]




See also[edit]


  1. ^ Young, Robin (31 January 1985). "Roux brothers win another star". The Times (62050). London. p. 3.
  2. ^ "The Waterside Inn". Archived from the original on 27 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-21.
  3. ^ "Mobiles rack up 20 years of use". BBC News. 1 January 2005. Retrieved 2008-01-29.
  4. ^ "UK's first mobile phone user remembers his call 30 years on". BBC News. 1 January 2015. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d Penguin Pocket On This Day. Penguin Reference Library. 2006. ISBN 0-14-102715-0.
  6. ^ "Safety concerns over electronic trike". BBC News. 10 January 1985. Archived from the original on 13 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-29.
  7. ^ "Gas blast kills eight in Putney". BBC News. 10 January 1985. Archived from the original on 15 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-29.
  8. ^ "Thatcher snubbed by Oxford dons". BBC News. 29 January 1985. Archived from the original on 1 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-29.
  9. ^ "Falklands' row civil servant resigns". BBC News. 16 February 1985. Archived from the original on 19 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-29.
  10. ^ "Miners call off year-long strike". BBC News. 3 March 1985. Archived from the original on 3 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-29.
  11. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 21 February 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-04.
  12. ^ "The Glasgow Herald – Google News Archive Search". News.google.com. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  13. ^ "NISSAN UNION DEAL:". 19 July 2011. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  14. ^ "Worldwide Disasters – Hillsborough Football Disaster". Contrast.org. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  15. ^ Bishop, Tom (27 August 2004). "Is music safe on compact disc?". BBC News. Retrieved 10 May 2011.
  16. ^ "1985: English teams banned after Heysel". News.bbc.co.uk. 31 May 1985. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  17. ^ "Hippies clash with police at Stonehenge". BBC News. 1 June 1985. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-29.
  18. ^ ""Convoy Polloi" SchNEWS". Archived from the original on 15 October 2009. Retrieved 20 November 2009.
  19. ^ "1985: Uefa bans English clubs from Europe". News.bbc.co.uk. 2 June 1985. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  20. ^ "Those were the days". Expressandstar.com. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 November 2008. Retrieved 1 October 2010.
  22. ^ "Police hunt IRA resort bombs". BBC News. 25 June 1985. Archived from the original on 6 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-29.
  23. ^ "Teenage genius gets a first". BBC News. 4 July 1985. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-29.
  24. ^ "Live Aid makes millions for Africa". BBC News. 13 July 1985. Archived from the original on 21 December 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-29.
  25. ^ "Heart-lung transplant makes history". BBC News. 13 August 1985. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-29.
  26. ^ "www.4wardever.org – このドメインはお名前.comで取得されています。". 4wardever.org. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  27. ^ "25 years of Seat in the UK – Car News, Reviews & Buyers Guides". Perrys.co.uk. 1 September 2010. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  28. ^ "1985: Titanic wreck captured on film". News.bbc.co.uk. 4 September 1985. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  29. ^ "BBC – Birmingham – Your Community : Handsworth Riots – Twenty years on". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  30. ^ "Remembering Jock Stein". News.bbc.co.uk. 6 September 2005. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  31. ^ [1][dead link]
  32. ^ "Poll tracker: Interactive guide to the opinion polls". News.bbc.co.uk. 29 September 2009. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  33. ^ "Riots in Brixton after police shooting". BBC News. 28 September 1985. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-29.
  34. ^ a b Marr, Andrew (2007). A History of Modern Britain. London: Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-4050-0538-8.
  35. ^ "Riots erupt in Toxteth and Peckham". BBC News. 1 October 1985. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-29.
  36. ^ Parry, Gareth; Ezard, John; Rawnsley, Andrew (7 October 1985). "Policeman killed in riot". Theguardian.com. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  37. ^ "Policeman killed in Tottenham riots". BBC News. 6 October 1985. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-29.
  38. ^ "1985 3 All ER 402 (HL)". Bailii.org. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  39. ^ "HMS Ark Royal celebrates Silver Jubilee". Ministry of Defence. 2010-07-06. Retrieved 2014-11-09.
  40. ^ "America welcomes Charles and Diana". On This Day. BBC. 1985-11-09. Retrieved 2014-11-09.
  41. ^ "Anglo-Irish agreement signed". BBC News. 15 November 1985. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-29.
  42. ^ "1985". Wolverhampton: Express & Star. Retrieved 2014-11-09.
  43. ^ "Poll tracker". BBC. 2010. Retrieved 2014-11-09.
  44. ^ "Kinnock moves against Militant". On This Day. 1985-11-27. Retrieved 2014-11-09.
  45. ^ "'Gas blast' kills five in Glasgow". BBC News. 29 November 1985. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-29.
  46. ^ "19851204 Wed 04 Dec 1985 Australia 0 Scotland 0". Londonhearts.com. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  47. ^ [2][dead link]
  48. ^ [3]
  49. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 October 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2011.

External links[edit]