Chronography of Great Britain from 1January 1900
Page last modified� 24 January 2023
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See also Royal Family from 1760
�As for Britain, it is set in the Sea of Darkness. It is a considerable island, whose shape is that of the head of an ostrich, and where there are flourishing towns, high mountains, great rivers and plains. This country is most fertile; its inhabitants are brave, active and enterprising, but all is in the grip of perpetual winter." Muhammad Al Idrisi, 12th century Arab
To order scans of Ordnance Survey 1940-60 maps annotated with historical changes and dates, e.g. new roads, railway and canal opening/closure dates, urban growth, coastal erosion, click here to access map index and order sheets and go to �Images of UK Historical changes maps
Joseph Rowntree Foundation, https://www.jrf.org.uk/
Happisburgh village website, coastal erosion, history and more, http://happisburgh.org.uk/
23.0. UK 2016 Brexit Vote
17.8, James Bulger murder 1993
17.4, The Poll Tax 1987-91
17.0� Miner�s Strike, 1984-85
15.0 Falklands War 1982
14.0 Urban Riots 1980-81
-3.0, UK rationing 1940-44
-10.0, Jarrow March 1936
23 November 2022, The UK Supreme Court ruled that Nicola Sturgeon, leader of Scotland�s SNP Party, did not have the authority to call another independence referendum without the consent of Westminster.
24/10/2022, Rishi Sunak became Tory Prime Minister, uncontested after Boris Johnson pulled out and Penny Mordaunt failed to reached the 100 MP backers threshold as set by the Tory Party to ensure a swift succession.
20/10/2022, UK Tory Prime Minister Liz Truss resigned after just 44 days in office, saying her manifesto was now �undeliverable�, as global economic and political uncertainty continued, with deep splits in her own Party.
17/9/2022, Ethnic tension between Hindus and Muslims in Leicester, UK, began to mount after an India vs Pakistan cricket match which India won. Underlying causes included a rise in Indian nationalism.
8/9/2022, Queen Elizabeth II died at Balmoral. Charles became King.
6/9/2022, Liz Truss became the new UK Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister, having defeated Rishi Sunak in a poll of Tory Party members.
7 July 2022, UK PM Boris Johnson announced his resignation, after a large number of resignations from his Cabinet. He faced further sleaze allegations over his Chief Whip, Christopher Pincher, as well as economic issues. Boris said he would remain in post until October, when a new leader would be elected.
23 June 2022, In the UK the Conservatives were badly beaten in two by elections. They lost Wakefield, a �red wall� seat, back to Labour, and Honiton, Devon, went to the Liberal Democrats, having been a safe Tory seat.
6 June 2022, UK PM Boris Johnson won, but unimpressively, a No Confidence vote by 211 votes to 148; 41% of his MPs voted against him. He faced issues of Partygate, and the UK economy was also facing issues such as high inflation, soaring energy food and fuel process, and supply chain issues.
16 December 2021, The Conservatives were heavily defeated in the North Shropshire by-election by the Liberals, in what had been a safe Tory seat since 1832. The election had been triggered by the dismissal of its incumbent Tory MP for financial impropriety, but the election was also a protest vote against the Prime Minister Boris Johnson himself.
24 November 2021, As informal migrant crossings across the English Channel from northern France to Kent� increased markedly over 2020, this day an underinflated dinghy capsized, drowning 27.
11 November 2021, The number of migrants crossing the English Channel informally today was 1,185, a new daily record.
24/9/2021, The UK began to experience petrol shortages due to a lack of HGV drivers to deliver the fuel to petrol stations.
6 May 2021, Elections were held across the UK. In the Hartlepool by-election, the Conservatives won the historically-Labour seat. Scotland elected its Parliament and Wales elected a new Senedd. London elected a new Assembly, and there were English local council elections., also 12 new Mayors were elected. The Tories did well in English local council elections, and made a good showing in mayoral city elections, although they failed to unseat Siddiq Khan in London. Conservatives and Labour made inroads in Wales at the expense of the Nationalists, In Scotland the SNP made small gains against Labour, but fell just short of an absolute majority there..
31 December 2020, The UK formally left the European Union, at 11.00pm UK time.
13 November 2020, Peter Sutcliffe, lorry driver convicted of 13 murders, the Yorkshire Ripper, died in prison. He had been convicted in 1981, and his sentence converted to whole life in 2010.
6/4/2020, The UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, was admitted to intensive care with Covid-19.
4/4/2020, Kier Starmer was elected leader of the British Labour Party, succeeding Jeremy Corbyn (who had lost hugely to the Tories in December 2019, and was accused of anti-Semitic sympathies).
31January 2020, The UK began to leave the European Union. A period of transition, scheduled to end 31 December 2020, began during which trade relations would be sorted out. Many people suspected this was too little time to complete these negotiations.
20 December 2019, Boris Johnson, British PM, won a huge majority of 358 to 234 against for his Bill to complete Brexit on 31January 2020; larger than his overall Commons majority of 78. From end January, a transition period is due to begin, for 11 months until 31 December 2020; however many believed this was too short and might have to be extended.
12 December 2020, General Election in the UK. Boris Johnson, incumbent Conservative Prime Minister, won a major victory, gaining 365 seats, a majority of 78. Boris Johnson now promised to deliver Brexit by 31 January 2020, with the transition period extending no longer than 31 December 2020. There was speculation of a possible trade deal with the USA. Meanwhile Labour did badly, losing many previously safe seats in the Midlands and North of England, which was attributed to disaffection amongst blue collar workers in old-industrial areas; Labour secured 203 seats. However Labour�s vote held up better in London. The Liberal Democrats did badly, holding just 11 seats, losing seats despite a rise in their % vote share; their leader, Joe Swinson, lost her seat to the SNP in Scotland. The SNP did well as the Nationalist vote rose, taking 48 seats. In Northern Ireland the DUP took 8 seats as Sinn Fein gained ground.
24/9/2019, Britain�s Supreme Court ruled that PM Boris Johnson had acted unlawfully when he prorogued (suspended) Parliament, ostensibly because of upcoming Party Conferences, but in reality to avert further debate on Brexit. Parliament returned to sitting the next day.
3/9/2019, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson lost significant Parliamentary votes. MPs voted to force him to ask Brussels for an extension on the Brexit process from 31/10/2019, and not to hold a General election before this date. 21 Tory MPs rebelled and were expelled from the Conservative Party by Mr Johnson, who now led a Government with a minority of 47. Mr Johnson said if he were compelled by law to ask for an extension (something he earlier said he would never do), he would also threaten to be so disruptive to the EU that in fact they would not grant one. Calling an early General Election in October would, under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, have required two thirds of MPs to vote for, which Boris Johnson did not get; it would also have ensured that Parliament was not operating in full at the end of October so even if Labour won they could not have voted to extend the Brexit deadline or avert No Deal. However it was possible that the EU, despairing of the never-ending Brexit process, would decline to offer an extension anyway, with President Macron of France taking this position.
28 August 2019, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson took the highly controversial move of announcing that the UK Parliament would be prorogued from 10 September for a crucial 5-week period until 14 October just before the planned Brexit of 31/10/2019. Opponents of Brexit claimed that this was a move to suppress any debate in parliament of the Brexit process, and prevent the passing of a Bill to block a Brexit without a deal being made with the European Union.
23 July 2019, Boris Johnson was elected new leader of the UK Conservative Party and Prime Minister, with 66.3% of votes cast. He stood against Jeremy Hunt.
24 May 2019, Mrs Theresa May, UK Prime Minister, announced her resignation, having failed to secure a Brexit deal that could get through the UK Parliament.
21/3/2019, After lengthy talks between Mrs May, UK Prime Minister, and the EU, the EU set new dates for Brexit. If Mrs May managed to get her deal with the EU accepted at a third vote in Parliament, Brexit would take place on 22 May 2019. This would give the UK Parliament time to pass the necessary legislation. However it was possible that the Speaker, Mr Bercow, would debar a 3rd vote unless the proposal was �significantly different from the proposal that was heavily defeated two times already; possibly the new schedule would constitute a �difference�. If, however, Mrs May could not get her Deal passed, the UK was to have until 12 April to �say what it wanted� � which could be anything from No Deal to postponing or even cancelling Brexit, revoking Article 50.
16January 2019, The Motion of No Confidence in the UK Government was defeated by 325 votes to 306.
15January 2019, The UK House of Commons voted decisively to reject Conservative PM Theresa May�s EU Withdrawal Deal, by 423 votes to 202. The Deal was disliked by those MPs who wanted a harder Brexit and feared that it tied the UK in too closely to Europe; it was also rejected by those who wanted to delay or eve cancel Brexit. Immediately after this vote the Labour Opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn, put down a Motion of No Confidence in the Government.
12 December 2018, Following Theresa May�s failed last minute attempt at renegotiation with the European Union on 11 December 2018, a leadership challenge emerged today, with over 48 Conservative MPs voting for a leadership election within the Party. She won the vote by 200 votes to 117, meaning no further leadership challenge was possible for at least 12 months.
11 December 2018, UK Prime Minister Theresa May postponed a Parliamentary vote on her Brexit Deal, which many had derided as giving up too much to Europe, and quickly met European leaders to try and renegotiate terms. She failed.
4/3/2018, Soviet double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in the UK city of Salisbury by a nerve gas agent, likely Novichok, which is Russian in origin.
27 August 2017, A mystery gas cloud drifted in over Beachy Head from the sea; 233 people were taken to Eastbourne Hospital with eye irritation and breathing difficulties. The cloud was possibly chlorine from a ship cleaning out its container tanks.
8 June 2017, UK General Election. Theresa May, Conservative Prime Minister, had hoped to make large gains, as two years after the 2015 election which gave the Conservatives a majority of just 6, she was well ahead of Labour in the opinion polls in April 2017. However during the election campaign she proposed financial limits on payment for dementia care which would have meant many older people having to sell their home rather than pass it to their families. By the time the election was held her opinion poll lead had shrunk to just 1% to 7%.� The results were, Conservatives 318, loss 18; Labour 261, gain 31; Liberal Democrats 12, gain 3; SNP 35, loss 19; DUP 10, gain 2; Sinn Feinn 7, gain 3; UKIP 0 (no change) Green 1 (no change), Others 12.� Prime Minister Theresa May was forced into a coalition with the DUP to maintain majority government; this could limit her hand on Brexit, since the DUP does not want a hard border with the Republic of Ireland.
22 May 2017, An Islamist terrorist set off a bomb at a music concert in Manchester. 22 were killed and 59 injured..
18/4/2017, UK Prime Minister Theresa May called a surprise snap General Election for 8 June 2017. With opinion polls showing the Conservatives ahead at 44% against Labour�s 23%, under their unpopular leader Jeremy Corbyn, the Conservatives stood a hood chance of enhancing their current majority of 17 to perhaps over 100. However Corbyn said he would not stand at this election, so Labour might have a more electable leader by then.
16 June 2016, Jo Cox, 41, MP for Batley and Spen, a Yorkshire constituency, was killed, shot and stabbed, by Mr Tommy Mair. Mr Mair supported the far-Right and was against immigration, and perceived Ms Cox as favouring immigration.
21 August 2015, Britain and Iran re-opened their embassies in each other�s capitals. This followed a nuclear agreement between Iran and the USA organised by US President Obama (but not yet ratified by US Congress).
7 May 2015, General election in the UK. David Cameron won a narrow majority for the Conservatives with 331 seats. The Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) swept the board in Scotland, winning 59 of the 59 seats there; Labour lost a large number of MPs there, also losing seats to the Conservatives in England; Labour finished with 232 seats. The Liberal Democrats crashed to just 8 seats, from 56. The UK Independence Party (UKIP) won 12.6% of the vote but obtained just one MP, in Clacton; their leader, Nigel Farage, lost his Thanet South seat to the Conservatives. The UKIP leader Nigel Farage, the Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg and the Labour leader Ed Miliband all resigned. The Conservatives picked up voted from Liberal Democrats and from UKIP supporters afraid of a Labour-SNP coalition; UKIP came second in over 100 constituencies. Voters may also have feared a Leftist government creating an economic crisis similar to that recently suffered by Greece.
4 December 2014, Former leader of the UK Liberal Party, Jeremy Thorpe, died aged 85. He became Party Leader in 1967, having been MP for North Devon since 1959.
29 November 2014, Across Britain, mystery explosions or sonic booms were heard. There were also reports of an explosion in Manchester, and near Catterick barracks, where a six-mile stretch of the A1 was closed, but no damage was to be found. Theories ranged from falling satellite debris to meteorites to secret MoD experiments.
20 November 2014, In Britain�s Rochester and Strood by-election, UKIP won its second MP.
9/10/2014, UKIP got its first MP elected in the Clacton by-election, taking the seat from the Conservatives, as voters concerns about immigration rose. UKIP also came close to winning another by-election this day in Heywood & Middleton, Manchester; Labour held the seat by just 617 votes.
.26 August 2014, A long history of child abuse in Rotherham emerged, mostly by Pakistani men against White girls. As many as 1,400 children may have been abused between 1997 and 2003, some whilst they were in childrens� homes. Local authorities were accused of covering up the abuse, for fear of provoking racial discord.
5 August 2014, Baroness Warsi resigned from Cameron�s� UK Conservative Government. She had criticised the UK Government�s refusal to condemn Israel over the assault on Gaza.
14/3/2014, Anthony Wedgewood Benn, Labour politician, died aged 88. Against UK membership of the European Union, he was on the left of the Labour Party, and fought to renounce his hereditary peerage so he could sit in the Commons as an MP.
8/4/2013, Mrs Thatcher the former Conservative PM died, aged 87.
23January 2013, In the UK, David Cameron, Conservative Party Leader, promised to hold a Referendum on Britain�s continued membership of the European Union if he won the next General Election.
23/9/2010, The world�s biggest windfarm was inaugurated off the UK coast at Thanet, Kent.
7 May 2010, UK General Election; Conservative leader David Cameron formed a coalition with the Liberals.
3/3/2010, Former British Labour Party leader and writer Michael Foot died, aged 96.
4 December 2009, The UK�s Ministry of Defence closed its special unit for monitoring UFO sightings, which had operated for over 50 years.
25 July 2009, The last British veteran of the Western Front in World War One, Harry Patch, died aged 111. A week earlier the oldest veteran, Henry Allingham, had died aged 113.
1/10/2008, The French power company EdF acquired British Energy plc, which operated 8 of Britain�s 10 nuclear power stations.
27 June 2007, In the UK, Gordon Brown became Labour Prime Minister as Tony Blair resigned from the Commons.
11 May 2007, Gordon Brown announced his bid to be Labour Leader. On 25 June 2007 his succession was agreed unchallenged at a Labour Party Conference in Manchester. In a contest for the post of Depiuty Leader, Harriet Harman won the final round.
10 May 2007, In the UK, former Prime Minister Tony Blair announced his retirement a week after Labour did badly in the elections.
25 August 2006, The Office for National Statistics announced that in June 2005 the population of the UK had reached 60 million.
25 May 2006, The UK Government announced that the pension age would rise, from 65 to 66 in 2024, and to 68 in 2044.
7/2/2006, In Britain, Abu Hamza, radical Muslim cleric, 47, was jailed for 7 years after being found guilty of inciting murder and terrorism.
7January 2006, In the UK, Charles Kennedy, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, resigned after admitting he was being treated for alcoholism. Sir Menzies Campbell, deputy leader, now became acting leader.
11 December 2005, An oil storage depot at Buncefield, near Hemel Hempstead, caught fire, at 6.am on a Sunday morning. Fortunately at this time hardly anyone was around, and there were only 42 injuries and no fatalities. However there was considerable damage; the blast was heard 100 miles away, the depot burned for 3 days, sending a plume of thick black smoke over large areas of southern England.
6 December 2005, David Cameron won the leadership election for the United Kingdom Conservative Party.
4 July 2005, Violent demonstrations in Gleneagles, Scotland, against the G8 Summit Meeting there.
5 May 2005, In the UK General Election, New Labour was re-elected but with a substantially reduced majority.
5/3/2005, The Right Reverend Lord David Sheppard of Liverpool died (born 6/3/1929).
6January 2005, Sir Nicholas Scott, Conservative MP for Paddington (1966-74) and for Chelsea (1974-94), born 5 August 1933, died.
9/10/2004, Queen Elizabeth II opened the new Scottish Parliament Building in Edinburgh.
18 November 2003, US President Bush visited Prime Minister Tony Blair of the UK; there were ongoing protests against the US war on Iraq.
6 November 2003, Michael Howard became the new Conservative Party Chairman.
29/10/2003, Iain Duncan Smith, leader of the UK Tory Party, was defeated in a no-confidence vote. He resigned and Michael Howard was elected leader unopposed.
4/9/2003, The Bullring in Birmingham, Europe�s largest shopping centre, was opened by Sir Albert Bore.
27 July 2003, The results of a comprehensive sonar survey of Loch Ness were announced. No large animal was found.
26 June 2003. Denis Thatcher died, leaving his wife, Margaret, former PM, a widow.
5January 2003, Roy Jenkins, former Labour Chancellor and leader of the SDP (Social Democratic Party) in the UK, died.
5 December 2002. Asylum seekers from Afghanistan and Iraq entered Britain legally from the Sangatte refugee camp in France. Britain had agreed to accept 1,200 asylum seekers as part of a deal with France to close the camp near the Channel Tunnel entrance.
15 November 2002, Myra Hindley, murderer, died (born 1942).
9 August 2002, Peter Neville, British peace activist, died.
3 May 2002. Barbara Castle, Labour politician, died aged 92.
30/10/2001. Farmer Tony Martin, who shot dead a teenage burglar, was cleared of murder.
17/9/2001. John Hume stepped down as leader of the nationalist SDP (Social Democratic Party).
13/9/2001, Iain Duncan Smith leader of the UK Tory Party. He was a little-known Eurosceptic from the Right Wing of his Party. He defeated Kenneth Clarke.
19 July 2001, Lord Archer, Conservative Deputy Chairman and novelist, was sentenced to four years prison for perjury and perverting the course of justice. See 24 July 1987.
7 July 2001, During race riots in Bradford, Yorkshire, the Manningham Labour Club was burnt down.
7 June 2001. In the UK, New Labour won a second term at the elections. Tony Blair won another landslide victory, with Labour taking 413 seats against 166 for the Tories and 52 for the Liberal Democrats. Turnout was down to 59%, the lowest since 1918, down on the 71% in 1997.
16 May 2001, John Prescott, Labour Deputy Prime Minister, tussled with Craig Evans at an election rally in Rhyll, north Wales.
26 March 2001, In Britain, the Post Office changed its name to Consignia PLC, but remained wholly government-owned.
31January 2001, The Scottish Court in The Netherlands convicted one Libya and acquitted another on charges related to the bombing of a Pan Am airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988.
27 August 2000. The notorious criminal, Reggie Kray, who was suffering from bladder cancer, was to be released from prison so that he could spend his last few weeks at home.
23 August 2000. Sir Richard Branson appeared to have won the bid to run the National Lottery after being given a month to satisfy the Lottery Commission�s questions. Both Sir Richard�s and Camelot�s bids were rejected.
11 July 2000, Robert Runcie, Archbishop of Canterbury, died.
18 June 2000, At Diver, 58 Chinese migrants were found suffocated in the back of a lorry, having tried to enter Britain illegally.
30 May 2000, In Birmingham, England, demolition of the old Bullring Centre began.
15 May 2000. The Eden Project was launched in Cornwall, at a cost of �79 million, housing thousands of plants from around the world.
3 May 2000. The trial of the Lockerbie bomb suspects began.
31January 2000, Dr Harold Shipman was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of at least 15 of his patients, of a total of 365 suspected victims.
1January 2000,� In the UK it became illegal for retailers to sell in anything but metric units.
11 November 1999, 752 hereditary peers lost their voting rights in the House of Lords. They had formed a majority of the 1330 House. However 92 of the hereditaries had a stay of execution, until reforms of the House of lords were completed.
11 August 1999, A total eclipse of the Sun was visible in south west England. However the weather was cloudy.
9 August 1999, Charles Kennedy, 39, was elected as new leader of the Liberal Democrats, succeeding Paddy Ashdown.
26 June 1999. There were problems at the UK�s Passport Office, with queues for passports reaching a record 530,000.
16 June 1999, Screaming Lord Sutch (born 1940), committed suicide.
8 June 1999, Jonathan Aitken, former British Government Minister, was jailed for perjury.
16/3/1999, The 240-acre Bluewater Shopping centre opened near Dartford, Kent; it was then Europe�s largest retail and leisure centre. It stood on the site of the former Blue Circle chalk quarry.
14/10/1998, Labour announced its intention to remove the 700 year old voting rights of the hereditary peers in the House of Lords. Of the 1,165 members of the House of Lords, 476 were committed Tories against 175 for Labour, Amongst the hereditary peers, there were 304 for the Tories against 18 regular Labour supporters. In 1999 Labour announced a compromise whereby 91 hereditary peers could remain in a �transition� House of Lords, whilst a Royal Commission decided its eventual form.
13 August 1998, UK authorities warned of a rat invasion, saying there were 750,000 rat-infested homes in Britain.
31/3/1998, The RAF withdrew its nuclear bombs from service, leaving submarine-based Trident missiles as the UK�s only nuclear deterrent.
18 May 1998, In Britain, the New Labour Government announced that the new Minimum Wage would be �3.60 per hour, coming into force in April 1999.
4/3/1998, The Countryside March was held, as 250,000 people marched through central London to protest at issues facing the UK countryside. Points of protest included the ban on hunting with dogs and Government policies on farming.
3 July 1987, Sir Gordon Downey�s report into the �cash for questions� scandal in the found that two former Conservative ministers, Neil Hamilton and Tim Smith, received payment from Mohammed el Fayed in return for asking questions in the House of Commons.
20 May 1997, The British intelligence agency MI5 first advertised to recruit trainee spies, in The Times and The Guardian.
1995, The Departrment for Education became part of the Department for Education and Employment.
25 November 1995, Rosemary West, aged 41, was sentenced to life for killing 10 women and girls, including her daughter and stepdaughter. Lodgers at their house at 25 Cromwell Street Gloucester had also been murdered. Rosemary�s husband Fred West, 53, had hanged himself whilst in custody at Winson Green prison, Birmingham, on 1January 1995.
9/10/1995, Sir Alec Douglas Home, British Conservative Prime Minister 1963-4, died (born 2 July 1903).
6 August 1995, British licensing laws were relaxed to allow pubs to open from 12 noon on Sundays onwards.
24 May 1995, Harold Wilson, British Prime Minister 1964-70 and 1974-76, born 11/3/1916, died.
29/4/1995, Tony Blair got the Labour Party to drop Clause 4, which had called for common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange. In a modernising move, away from Socialism, the change to a commitment to work for a just society, dynamic economy, and healthy environment was backed by 65.23% of votes.
17/3/1995, Ronnie Kray died.
1January 1995, Fred West, accused of mass murder, hanged himself inside Winson Green prison, Birmingham.
19 November 1994. First National Lottery draw in the UK. Seven people shared the UK� 15.8 million jackpot prize. 25 million people bought tickets, over half the adult population, raising UK� 45 million, half of which went on �good causes�.
1 November 1994, Sydney Dernley, Britain�s last surviving executioner, died aged 73.
21 July 1994, Tony Blair was elected leader of the UK Labour Party. At 41 he was the youngest leader ever. John Prescott was elected Deputy Leader.
12 May 1994. In the UK, Labour Party leader John Smith died suddenly of a heart attack, aged 55. On 17 July 1994 Tony Blair was elected leader of the Party.
24/2/1994, Police in Gloucester began excavating the property of Frederick West at 25 Cromwell Street.� He and his wife were arrested on 28/2/1994.
13January 1994, In London, Westminster Council faced criticism for gerrymandering election boundaries 1987-89. The Conservative Government was tarnished by association.
10January 1994, UK Prime Minister John Major started his �Back to Basics� campaign, calling for a return to old-fashioned family values.
15 December 1993. The Downing Street Declaration; the UK committed itself to finding a solution to the problem of Northern Ireland. Prime Ministers John Major of the UK and John Reynolds of Ireland discussed the possibility of a future united Ireland.
12 November 1993, Britain refused to join a worldwide ban on dumping nuclear waste at sea.
24/10/1993, Jo Grimond, UK Liberal Party leader, died.
18/10/1993, As part of UK defence cuts, the privatisation of Devonport and Rosyth naval dockyards was announced.
2 August 1993. The UK ratified the Maastricht Treaty.
5 July 1993, Following the breakup of the Soviet Union, major cuts were announced to Britain�s Royal Navy.
See Russia for breakup of Soviet Union
21 June 1993. In Britain, government Minister Michael Heseltine suffered a heart attack.
9 June 1993, In Britain, Norman Lamont made a bitter attack on John Major in the Commons.
3 June 1993. Holbeck Hall, Scarborough�s only 4-star hotel, began to collapse into the sea, with its extensive gardens. The collapse took several days.
27 May 1993. Norman Lamont resigned as UK Chancellor; Kenneth Clarke replaced him.
5 May 1993, Asil Nadir, Chairman of Polly Peck, jumped bail and fled to Cyprus.
4/3/1993, In Britain, a reform of the Honours System was announced, to give greater reward for merit.
3/3/1993. Tony Bland, in a vegetative state since becoming a victim of the Hillsborough soccer disaster on 15/4/1989, was allowed to die by doctors.
21/2/1993. A poll revealed that nearly 50% of Britons would emigrate if they could, the highest since 1948.
19/2/1993, UK Prime Minister John Major rejected the idea of a posthumous pardon for First World War soldiers executed for cowardice or desertion on the grounds that it would be �rewriting history�.
9 December 1992. The UK Prime Minister announced� to the House of Commons that Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer were to separate.
26 November 1992, In Britain, the Queen announced she would pay income tax on her private income.
20 November 1992, A fire broke out in the private chapel at Windsor Castle. The fire burned for 15 hours, causing major damage.� The cause was a spotlight left in contact with a curtain.
10 November 1992, In the UK, an inquiry into the Matrix-Churchill affair was announced.
24/9/1992. The National Heritage Minister David Mellor resigned after a sex scandal.
23 July 1992. The UK saw riots in Bristol, Carlisle, Blackburn, Burnley, and Huddersfield. 62 youths were arrested.
18 July 1992. John Smith elected leader of the British Labour Party.
15 July 1992. British MPs gave themselves a 40% rise on their expenses.
13 July 1992, Britain�s former executioner, Albert Pierrepoint, died.
13/4/1992, Neil Kinnock resigned as leader of the UK Labour Party, following the Conservative victory of 9/4/1992.
9/4/1992. The Conservatives under John Major won the UK General Election.
3/9/1991. Riots hit the British cities of Cardiff, Oxford, and Birmingham this week. All occurred on estates with high unemployment and deprivation. The Cardiff riot was sparked by a trading dispute between two shops, see 29 August 1991. The Handsworth, Birmingham, riot occurred after a power failure and black-out. The one in Oxford was after police cracked down on �hotting� � the racing of stolen cars, on the Blackbird Leys estate. Later in the month there were more riots in Tyneside, in the West End of Newcastle.
29 August 1991. A trading dispute between two shops in Cardiff led to riots. Mr Abdul Waheed, owner of a grocery shop on the poor Ely estate, won an injunction against Mr Carl Agius, the newsagent next door, preventing him selling bread and groceries. Mr Agius put a notice in his shop telling people of this, and a crowd of mainly white youths petrol-bombed Mr Waheed�s shop. The police claimed the violence was not racially motivated but had been opportunistic, a hundred of the rioters had joined in after the pubs closed.
13 August 1991. Britain�s new Dangerous Dogs Act came into force.
29 July 1991, Margaret Thatcher announced that she was to resign as� MP for Finchley after the next General Election, but still intended to play a role in UK politics.
18 June 1991, Margaret Thatcher, in a speech in Chicago, warned against a European Super-State, saying it would be �nothing less than a disaster�.
24/4/1991, Gerald Ratner, Managing Director of Ratners, Britain�s biggest chain of jewellers, announced his goods are �crap� and that his earrings are likely to last for less time than a Marks and Spencer sandwich. He later said he was joking.
25/3/1991. Michael Heseltine, Department of the Environment, announced the creation of the East Thames Corridor.
2/10/1990. Mrs Thatcher announced Britain�s entry into the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM). The Labour opposition leader Mr Neil Kinnock criticised this move.
22/9/1990. The Natural History Museum solved the Piltdown Man hoax. The anthropologist behind the hoax was Sir Arthur Keith. See 21 November 1953.
1 July 1990, Tom King, UK Defence Secretary, announced an 18% cut in British forces on the Rhine over the next five years, as East-West relations in Europe improved.
1989, The Representation of the People Act enfranchised expatriate voters who had left the Uk within the previuos 20 years, to cast a proxy vote in the UK constituency they last lived in.
26/10/1989. Mrs Thatcher�s Chancellor, Mr Nigel Lawson, resigned. Sir Alan Walters, part-time financial advisor to Mrs Thatcher, had derided the European Monetary System that Mr Lawson wanted the UK to join as �half baked�, in an article in 1988. This caused a public and embarrassing� row between Mrs Thatcher and Mr Lawson. However on 8/10/1990 Mrs Thatcher reluctantly agreed to her Chancellor, John Major, taking the UK into the Exchange Rate Mechanism. However on �Black Wednesday� in 1992 the UK was ignominiously forced out of the ERM, along with the Italian Lira, by currency speculators.
4/10/1989. Millions of fleas were released in the Norfolk Broads to eat algae clogging up the waterways.
21 June 1989, British police arrested 250 people for celebrating the Summer solstice at Stonehenge.
1 May 1989, A riot at Risley Remand Centre began, in protest at conditions there. It ended three days later with the promise of an enquiry.
18/4/1989, An explosion at Cormorant Alpha oil platform led to the shutdown of 25% of North Sea oil production
28/3/1989, The remains of the Piper Alpha oil rig were sent to the bottom of the North Sea.
1988, Britain�s first Jain Temple opened, in Leicester.
1988, The Department for Health and Social Security (DHSS) was divided.
21 December 1988. Terrorists blew up a Pan-Am jumbo jet carrying more than 270 passengers over the Scottish town of Lockerbie. All the passengers and 17 in Lockerbie itself died in the crash, on the evening of the 21st. The flight was from Frankfurt to the USA via Heathrow. The bomb had been hidden in a transistor radio in the hold. After a three year investigation two Libyans, Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi were blamed for the bombing. However the Libyan leader, Colonel Ghadafi, refused to extradite the two men, so the U.N. imposed sanctions on Libya, under pressure from America. Eventually the two men were extradited to Holland to face a year-long trial under Scottish law, under which Megrahi was found guilty and Fhimah was acquitted.
6/9/1988, 11 year old Thomas Gregory from London became the youngest person to swim the Channel.
24 May 1988, Liverpool�s Albert Dock, restored as a business and leisure centre, was opened by the Prince of Wales.
20 May 1988, British licensing laws were liberalised. The Licensing Act received Royal Assent, and 65,000 pubs in England and Wales could now open 11am to 11pm Monday to Saturday.
9/2/1988, In Britain, the House of Commons voted to allow proceedings to be televised.
6/2/1988, A survey in the UK found that out-of-order phone boxes and Post Office queues were the top irritants of modern life.
2/2/1988, In London, 2,000 nurses and other health workers held a one-day strike over pay.
11/10/1987, A sonar survey of Loch Ness failed to find any trace of the monster.
22/9/1987, In the UK, the Home Secretary prohibited the sale of semi-automatic rifles.
19 August 1987. Michael Ryan, 27, shot dead 16 people in Hungerford, Berkshire, and injured another 14, then shot himself dead. He had been depressed by the death of his father. A former paratrooper, he had a large gun collection.
24 July 1987, Author Jeffery Archer won a record �500,000 libel damages against The Star newspaper over allegations that he had paid a prostitute, Monica Coghlan, �70 for sex. See 19 July 2001.
12 June 1987. Mrs Thatcher elected Prime Minister with a majority of 101. She was the first PM to achieve a third term for 160 years. The Conservatives won 375 seats, Labour 229, Alliance 22 and Nationalists 6.
3/4/1987, Myra Hindley confessed to two more murders, in an attempt to prove her rehabilitation.
24January 1987, 162 police and 33 demonstrators were injured in clashes outside Rupert Murdoch�s News International plant in Wapping, east London.
29 December 1986, Harold Macmillan, Lord Stockton, former Conservative Prime Minister 1957-1963, died, aged 92.
26/10/1986, Jeffery Archer resigned as Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party after allegations that he had made a payment to a prostitute to leave the UK, to avoid a scandal.
24 August 1986, Wallis Simpson died.
10 June 1986, Queen Elizabeth II made Bob Geldof a knight, for his fundraising activities.
9January 1986, Michael Heseltine resigned from Mrs Thatcher�s Cabinet, claiming she was stifling debate.
1985, The Representation of the People Act raised the deposit required from electoral candidates from �150 (set in 1918 to deter frivolous candidates) to �500.
1985, The Crown Prosecution Service was established.
1/10/1985, Rioting in Toxteth, Liverpool.
9/9/1985. Race riots erupted in Handsworth, Birmingham.
28January 1985, The case against the civil servant Clive Ponting, charged with leaking information about the sinking of the Belgrano, opened.
23January 1985. A House of Lords debate was televised live for the first time.
17January 1985, British Telecom announced it was to phase out the famous red telephone boxes.
2 December 1984, The Thatcher government was accused of �gross incompetence� in Parliament as shares in the newly privatised British Telecom commanded an opening premium of nearly 90%.
Ban on Trades Unions at GCHQ Cheltenham
22 November 1984, The Law Lords upheld the Government�s ban on Union membership at GCHQ Cheltenham.
16 July 1984, The High Court ruled that the Government�s ban on Trades Unions at GCHQ Cheltenham was legal. The Lords voted to abolish the Greater London Council (GLC) and other Metropolitan Authority elections.
25January 1984, The Government announced that Trades Unions would be illegal at GCHQ Cheltenham.
18 August 1984, Clive Ponting, a civil servant, was charged with an offence under the Official Secrets Act, relating to information allegedly passed on to an MP about the circumstances surrounding the sinking of the General Belgrano during the Falklands War.
10 July 1984, National dock strike in Britain over use of unauthorised labour.
9 July 1984.� A bolt of lightning set fire to the roof of York Minster. The 700 year old building suffered serious damage to the south transept.
2 May 1984, Queen Elizabeth II opened the Liverpool International Garden Festival.
27/4/1984, The UK Government expelled 30 Libyan diplomats.
12/4/1984, The Bill to privatise British Telecom was passed by the UK parliament. A Bill to privatise BT was put before Parliament in 1983, but was opposed by the Trades Unions, and was lost to the General Election of 1983. It was reintroduced soon after the election and guillotined so as to speed it up.
22/3/1984, British civil servant Sarah Tisdall was jailed for 6 months for leaking to The Guardian that Cruise Missiles were on their way to Britain.
13/3/1984, In the UK, Mr Nigel Lawson delivered his first Budget.
10/2/1984, Harold MacMillan was awarded an earldom, on his 90th birthday. He chose the name of Stockton from his first constituency in 1924.
13January 1984, A cooling tower at Fiddlers Ferry power station, Lancashire, collapsed in high winds. Turbulence caused by the closely grouped towers was blamed.
28 November 1983. The Thatcher government announced an end to the monopoly by opticians on the sale of glasses.
16/10/1983. Cecil Parkinson (see 14/10/1983) was succeeded by Norman Tebbit
14/10/1983, British Trade and Industry Secretary Cecil Parkinson resigned after revelations of adultery with his secretary Sarah Keays emerged.
2/10/1983. Neil Kinnock, 41, became leader of the British Labour Party. Roy Hattersley was his deputy.
8/9/1983, The UK Government made it obligatory for NHS hospitals to allow private contractors to tender for catering, cleaning and laundry services.
21 June 1093, In Britain, David Owen became leader of the SDP.
13 June 1983. Roy Jenkins resigned as leader of the SDP, to be replaced by David Owen.
12 June 1983, Michael Foot resigned as leader of the Labour Party.
11 June 1983, British Cabinet reshuffle. Nigel Lawson became Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir Geoffrey Howe became Foreign Secretary, Leon Brittan became Home Secretary, and Cecil Parkinson became Trade and Industry Secretary.
10 June 1983. Mrs Thatcher won her second term as Prime Minister. She gained a majority of 144 seats. The Conservatives won 397 seats, Labour won 209, Nationalists 4, and the Liberal/SDP Alliance won 23 seats. Mr Nigel Lawson became Chancellor of the Exchequer. The vote was split 42% Conservative, and 28% Labour. Michael Foot was Labour leader, with a divided and weakened party. The Falkland victory, as well as declining unemployment, assured her victory.
9 May 1983, Mrs Thatcher called a General Election.
8January 1983, During a 5-day morale-boosting trip by Mrs Thatcher to the Falkland Islands, she spoke to troops aboard the HMS Antrim.
6January 1983, In a reshuffle of the British Cabinet, Michael Heseltine became Defence Secretary.
11/10/1982. King Henry VIII�s flagship Mary Rose was raised at Southsea, Hampshire, having sunk in 1545.� This was the culmination of 17 years research on the wreck, involving almost 25,000 dives.
27/9/1982, On the opening day of the Labour Party Conference in Blackpool, delegates voted to exclude the left-wing group Militant Tendency.� The Labour Party began to move to the Right.
22/9/1982, The TUC staged a �day of action� in support of the NHS workers pay claim.� UK unemployment rose to 3,343,075 in September.
5/9/1982. Douglas Bader, the famous WW2 pilot with two artificial legs, died. He was born on 21/2/1910.
2 July 1982, Roy Jenkins was elected leader of the SDP.
26 May 1982, Kielder Water, a large reservoir in Northumbria, opened.
25/3/1982, In Scotland, Roy Jenkins of the SDP won Glasgow Hillhead in a by-election from the Conservatives.
11/3/1982, Britain announced it was to purchase Trident II submarine based missiles to replace Polaris.
8/3/1982, R A Butler, UK Conservative politician, died aged 79.
14January 1982, Mark Thatcher, son of UK prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, was found alive after getting lost in the Sahara during the Paris-Dakar car rally.
1981, British Telecom informed rural parish councils that telephone boxes taking less than �140 per annum would be taken out.
8 December 1981, Arthur Scargill became leader of the National Union of Mineworkers.� He succeeded Joe Gormley.
26 November 1981, Shirley Williams became the first SDP (Social Democratic Party) MP, beating the Tories and Labour inti 2nd and 3rd place at the Crosby by-election. In 4th place was the Monster Raving Loony Party candidate, Tarquin Fin-tim-bin-whim-lin-bus-stop-F�Tang-F�tang-Ole-Biscuitbarrel.
15/10/1981, Norman Tebbit made his famous remark that his father �got on his bike� to look for work; the unemployed were angry.
16/9/1981, The British Labour Party, at its Llandudno Conference, voted for an electoral alliance with the SDP.
27 July 1981, British Telecom was created.
18/2/1981, Mrs Thatcher promised more money for the miners to avert a strike.
17/2/1981, In south Wales, miners threatened to strike over pit closures.
10/2/1981, The National Coal Board announced plans to close 50 pits employing 30,000 miners. The miners called for a national strike.
3 December 1980, Sir Oswald Moseley died in exile at his home in Paris.
27 November 1980, Four Welsh Nationalist extremists were jailed for arson attacks on holiday homes.
24 November 1980, British Chancellor Sir Geoffrey Howe announced �1.06 billion reduction in public spending and a �3 billion increase in taxation.
10 November 1980 Michael Foot, a 67-year-old left winger was elected leader of the Labour Party. He defated Denis Healey, much to the surprise and delight of the Tories; Healey had a populist appeal
15/10/1980, James Callaghan announced his resignation as Labour leader.
10/10/1980, Mrs Thatcher made he famous �The Lady�s not for turning� speech at the Conservative Party Conference. More liberal or �wet� Tories were concerned at rising unemployment and welfare spending cuts.
1/10/1980, The British Labour Party, at its Blackpool Conference, voted for unilateral nuclear disarmament, withdrawal from the EC, and mandatory reselection of MPs.
12 June 1980, The holiday camp owner Sir Billy Butlin died in Jersey
1/4/1980, In Britain, the steel strike ended.
26/3/1980, The UK government announced the creation of Enterprise Zones.
20January 1980. In Britain, the Labour Party adopted unilateral disarmament, protectionism, and anti-Europeanism as its policies. Roy Jenkins began plans to start a new party.
1January 1980, National steel strike began in the UK.
20 December 1979, In the UK, the Housing Bill was introduced to Parliament. This would, from 3/10/1980, give more than 5 million council house tenants the right to buy their home at a discount.
30 November 1979, In Dublin, Mrs Thatcher demanded a �1,000 million rebate from the EEC.
20 November 1979. Anthony Blunt, Surveyor of the Queen�s Pictures, lost his knighthood after being exposed as a spy.
5/9/1979, Earl of Mountbatten's Ceremonial Funeral held in Westminster Abbey
14 August 1979, John Stonehouse was released from prison.
5 August 1979, The Forestry Commission reported the spread of Dutch Elm Disease, which had already infected 3 million trees.
7 May 1978 �Mrs Thatcher, Conservative Opposition leader, announced that she had no intention of outlawing the closed shop.
1 May 1978, The first May Day bank holiday in Britain.
30/3/1978, Charles and Maurice Saatchi were recruited by Mrs Thatcher to help publicise her policies ahead of the General Election, then expected for autumn 1978.
12 December 1977, Lady Churchill, widow of Sir Winston Churchill, died.
13 July 1977, The UK Government abandoned the Social Contract with the TUC as wages rose.
1/4/1977, Hay on Wye declared �independence�.
23/3/1977, British Prime Minister James Callaghan and Liberal leader David Steel agreed the so-called �Lib-Lab pact, to avoid a defeat in a confidence motion.
19/2/1977, Anthony Crosland, British Foreign Secretary, died in office. On 21/2/1977 he was succeeded by Dr David Owen.
14January 1977. Sir Anthony Eden, Earl of Avon and former UK Conservative Prime Minister 1955 � 1957, died aged 79.
19 November 1976, Sir Basil Spence, designer of the new Coventry Cathedral, died in Eye, Suffolk.
21/10/1976, Michael Foot became deputy leader of the Labour Party.
9/1976, The UK was, humiatingly., forced to ask the IMF for a loan of US$ 3.9 billion.
24 August 1976, In the UK, Denis Howell was appointed Minister for Drought. Rain fell three days ;later.
29 July 1976. Fire damaged the world�s longest pier, at Southend, Essex.
25/4/1976. The Post Office in Britain stopped Sunday collections; these were partly resumed in 1990.
5/4/1976. James Callaghan, born 27/3/1912, succeeded Harold Wilson, who had resigned, as prime minister. Callaghan defeated Michael Foot in the final ballot for leadership of the labour Party by 176 votes to 137.� Callaghan remained Prime Minister until the General Election of 1979.� See 4/4/1974.
24/3/1976, Bernard, Viscount Montgomery, Irish-born British Army Field Marshall in World War II, died aged 88.
16/3/1976. Prime Minister Harold Wilson announced his retirement from UK politics. James Callaghan became new Labour Prime Minister on 5/4/1976.� Callaghan, aged 64, had defeated Michael Foot in the leadership contest by 176 votes to 137.
2/2/1976. The 310 acre National Exhibition Centre was opened by the Queen at Bickenhill, Birmingham.
29January 1976, In Britain, male model Norman Scott alleged in court that he was the homosexual lover of Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe in the 1960s.
24January 1976. Mrs Thatcher was dubbed the Iron Lady in the Soviet newspaper Red Star after a speech about the Communist threat.
18January 1976, British Labour MPs Jim Sillars and John Robertson launched the Scottish Labour Party (SLP) to campaign for greater devolution for Scotland.
11 August 1975, British Leyland was taken under UK Government control.
3 November 1975, Queen Elizabeth II officially opened a pipeline that was to bring 400,000 barrels of North Sea Oil ashore every day at the Grangemouth refinery. North Sea Oil had been discovered in the 1960s; the first exploited oilfield was Ekofisk, tapped from 1969. The global oil crisis of 1974 intensified the need to develop North Sea resources.
30/10/1975. The Forestry Commission said more than 16 million trees had been destroyed in Britain because of Dutch Elm Disease.
29/10/1975, The Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe, committed his first murder, Wilma McCann.
1 August 1975, Britain signed the Helsinki Agreement on closer co-operation with Europe.
19 June 1975. Lord Lucan was found guilty of murdering his nanny, but he was still missing.
5 June 1975. A referendum in the UK showed a 67.2% majority in favour of remaining in the EEC. 17, 378,581 (67.2%) voted for Europe, and 8,470,073 (32.8%) voted no.� The only areas in the UK to have a �no� majority were the Shetlands and the Western Isles of Scotland.
24/4/1975, The British Government decided to take a majority shareholding in British Leyland motor company.
15/3/1975, Troops in Glasgow cleared 70,000 tons of refuse that had built up during the dustmen�s strike.
20/2/1975, Britain issued new �10 notes, depicting Florence Nightingale carrying a lamp.
13/2/1975, The UK miners accepted a pay rise of 35%.
15January 1975, Britain proposed to nationalise its aircraft construction industry.
2January 1975, British hospital consultants started a work-to-rule over new contracts.
22 November 1974, As anger mounted at the Birmingham pub bombings, there were calls in the UK for a return of capital punishment and some attacks on Irish workers in Birmingham.
18/10/1974, A unit in Whitehall; was set up to prepare for devolution of power to Wales and Scotland.
6/9/1974. Charles Kray, elder brother of the Kray twins, left Maidstone Prison for 5 days �acclimatisation leave�.
26 June 1974, In the UK, Labour and the TUC agreed on the �Social Contract�, to restrain pay claims.
21 June 1974. The destroyer HMS Coventry was launched at the Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead.
1 June 1974, A major explosion at the Nypro chemical works at Flixborough, Lincolnshire, killed 29 people.� 2,000 houses were damaged and a large cloud of toxic cyclohexane gas escaped. Cyclohexane was used to manufacture nylon. A pipe at Nypro had sprung a leak, leading to 40 tons of cyclohexane gas escaping in about one minute, this gas cloud then ignited.
20 May 1974, The Cornish Parliament, or Stannary, sat for the first time in 221 years.
8 May 1974, UK nurses began a strike over low pay.
5/4/1974, Richard Crossman, British Labour MP, died aged 66.
1/4/1974. Major reorganisation of British Local Authorities. Rutland disappeared, and 4 new counties were created. They were Avon, Cleveland, Humberside, and Cumbria.
6/3/1974. Harold Wilson formed a minority Labour government. Mr Denis Winston Healey became Chancellor of the Exchequer. The UK coal miners were offered a 35% pay increase, and returned to work. Labour had 301 seats, the Conservatives had 297, the Liberals 14, 9 were held by Scottish and Welsh Nationalists, and 12 to Northern Ireland.
1 November 1973. The Royal Commission on the constitution completely rejected the case for separate sovereign parliaments for Scotland and Wales.
20/10/1973, The Dalai Lama first visited Britain.
1/10/1973, Denis Healey promised that Labour will tax the rich �until the pips squeak�.
3/9/1973, In the UK, 20 Trade Unions were expelled from the TUC.
2 August 1973. 46 people died and 80 were injured when fire swept through the Summerland amusement centre at Douglas, Isle of Man. The acrylic sheeting covering the structure caught fire and melted onto the people below.
1 May 1973, A TUC 1-day strike in protest at pay restraint was supported by 1.6 million workers.
6 December 1972, In Britain, four �Angry Brigade� anarchists were jailed for conspiracy to cause explosions after a record 111-day trial.
17/9/1972, The first Asians fleeing Idi Amin arrived in the UK.
18 July 1972, In the UK, Reginald Maudling resigned as Home Secretary because of connections to John Poulson, an architect facing bankruptcy and a police corruption enquiry. He was succeeded by Robert Carr.
15/10/1971, The UK passed legislation to curb immigration.
10 July 1971, Offa's Dyke Path was officially opened by Lord Hunt.
20 June 1971, Britain announced that Soviet space scientist Anatoli Fedoseyev had been granted political asylum.
15 June 1971, The UK Education Secretary, Mrs Thatcher, said she planned to end free school milk. The Conservative Government warned it would reduce financial support for any local council that continued to illegally supply milk, contrary to the Education (Milk) Bill. This Bill passed its Commons vote by 281 to 248 against. The Bill was intended to free up resources to replace older primary schools.
8/3/1971, The British postal strike ended. See 20January 1971.
24/2/1971, The Immigration Bill was introduced in the UK; this will end the right of Commonwealth citizens to settle in Britain.
1/2/1971. Licences for radios abolished in the UK. See 1 November 1922).
20January 1971, (1) UK postal workers went on strike for a 19.5% pay claim. See 8/3/1971.
(2) The RAF Red Arrows aerial display team collided in mid-air, killing four.
2 December 1970, The UK Parliament voted against retaining British Summer Time over the winter.
26 November 1970. The first year of Edward Heath�s government was marked by the most days lost to strikes since 1926, the year of the General Strike. 8.8 million working days were lost.
31 July 1970,� The British Royal Navy ended its long tradition of a daily rum ration for the sailors. After the British capture of Jamaica in 1655, rum had replaced beer because it remained sweeter for longer in hot climates. From the late 1700s it was mixed with lemon juice, to ward off scurvy. Later, lime juice (which contained less vitamin C) was substituted for the lemon, earning the British sailors the nickname �limeys�.
20 July 1970, British Chancellor Iain Macleod died. On 25 July 1970 Anthony Barber became Chancellor.
16 July 1970. The first State of emergency in Britain since 1926 was called by Prime Minister Edward Heath as the dock workers went on strike. The docks strike lasted until 3 August 1970.
8 July 1970. Roy Jenkins was elected Deputy Leader of the Labour Party.
18 June 1970. General Election in the UK. Edward Heath became Conservative Prime Minister. The Conservatives won 330 seats, against 287 for Labour, 6 for the Liberals and 1 Scottish Nationalist, an overall Conservative majority of 31.
17 June 1970. The UK issued decimal postage stamps.� Stamps were in denominations of 10p, 20p, and 50p.
14 May 1970, The UK Minister of Housing and Local Government announced that potash mining would be allowed from beneath the North York Moors National Park at Boulby, under strict environmental conditions.
13/3/1970. English schoolgirl Susan Wallace became the first 18 - year old eligible to vote. See 12 May 1969.
15/2/1970, Lord Dowding, British Air Chief Marshall and head of Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain, died aged 87.
15 December 1969. Swansea received City Status.
9 June 1969, Enoch Powell proposed voluntary repatriation of immigrants, causing a storm of protest.
12 May 1969. The voting age in Britain was lowered to 18 from 21.
10 May 1969, In the UK, local elections left Labour in control of only 28 of 342 borough councils in England and Wales.
1 May 1969, Queen Elizabeth II opened the new Ordnance Survey offices in Southampton.
5/3/1969. The gangland twins Ronald and Roger Kray, 35, were found guilty of murder at the Old Bailey and given life sentences. The judge said they should not be released for 30 years.
22/2/1969. President Nixon of the USA arrived in Britain for talks with Prime Minister Harold Wilson.
1968, The Ironbridge Museum Trust was founded to preserve the �birthplace of the Industrial Revolution�.
30 November 1968. The Trades Descriptions Act came into force.
16/10/1968, In Britain, the Foreign and Commonwealth Offices merged.
10/10/1968, Enoch Powell warned that immigration might �change the character of England�
27/9/1968, The French again vetoed UK membership of the EEC.
13/9/1968, British banks announced plans to cease Saturday opening.
3 August 1968, The Countryside Act allowed local authorities to designate National Parks.
6 May 1968, (1) An opinion poll suggested 74% of Britons supported Enoch Powell�s views on immigration.
(2) The Kray Twins were charged with ten offences including two of conspiracy to murder.
20/4/1968, Enoch Powell, Conservative MP for south-west Wolverhampton, made his famous �Rivers of Blood� speech about the dangers of immigration at a hotel in Birmingham. See 6 May 1968.
9/4/1968, In Britain, the Race Relations Bill was published.
17/3/1968, Violent anti-Vietnam War demonstrations outside the US Embassy in London. 25,000 Vietnam Solidarity Campaign (VSC) marchers fought with police. The VSC, which wanted a victory for North Vietnam, had been organised by the Trotskyist International Marxist Group, whose members included Pat Jordan, Tariq Ali and David Horowitz.
22/2/1968, The UK Government was concerned at the level of immigration of Asians from East Africa.
16January 1968, The UK government announced public expenditure cuts of �700 million. This included postponing a rise in the school-leaving age, and re-imposing prescription charges. There would also be a withdrawal of the military from all bases east of Suez, except for Hong Kong.
11January 1968. Emigration from Britain exceeded immigration by 30,000 in the second quarter on 1967.
19 December 1967. Second French veto by De Gaulle on British membership of the E.E.C. The pound was devalued, and Harold Wilson made his �pound in your pocket� television speech.
29 November 1967, Roy Jenkins succeeded James Callaghan as Chancellor.
27 November 1967, De Gaulle vetoed Britain�s entry into the EEC.
2 November 1967, The first Scottish Nationalist Party candidate took their seat at Westminster. In the by-election at Hamilton, Winifred Ewing took the seat for the SNP, a party formed in 1934.
8/10/1967. Clement Atlee, British Prime Minister 1945-51, died aged 84.
28 July 1967, The UK steel industry was nationalised.
18 July 1967, British forces were to withdraw from areas east of Suez by the mid-1970s,
1/4/1967. (1) The Territorial and Army Volunteer Reserves formed.
(2) Britain�s first Ombudsman was created, Sir Edmund Compton.
30/3/1967, The Torrey Canyon was finally destroyed by RAF bombing.
18/3/1967. The Torrey Canyon ran aground on the Seven Stones reef off Lands End. The 975 foot tanker spilled 117,000 tons of Kuwaiti crude oil that was bound for Milford Haven. Within six days 30,000 tons of oil had escaped producing a 260 square mile slick. Thousands of gallons of detergent were dumped on the slick, but two days later the tanker broke her back during a salvage attempt, releasing a further 30,000 tons of oil. On 28 and 29 March the RAF took emergency action, and tried to burn off the oil. They dumped aviation fuel, high explosive bombs, rockets, and napalm onto the slick. The six hour bombardment was a success but by then the oil had fouled 100 miles of Cornish coastline.
18January 1967. Jeremy Thorpe, born on 29/4/1929, became leader of the Liberal Party, replacing Joe Grimond. Thorpe resigned on 10 May 1976.
1 December 1966, Britain�s Post Offices issued the first Christmas Stamps.
23/10/1966, BP announced the discovery of large gas fields in the North Sea.
22/10/1966. KGB master spy George Blake escaped from Wormwood Scrubs, using a home-made rope ladder to scale the high perimeter wall,� He had been serving a 42-year sentence for espionage meted out in 1962, one year for each of the lives his treachery was estimated to have cost. On 20 November 1966 he arrived in East Berlin.
21/10/1966. The Aberfan disaster. A coal waste tip collapsed at 9.30am, burying a school in the Welsh Valleys, shortly after the children had arrived for morning assembly. It was a half day and by midday the schools would have been empty again for the half term holiday. 2 million tons of rock and sludge engulfed both the infants and junior schools. Also engulfed were a row of cottages and a farm; 147 people, 116 of them children, were killed. Aberfan was a close-knit community, and now had just five surviving children. The National Coal Board was blamed for siting the colliery waste tip on top of a natural spring; heavy rain had further destabilised the waste heap.
9/10/1966, David Cameron, UK Conservative Prime Minister 2010 - 2016, was born in Marylebone, London.
23 August 1966, The Cotswolds were designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
21 July 1966, The first Welsh Nationalist MP, Gwynfor Evans, took his seat in Parliament after a by-election.
14 July 1966, The Welsh Nationalists won their first by-election, at Carmarthen.
23 May 1966. In Britain, a State of Emergency was declared in response to the Seamen�s strike.
6 May 1966. The Moors murderers Ian Brady, 28, and Myra Hindley, 24, were found guilty of murder at Chester Crown Court and jailed for life.
14/4/1966, The South Downs was designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
31/3/1966. General Election in the UK. Labour under Harold Wilson won a landslide victory, gaining a majority of 66. Labour won 363 seats, the Conservatives won 253 seats, and the Liberals won 12.
19/2/1966. A 26 year old man was gassed as he attempted to cook a dinner for his wife. He had failed to realise that you had to ignite the gas. The Ministry of Public Works revealed plans to build an underground cafe, ticket office, and sales room, beneath Stonehenge.
28/10/1965. The Moors Murderers, Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, were charged with murdering a 13-year old giel, Lesley Ann Downey, whose body had been found on the moors� on 15/10/1965.
8/10/1965, Edward Heath said he would take Britain into the European Community.
21/9/1965, BP (British Petroleum) became the first company to discover oil in the North Sea.
2 August 1965, A UK White Paper limited immigration from the Commonwealth.
28 July 1965. Edward Heath, born 9 July 1916, became leader of the Conservative Party. Sir Alec Douglas Home had resigned as leader on 22 May 1965.� Heath was leader until 1975 when Mrs Thatcher became Party leader (11/2/1975). Heath received 155 votes against 133 for Reginald Maudling and 15 for Enoch Powell. At 49 Heath was the youngest leader of the Conservative Party for a century.
26 July 1965, The Post Office announced that in future UK telephone numbers would not include letters.
24 May 1965, Westminster announced that Britain was to switch to metric measurements.
23/4/1965. The Pennine Way, 250 miles from Edale in Derbyshire to Kirk Yetholm in Roxburghshire, opened. This was the first long distance footpath in Britain.
24/3/1965. David Steel became Britain�s youngest MP at the age of 26.
6/3/1965, Herbert Morrison, UK Labour politician, died aged 77.
2/2/1965, In the UK, PM Harold Wilson announced the cancellation of three expensive defence projects. Two were for aircraft capable of vertical takeoffs and landing, the Armstrong Whitworth AW.681 was a large military transport plane, and the Hawker Siddeley P.1154 was supersonic fighter aircraft. The third, the British Aircraft Corporation TSR-2 was a high-speed attack and reconnaissance jet. Wilson said that the cost of the research and development for the TSR-2 alone had already reached �750 million, more than eight times the original forecast, and that each of the 150 planned TSR-2s would cost �4 million each.
30January 1965, State funeral of Sir Winston Churchill, see 24January 1965.
24January 1965. Sir Winston Churchill died, aged 90, exactly 70 years after his father died. He was buried in Bladon churchyard, within sight of Blenheim Palace, his birthplace. He was born, on 30 November 1874, a descendant of the Duke of Marlborough, in Blenheim Palace. His funeral was on 30January 1965, when Big Ben was silenced.
1964, The Ministry of Defence was created, from a temporary such organisation established after World War Two, along with the Admiralty, Air Ministry and War Office. This copied a process of centralisation as had occurred in the USA.
1964, Britain began the creation of a national gas distribution grid. The stimulus for this was partly technical; a large Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal had been huilt at Canvey island for imports of gas from Algeria; the high calorific value of Algerian gas meant it had to be �reformed�, mixed with leaner manufactured gas, before it could be distributed to households.
15/10/1964, Labour won the UK General Election with a majority of 4. Labour had 317 seats (12,205,814 votes, 44.1%), the Conservatives 304 (12,001,396 votes, 43.4%), and the Liberals 9 (3,092,878 votes, 11.2%). Harold Wilson was the new Prime Minister, succeeding Alec Douglas Home. He inherited a balance of payments deficit of nearly �700 million. James Callaghan became Chancellor of the Exchequer.
27 July 1964. Sir Winston Churchill last appeared in the House of Commons. He died on 24January 1965.
19/3/1964. Harold Wilson presented each of The Beatles with a silver heart as joint winners of the Show Business Personality of 1963 award.
19/10/1963. Sir Alec Douglas-Home, Conservative, became Prime Minister.� Harold Macmillan resigned as Prime Minister on 18/10/1963.�
31 July 1963, In Britain, Mr A N Wedgwood Benn, who had become 2nd Viscount Stansgate, renounced his peerage as he was now allowed to do under the Peerage Act 1963. This made them eligible to become MPs in the House of Commons. He changed his name to Tony Benn in 1972.
15/4/1963, In Britain, disorder broke out during the last stages of the Aldermaston March, organised by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).
6/4/1963, Anglo-US Polaris weapons agreement signed.
17/3/1963. The first of the Tristan da Cunha islanders returned home from Britain.
14/2/1963 Harold Wilson became leader of the Labour Party, see 18January 1963. Other candidates were James Callaghan and George Brown. See 18January 1963.
18January 1963. Hugh Gaitskell, former UK Labour Party leader from 1955 to 1963, died unexpectedly. See 14/2/1963.
17 December 1962, In the UK, a committee on the reform of the House of Lords recommended that an heir should be allowed to disclaim his peerage.
22January 1962. The �A6 murder� trial began. It was to be the longest murder trial in British legal history, lasting until 17/2/1962, and ended with the hanging of James Hanratty. He had murdered Michael Gregston in a lay-by on the A6.
1 November 1961, The UK, concerned about rising immigration, planned a Commonwealth Immigration Bill to limit their numbers. 21,000 Commonwealth citizens migrated to the UK in 1960 but 100,000 were expected for 1961. Number quotas and/or skills requirements could be imposed. See 2 July 1962.
9/10/1961. Margaret Thatcher got her first government job, as Parliamentary Secretary
4/10/1961, The Labour Party Conference voted against having Polaris bases in Britain.
17/9/1961. A large �Ban the Bomb� demonstration in London was ended by the police with 830 arrested, including Vanessa Redgrave. 15,000 had attended the demonstration in Trafalgar Square.
12/9/1961, The philosopher Bertrand Russell, aged 89, was arrested and imprisoned for protesting against nuclear weapons.
8 May 1961. George Blake, 38, a former British diplomat, was jailed for 42 years for spying for Russia.
8/3/1961. The death of the conductor Sir Thomas Beecham. Born in 1876 in St Helens, Lancashire, he was the grandson of the founder of the Beecham�s pills business.
31 December 1960, National Service ceased in the UK. The last batch of 18-year olds were called up. Of the 2,049 who received their call-up cards, 50 would join the RAF at Cardington, Bedfordshire, the rest went to Aldershot for 2 weeks basic training and joined the Army.
3 November 1960, Hugh Gaitskell successfully fought off a challenge for Labour Party leadership by Harold Wilson.
1 November 1960, It was announced that US Polaris missile submarines were to be based in the Firth of Clyde.
5/10/1960, The British Labour Party, at its Scarborough Conference, voted overwhelmingly for unilateral nuclear disarmament.
27 July 1960, In Britain, Derick Heathcoat Amory retired as Chancellor of the Exchequer. He was replaced by Selwyn Lloyd, former Foreign Secretary. The Earl of Home became the new Foreign Secretary.
30/4/1960, Britain abandoned the Blue Streak ,missile programme.
29/3/1960, UK PM Harold MacMillan reached agreement with US leaders on a nuclear test ban treaty to be put to the USSR.
20/2/1960, Sir Charles Leonard Woolley, English archaeologist, died in London.
17/2/1960, The UK Government said it would allow the US to build a missile early warning system to be built at Fylingdales, Yorkshire.
For events of Cod War see also Iceland 1950s, 60s
26 December 1959. The first charity walk was organised, in aid of the World Refugee Fund, by Kenneth Johnson of Letchworth, Hertfordshire. The intended route covered 50 miles from Letchworth to Yatesbury in Wiltshire. 20 men and one woman paid 1 shilling to enter; ten gave up after 13 miles, 3 after 22 miles, 1 after 25 miles, 4 at Princes Risborough, and 3, including Johnson, carried on for 50 miles, giving up at Ewelme, Oxfordshire. About �20 was raised.
25 November 1959, Charles Kennedy, British politician, was born.
8/10/1959. UK general election. The Conservatives under Harold MacMillan and his slogan �You�ve never had it so good� won, and Mrs Thatcher was elected an MP. The Conservatives won 365 seats, labour won 258, and the Liberals got 6. Macmillan remained Prime Minister.
7 May 1959, An agreement was reached enabling Britain to buy components of atomic weapons, as opposed to actual nuclear warheads, from the USA.
7 August 1958. The Litter Act came into force in Britain.
24 July 1958. The first life peerages were awarded in Britain, under the Life Peerages Act.
4/4/1958, The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) held its first protest march this Good Friday. Members marched from Hyde Park Corner to the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment at Aldermaston, arriving on 7/4/1958. 600 members completed the 50-mile march and 12,000 attended the final rally.
29/3/1958, Sir William Burrell, Scottish shipping merchant and philanthropist, died aged 96.
6/3/1958, The TUC and the Labour party called for H-Bomb tests to stop.
17/2/1958, The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, CND, was launched by Bertrand Russell and Canon John Collins.
6 August 1957. Despite the Conservative PM, Harold MacMillan, stating that �most of us have never had it so good�, last month, 2,000 people were emigrating from Britain every week, for the USA or Commonwealth countries like Canada and Australia. Many were professionals or science and medical graduates.
23 July 1957, In Britain, violence broke out on picket lines as a national bus strike took effect.
20 July 1957, Conservative PM Harold Macmillan said that �most of our people have never had it so good�.
6 June 1957, In Britain the Rent Act received Royal Assent, This removed many controls on rents. Labour MPs protested.
14 May 1957, Petrol rationing in the UK, caused by the Suez Crisis, ended.
4/4/1957. Britain announced that compulsory National Service, 2 years long for all reaching 18, would end in 1960.
3/4/1957, The UK Labour Party called for H-Bomb tests to stop.
9January 1957. Anthony Eden, aged 59, resigned as Prime Minister, on grounds of ill-health, in the wake of the Suez Crisis. On 10January 1957 Harold Macmillan became Prime Minister. Rab Butler was deputy PM but had also supported the Suez adventure and there would have been a back-bench revolt if Butler had become PM. A bitterly disappointed Butler received the consolation prize of becoming Home Secretary under Macmillan, and Peter Thorneycroft became the new Chancellor. Macmillan dismissed Labour calls for a general election by the Labour leader Hugh Gaitskell, and busied himself with mending relationships with the US under the recently elected President Eisenhower.
22 December 1956. Britain and France withdrew their forces from Egypt, under intense pressure from the USA. The Suez Crisis had caused a run on Sterling, and the US would not halt this without a withdrawal.
23 November 1956. As the Suez Crisis deepened, petrol rationing began in the UK, and driving tests were suspended.
15 November 1956. UN emergency forces arrived in Suez, and began to clear the Canal of wrecked ships on 27 December 1956. UN forces began taking over from the British, under strong pressure from the USA. The British PM, Anthony Eden, was suffering from psychological strain caused by the unanticipated world hostility to his Suez adventure, and flew to Jamaica on 23 November 1957 to rest.
1 November 1956. Ernie (Electronic Random Number Indicating Equipment) was born as Premium Bonds first went on sale in Britain.
31/10/1956. France and Britain bombed Egyptian airfields in the Suez Crisis. The speed of events � Egypt was only given 12 hours to withdraw from the Canal � suggested to US President Eisenhower that the whole operation was staged to maintain Anglo-French influence in Suez. See Israel (1956)
For Suez Crisis 1956 see Egypt
16/10/1956, British Prime Minister Anthony Eden and Foreign Secretary Selwyn Lloyd visited Paris and met with French Minister Guy Mollet and Foreign Minister Christian Pineau to discuss joint action against Egypt.
25/9/1956, Transatlantic telephone cable between the UK and the USA became operational.
1/4/1956, The first US U-2 spy planes arrived at RAF Lakenheath.
23/3/1956, Foundation stone of Coventry Cathedral laid by Queen Elizabeth II. The Cathedral was consecrated on 25 May 1962. The former 14th century cathedral along with the city�s mediaeval centre had been destroyed in an 11-hour Luftwaffe blitz on 14 November 1940 when over 1,000 died.
7 December 1955. Clement Attlee, aged 72, resigned as leader of the UK Labour Party; Hugh Gaitskell was elected as leader by a wide margin. Gaitskell died in 1963 and Labour did not come to power again until 1964, with Harold Wilson as leader. Attlee entered the House of Lords as First Earl Attlee, until his death in 1969.
12/10/1955, The Soviet Navy made a goodwill visit to Portsmouth, UK, and the British Royal Navy made a goodwill visit to Leningrad (St Petersburg), Russia.
21/9/1955, The UK annexed Rockall, to prevent the USSR using it as a base to spy on British missile tests.
3 August 1955, Duncan Sandys, UK Housing Minister, instructed local authorities to set up Green Belts similar to London�s around other major towns and cities. The idea was to stop food producing farmland being lost to urbanisation, and to stop unsightly �ribbon development� along main roads.� Where possible, urban development was to be by �infilling�.� This month, denim jeans became fashionable in the UK.
4 July 1955. British dock strike ended after 1 month.
14 June 1955, Rail workers called off the strike which began on 29/ May 1955.
31 May 1955, In Britain, troops went on stand-by as the effects of the rail and docks strikes worsened.
29 May 1955, Rail strike began in Britain.
26 May 1955, The Conservatives won the General Election, with a majority of 59. They won 345 seats to Labour�s 277. The Liberals won just 6 seats.
24 May 1955, Docks strike began in Britain.
5/4/1955. Sir Winston Churchill, aged 80, resigned as Prime Minister. He suffered s stroke in 1953. Anthony Eden succeeded him. Harold Macmillan became Eden�s new Foreign Secretary.
25/2/1955, Britain�s largest aircraft carrier, the Ark Royal was completed.
31 December 1954, Harold MacMillan, British Conservative Housing Minister, announced that a record number of houses, 354,000, had been built during 1954.
4 November 1954, Two by-elections in the UK, Sutton and Cheam and Morpeth. Both seats were retained by the incumbent Party, Conservative and Labour respectively.
2 November 1954, A dock workers' strike in the UK ended.
20/10/1954, A docks strike reduced Britain�s trade by half.
18/10/1954, In Britain, Winston Churchill reshuffled his Cabinet, with Harold Macmillan becoming Minister of Defence.
7/10/1954, Seebohn Rowntree, English social reformer, died aged 83.
3 July 1954. Plans for a new steelworks at Motherwell, Scotland, were announced.
1 July 1954. 90% of rabbits in southern Britain were infected with myxomatosis. Farmers were happy since rabbits destroyed crops worth �50 million each year; scientists worried about upsetting the balance of nature.
7 June 1954, Alan Turing, mathematician who broke the Nazi codes during World War Two, committed suicide. After his conviction for homosexuality on 31/3/1952 he had opted for chemical �treatment� rather than prison; this consisted of oestrogen injections, which made him put on weight and grow breasts.
14/4/1954, Aneurin Bevan resigned from the Labour Cabinet in protest at British Government support for the re-arming of Germany, so soon after World War Two.
3/4/1954, Oxford won the 100th boat race.
1 December 1953, Harold Macmillan boasted that 301,000 new homes have been built in Britain during the Conservatives second year in office.
21 November 1953. The discovery of the Piltdown Man skull on 18 December 1912 in Sussex by Charles Dawson was revealed to be a hoax, see 22/9/1990.
6 May 1953. Tony Blair, UK Prime Minister 1997 - 2007, was born.
24/4/1953. Queen Elizabeth II knighted Winston Churchill.
23/2/1953, An amnesty was granted to WW II deserters.
1January 1953, �Bomber� Harris, head of Bomber Command responsible for the bombing of Dresden, was knighted.
23/10/1952. The Claerwen Dam, on the River Claerwen in mid-Wales, was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II. Construction work had begun on 18 August 1946 when the Mayor of Birmingham set off the first charge of dynamite.
Birmingham had begun to be threatened by a water shortage from the 1890s, and the nearest supply was in mid-Wales. An Act of Parliament was passed in 1892 authorising the construction of three dams on the River Elan and three more on the River Claerwen. The Elan reservoirs were built first, and then satisfied the demand of Birmingham, which then had a population of half a million, and most had to carry their water in a bucket from an outside tap. But by 1946 Birmingham had over a million people, and more of these had a sink and a bathroom, and there had been a severe drought in 1937. By 1940 city planners determined to build the Claerwen reservoirs too, as soon as the War was over. The largest dam, designed by Sir William Halcrow, was to be 184 feet high and 1,166 feet long. Behind would be a lake four miles long and holding ten billion gallons of water. Birmingham could not have all the water; places as far as Hereford also relied on the water from here, so enough had to be let through for this. During construction, accommodation had to be built on site for over 200 men, with housing, canteen, stores, and offices. The building work was held up by terrible weather during the late 1940s; blizzards, interspersed with floods and droughts, finally completed in 1952.
21/9/1952, Sir Montague Burton, British multiple tailor, knighted in 1931, died in Leeds.
11 July 1952, Figures from the 1951 Census showed that one household in three lacked a bath, and one in twenty had no piped water.
21/4/1952, Stafford Cripps, British Labour politician, died aged 62.
31/3/1952, Alan Turing, the computing expert who led the effort to break the German Enigma codes in World War Two, was convicted of being party to gross indecency, meaning homosexuality.
3/2/1952, In England, 283 people died in gale force winds and high tides causing major floods on the east coast. Thousands were made homeless.
10January 1952, The USA reached agreement with the UK over air bases in Britain.
27/10/1951, In Britain, Winston Churchill formed a Conservative Government, with Anthony Eden as Foreign Secretary and R A (Rab) Butler as Chancellor of the Exchequer.
25/10/1951. Margaret Roberts, later Margaret Thatcher, became the youngest person, at age 26, to stand in a general election. She lost. However the Conservatives won 321 seats against 295 for Labour, 6 for the Liberals, and 3 for other parties. The Conservatives had the majority of seats yet Labour had won more of the votes cast. Winston Churchill succeeded Clement Attlee as Prime Minister. The Conservative s promised to de-nationalise steel and road haulage, but wuold leave other nationalised industries alone.
24 July 1951, The Tyne pedestrian and cycle tunnel, Newcastle, opened. It was Britain�s first purpose-built cycle tunnel, opened as part of the Festival of Britain celebrations, and cost �833,000 to construct.
25 May 1951. British diplomats Burgess (1910 � 1963) and MacLean (1913 � 1983) were first reported missing. They had defected to Moscow. They had been recruited by the Soviets whilst working at MI5 during the 1930s.
14/4/1951. Ernest Bevin, Labour politician and Trade Unionist, died.
11/4/1951. The Stone of Scone (Stone of Destiny) was recovered at Forfar three months after its theft from Westminster. It returned to Westminster on 13/4/1951. Scottish Nationalists had stolen it from Westminster Abbey on 25 December 1950.
3/4/1951, Brendan Barber, English Trades Union leader, was born
1/4/1951, A survey of 12.4 million dwellings in Britain revealed that 1.9 million had three rooms or less, that 4.8 million had no fixed bath, and that almost 2.8 million lacked exclusive use of a toilet. 4.7 million, 38%, had been built before 1891, and 2.5 million dated from before 1851.
1January 1951, The UK steel industry was nationalised.
25 December 1950. Scottish Nationalists stole the Stone of Scone from Westminster Abbey, see 11/4/1951. The Stone is a piece of sandstone marked with a Latin cross; according to legend it was the stone Jacob used as a pillow at Bethel where he saw visions of angels. In around 700 BC the Stone was taken to Ireland where it was set on the Hill of Tara, the crowning place of Irish kings. Invading Celtic Scots took the Stone to Scotland. In 1259 the English under King Edward I removed the Stone to Westminster. In 1997, when Scotland got its own Parliament, the Stone was formally returned to Edinburgh.
11/1950, Over five years after World War Two ended, the Women�s Land Army in Britain was finally disbanded.
19/10/1950. Hugh Gaitskell became UK Chancellor of the Exchequer. He replaced Sir Stafford Cripps who had retired in health grounds.
2/10/1950. Legal aid became available in Britain.
24 May 1950, Field Marshall Lord Archibald Wavell, British military commander (born 1883) died.
4/4/1950, At Liverpool, the liner Franconia was found to be full of smuggled nylon stockings with a black market value of �80,000.
28/2/1950. Clement Attlee formed a new Labour Government in the UK.
23/2/1950. The first General Election in the UK where the results were televised. Clement Attlee, Labour prime Minister, narrowly won for Labour, which had just a majority over the Conservatives and Liberals combined. The result was Labour 315 seats, Conservative 298, Liberal 9, others 3. Voter turnout was 84%. 319 out of 475 Liberal candidates lost their deposits.
19 December 1949, Britain passed the National Parks Act.
29 November 1949, The Parliament Act was passed in the UK, restricting the Lords delaying abilities. The House of Lords had rejected this Bill but it still became law as MPs had voted for it three times.
6 August 1949, John Haugh, the �acid bath murderer� was executed.
1 May 1949. In the UK, the gas industry was nationalised.
1/4/1949, The National Parks Bill was approved by the UK Parliament. 12 National Parks were created, covering 9% of the� area of England and Wales; none were created in Scotland or Northern Ireland.
1 December 1948. National Service in Britain was increased from 12 to 18 months.
1 July 1948. The first Oxfam shop opened in the UK.
29 June 1948, London dock workers voted to end their 16-day strike and go back to work rather than face the government's threat to invoke its broad emergency powers.
23 June 1948, The UK Government called in soldiers to begin unloading food supplies tied up in the 10-day dockworker's strike.
23 May 1948. The Empire Windrush sailed from Jamaica with the first West Indian migrants, to alleviate Britain�s severe labour shortage.
15/3/1948. The UK Civil Service was closed to Fascists and Communists regarding posts vital to State Security.
14 December 1947, Stanley Baldwin, British Conservative politician, three times Prime Minister, who became Earl Baldwin of Bewdley, died.
13 November 1947. Chancellor Hugh Dalton resigned after admitting passing tax details to a reporter minutes before the Budget speech.
31/10/1947, Sidney Webb, British economist, socialist and reformer, died aged 88.
4/10/1947, Ann Widdecombe, British politician, was born.
30/9/1947, The UK Government asked women to wear shorter skirts, to save cloth.
29/9/1947, Sir Stafford Cripps was appointed by PM Attlee, as Minister of Economic Affairs. He went on to replace Hugh Dalton as Chancellor of the Exchequer following Dalton�s resignation on 13 November 1947. Sir Cripps was a keen advocate of austerity, as the UK made efforts to cut back on imports from outside the Sterling Area.
17/9/1947, Tessa Jowell, UK politician, was born.
14/9/1947, Baldwin retired in May 1937 and was made Earl Baldwin of Bewdley. He died on 14 September 1947.
27 August 1947. The UK Government announced cuts to deal with an economic crisis.
7/2/1947. The Minister of Fuel and Power, Emanuel Shinwell, startled the House of Commons by announcing that Britain�s power stations were running out of coal, as very cold snowy weather paralysed the rail system. Four weeks of intermittent power cuts followed, with two million workers suspended. Greyhound racing, TV and magazine production were halted.
8January 1947. In Britain, a shortage of coal caused closures of steel works. There were also food shortages because of the hauliers� strike. Troops were called in to move supplies.
1January 1947. Britain�s coal industry was nationalised under the Coal industry Nationalisation Act, 1946. The National Coal Board (NCB) was set up, to control 1,647 mines, 100,000 miners homes and over a million acres of land. The NCB was chaired by Lord Hyndley.
1946, Britain passed the Distribution of Industry Act, incetivising industrialists to relocate production to areas of high unemployment.
27 December 1946, In Britain, 12 cotton mills closed today and much industry in the Midlands went on a 4-day week as a fuel shortage deepened. Meanwhile a world food shortage, compounded by a global shipping shortage, and, for the UK, a lack of foreign exchange, caused UK rations to be cut. In February 1946 butter, margarine and cooking fat rations were reduced from 8 to 7 ounces per person per week. In May 1946 bread, previously un-rationed, came on-ration.
18 December 1946. Labour MPs triumphantly sang The Red Flag as the House of Commons voted to nationalise the railways, road haulage, and ports. This was under Clement Attlee�s Labour Government. The Bank of England had already been nationalised and, despite the UK�s economic problems, civil aviation, broadcasting, road transport and steel woild soon follow. Attlee also proposed independence for Burma and India.
11 November 1946. Stevenage, Hertfordshire, became the first �New Town� to be designated in Britain.
6 November 1946. In the UK, the National Health Act came into force.
8 July 1946. Margaret Roberts, later Margaret Thatcher, was elected president of the Oxford University Conservatives.
6 July 1946, The Young Conservatives political organisation was founded in Britain.
2/4/1946. The Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst was founded.� The Woolwich Academy was merged with Sandhurst.
31/3/1946, General Gort, British commander of the British Expeditionary Force� that entered France in 1939 and retreated again in 1940, died.
5/3/1946. Winston Churchill referred to an �Iron Curtain� descending across Europe, in a speech at Fulton, USA. The first public acknowledgement that the Cold War had begun. See 12/3/1947.
28/2/1946, Robin Cook, British politician, was born.
14/2/1946, The British Labour Government stated it would nationalise the Bank of England.
22January 1946, UK pit owners protested at plans to nationalise the coal industry.
30 December 1945, The SS Tilapia docked in Bristol with the first cargo of bananas to enter the UK since the War, since 11/1940, when the UK Government banned all fruit imports except oranges.
5 November 1945, In Britain, a seven-week dock strike ended.
12/4/1945. The Scottish Nationalists won their first by-election, gaining a seat from Labour at Motherwell. However Labour regained the seat at the General Election a few months later.
26/3/1945. David Lloyd George, British Liberal Prime Minister from 1916 to 1922, died in Llanystundwy, near Criccieth, north Wales, aged 82.
29/3/1943. British Prime Minister John Major was born.
28/3/1942. �Neil Kinnock, Labour leader, was born in Tredegar, south Wales.
1941, Woolton Pie, a vegetable pie designed to eke out meagre meat rations, was publicised by the UK Government. It was named after FJ Marquis (1883-1964), 1st Earl of Woolton, then Minisyter for Food.
27/2/1941, Jeremy (Paddy) Ashdown, Liberal leader, was born.
10 November 1940, Screaming Lord Sutch, British politician, was born.
8January 1941. Lord Baden Powell, British soldier and Boer War hero, also founder of the Boy Scouts in 1908, died aged 83.
9 November 1940. The former British Prime Minister (1937-1940), Neville Chamberlain, died of cancer, at Heckfield, near Reading.
1 July 1940. The practice of informal marriages at Gretna Green was abolished by Statute.
1939, Citizen�s Advice Bureaux were established across the UK. By 1990 the UK had over 600 of them. They were originally set up to help solve family problems in wartime, when the husband was likely away on te Front and the children were evacuated to the countryside.
13/9/1938, John Smith, leader of the UK Labour Party 1992-94, was born in Dalmally, Argyllshire.
2 July 1938, David Owen, British politician and first leader of the Social Democratic Party, was born in Plympton, Devon.
16 May 1938, The WVS (Women�s Voluntary Service) was started in Britain by the Marchioness of Reading. It became �Royal� in 1966.
3 May 1938. King George VI opened the Glasgow exhibition.
31/3/1938, David Steel, Liberal Party leader, was born.
11January 1938, Arthur Scargill, President of the National Union of Mineworkers, was born.
9 November 1937. Ramsay MacDonald, British Labour Prime Minister in 1924, died at sea whilst on a cruise for his health.
28 May 1937. Mr Stanley Baldwin resigned as Prime Minister and was succeeded by Mr Chamberlain. A government of National Unity was formed in Britain. Born on 3 August 1867, Mr Baldwin was the son of a west Midlands industrialist and was elected Conservative MP for Bewdley in 1906. He became Prime Minister in May 1923. He had faced many crises, such as the 1926 General Strike. In 1935 he replaced Ramsay MacDonald as Prime Minister, and faced criticism over his foreign policy. Mr Baldwin appeared to belittle the growing threat of Nazi Germany and he failed to intervene in the Spanish Civil War. After the abdication crisis and subsequent coronation of George VI in May 1937, Baldwin retired and was granted the title 1st Earl of Bewdley. Mr Stanley Baldwin�s last act as Prime Minister was to raise the salaries of MPs from �400 a year to �600 and to give the Leader of the Opposition a salary.
16/3/1937, British statesman Sir Joseph Austen Chamberlain died.
14January 1937. First ever Gallup opinion poll in Britain, conducted by Sir Henry Durant.
27/10/1936. Mrs Wallace Simpson divorced her second husband Ernest, becoming free to marry King Edward VIII, see 13 November 1936.
6/10/1936. The British Labour Party refused to affiliate with the Communists.
22 May 1936, In Britain, J H Thomas, Colonial Secretary, resigned over his leakage of Budget information.
14 May 1936, Viscount Allenby, British Army Commander in Palestine in World War One, died.
22 December 1935. In the UK, Anthony Eden was appointed Foreign Secretary.
8/10/1935. Clement Attlee was appointed stopgap leader of the Labour Party.
7 June 1935. Stanley Baldwin became British Prime Minister. Ramsay McDonald retired.
19 May 1935. T.E. (Thomas Edward) Lawrence, or Lawrence of Arabia, died six days after a motorcycle accident in a country lane in Moreton, Dorset; he swerved to avoid two boys on bicycles, and crashed. Colonel Lawrence was sent to Saudi Arabia to gain information about an Arab revolt in the Arabian desert. Lawrence realised this revolt could be used to disrupt the Turkish war effort. He persuaded the British Army in Egypt to supply guns, armoured cars, and even aircraft. With these, Lawrence led the Arabs on strategic attacks on railways and captured the town of Aqaba. The Arabs then supported the British advance in Palestine. Lawrence was furious when after the War, the Arabs were not given independence.
7/3/1934, John Campbell Aberdeen, British politician, died (born 3 August 1847).
7/9/1933, Sir Edward Grey (born 25/4/1862), Liberal MP for Berwick on Tweed from 1885 and UK Foreign Secretary 1905-1916, died at Fallodon. He attempted to avert war in 1914 through negotiations with Germany.
23 August 1933. The King and Queen opened the new Civic Hall at Leeds.
19/4/1933. The UK banned trade with the USSR. See 18/4/1933.
21/3/1933 Michael Heseltine, British Conservative politician, was born.
28 December 1932, Roy Hattersley, British Labour Deputy Prime Minister, was born.
25/10/1932. George Lansbury was elected leader of the British Labour Party.
6/4/1932, The British Ministry of Health urged local authorities to clear their slum areas.
22/3/1932, Sir Arthur Cecil Tyrrell Beck, British Liberal Party politician, died (born 3 December 1878).
11/3/1932, Nigel Lawson, British Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer, was born.
11 December 1931. The Statute of Westminster, recognising the independence of the British Commonwealth, became law.
27/10/1931. General election held in the UK. A landslide victory by the National Government; Ramsay Mc Donald continued to be Prime Minister. McDonald won 554 seats (470 of them Conservative) against 46 for Labour.
Austerity measures 1931-2
25/10/1932. UK policemen�s pay was cut by 10%.
15/9/1931, The British Royal Navy mutinied at Invergordon over servicemen�s pay cuts.
9/9/1931, In Britain, as the economic crisis deepened, Chancellor Snowden announced a 10% pay cut for all Government employees.
24 August 1931, Ramsay McDonald formed a National Government, following the collapse of the UK�s Labour Government. Most Labour MPs opposed it, but it was generally supported by the Liberals and Conservatives.
6 July 1931, The 1931 Census showed Britain�s population almost static since the last census, at 44.8 million. However there had been a drift to the south, and London now had 8 million people, a rise of almost 10% since 1921.
29/3/1931, Norman Tebbit, British Conservative politician and chairman of the Party, was born.
27/10/1930, The London Naval Treaty was ratified.
29 August 1930, (1) The inhabitants of St Kilda were evacuated by the British Government. The 36 islanders, from the only village of Hirta, were relocated on the Morvern Peninsula, Argyll. The population of St Kilda had halved in a generation. Formal school education had only arrived on St Kilda in 1884.
(2) The Reverend William Spooner, originator of spoonerisms, died.
27 July 1930, Shirley Williams, British politician who co-founded the Social Democratic Party, was born, the daughter of Vera Brittain.
19/3/1930, Arthur James Balfour, British Conservative Prime Minister from 1902-06, died aged 81.
15January 1930, Ramsay Mac Donald advocated that the world powers abolish battleships.
4 December 1929, The House of Lords voted 43 to 21 against the UK resuming diplomatic relations with the USSR.
1/10/1929, Britain resumed diplomatic relations with Soviet Russia.
29 July 1929, Britain�s Foreign Secretary, Arthur Henderson, had talks with his Soviet counterpart about restoring Anglo-Soviet diplomatic relations.
30 May 1929. UK General Election. Labour secured its first Parliamentary majority � see 22January 1924. The Labour Prime Minister, Ramsay MacDonald, running Britain�s second Labour government, appointed Margaret Bondfield as Britain�s first woman minister. She was Minister of Labour, a key post, given the lengthening dole queues Britain faced. Labour won 288 seats, the Conservatives 260.
21 May 1929, Lord Roseberry, British Liberal Prime Minister, died.
29/4/1929, The future Liberal Party leader, Jeremy Thorpe, was born.
20/4/1928, Archaeologist Gerard Stanley Hawkins was born in Norfolk, England,
15/2/1928. (1) Herbert Harry Asquith, Liberal Prime Minister in the UK from 1908 to 1916, died.
(2) The Oxford English Dictionary was completed after 70 years of work.
29January 1928, General Earl Haig, WW I Commander and founder of the British Legion, died in London. He was buried at Dryburgh Abbey.
31 December 1927, In Britain the Electricity Supply Act provided for the setting up of a Central Electricity Board, which was to create a uniform national supply via a national grid. At the time, there were many small competing power companies, delaying the spread of electrification, and only about 10% of UK homes could run the new electrical gadgets such as vacuum cleaners.
22 November 1927, 200 unemployed Welsh miners marched to London, but Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin refused to meet them.
5/10/1927. The Labour Party voted to nationalise the coal mines at its party conference at Blackpool.
8/9/1927, In Edinburgh, the� Trades Union Congress voted to cut ties with Soviet trades unions.
14 July 1927, The Prince of Wales opened the Scottish National War Memorial in Edinburgh, It now contains the names of over 100,000 Scots who died in both World Wars.
23 June 1927. Britain passed the Trades Disputes Act, making sympathetic strikes illegal. This was a consequence of the General Strike, to support the miners, which began on 3 May 1926.
20 November 1926. The Commonwealth was born out of the British Empire. Britain decided that the self-governing dominions of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Newfoundland should have equal status with Britain as members of a �commonwealth of nations�. Ireland also became independent. The status of India was unchanged.
19 November 1926. British striking miners returned to work, after a six-month strike, agreeing to work longer hours in return for no pay cut.
12 May 1926. Striking miners in Britain resolved to carry on alone, after the TUC called off a general strike in support. 10 May 1926. Striking UK miners grew angry as the army moved food from the docks by rail (see 1 May 1926). The Flying Scotsman was derailed in Northumberland, partly because the volunteer driver refused to heed warnings that the track ahead had been lifted. No serious injuries were caused, but the miners responsible got prison sentences of up to eight years.
8 May 1926, The naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough was born.
3 May 1926, The General Strike began in Britain.
1 May 1926. In Britain, a coal strike began over proposed pay cuts and longer working hours by the mine owners, faced with a slump in the coal trade (see 25 July 1925). The miners were locked out, and voted overwhelmingly for strike action. The first General Strike In British history began on 4 May 1926 when the TUC (Trades Union Congress) voted to back the striking miners. There were worries about a Communist revolution in Britain. On 11 May 1926 the engineering and shipworkers unions called their men out on strike, but at this time negotiations were going on to end the strike. The TUC agreed to government terms but the miners did not. The TUC called off the General Strike on 12 May 1926 leaving the miners on their own. Many trains were run by volunteers, especially undergraduates and rail enthusiasts, and troops took over the unloading of food at London�s docks (see 10 May 1926). Students also drove lorries, trams, and buses, the illegality of this being ignored. On 23 June 1927 the Trades Disputes Act was passed, outlawing sympathetic strikes. The Trade Union movement suffered a setback; membership had been falling from a peak of 8.3 million in 1920 to 5.3 million in 1926, and further fell to 4.3 million by 1933. See 12 May 1926.
6/3/1926. Fire destroyed the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre at Stratford on Avon. Only a blackened shell was left.
25 November 1925, In Britain, 12 Communists arrested in October 1925 were jailed for sedition.
13/10/1925, The future Conservative leader, Margaret Thatcher, was born as Margaret Roberts.� She was born in Grantham, the daughter of a grocer. She was Prime Minister 1979-90.
12 August 1925. Norris and Ross McWhirter, the British twins who founded the Guinness Book of Records, were born. After the Bible, it is the best selling book in the world (2002). Ross McWhirter was murdered by the IRA.
7 August 1925. The Summer Time Act in the UK was made permanent.
5 August 1925, The first public meeting of Plaid Cymru, the Welsh Nationalist Party. Founder-member Saunders Lewis planned a wholly-Welsh-speaking summer school at Machynlleth to open in August 1926.
22 May 1925, Sir John French, British General who led the British Expeditionary Force in France and Belgium, died.
12 May 1925, Alfred, Lord Milner, British statesman, died aged 71.
9/4/1925, Tom Jackson, British union leader, was born.
3/4/1925, Anthony Wedgewood Benn, British Labour politician, was born.
20/3/1925, Lord Curzon, British statesman, died aged 66.
13/3/1925, British MPs approved the Summer Time Bill, making annual daylight saving time permanent,.
2 December 1924, The UK and Germany signed a trade pact.
21 November 1924, The new Conservative Government of Britain repudiated a treaty made by the previous Labour administration with the USSR.
6 November 1924. The new Conservative Prime Minister of Britain, Stanley Baldwin, appointed Winston Churchill as Chancellor of the Exchequer.
9/10/1924. Britain�s minority Labour government fell after a vote of censure in the Commons; the vote was 364 against the Government, 198 in favour. On 29/10/1924 the Conservatives won a large victory following a scare over the �Zinoviev letter�. This was a forged letter allegedly from Moscow, urging a Communist revolution in Britain. A General Election was held on 30/10/1924 and the result was 413 seats to the Conservatives, against 151 for Labour and 40 for the Liberals. Stanley Baldwin became Prime Minister.
7/10/1924, The British Labour Party banned Communists from becoming members.
8 December 1923. In the UK 8 women were now MPs. The British general election resulted in a hung Parliament. The Conservatives, standing on a platform of protectionist tariffs to reduce unemployment, lost seats, finishing with 258 seats. Labour had 191 seats, and the Liberal had 159 seats.
30/10/1923, Andrew Bonar-Law, Canadian-born UK Prime Minister, died.
22 May 1923. Stanley Baldwin became Conservative Prime Minister after the resignation Andrew Bonar Law of due to illness. Baldwin was to serve as PM for three terms.� See 23/10/1922.
11/4/1923, In Britain, the Conservative Government suffered a Commons defeat, by 145 votes to 138, on a motion on ex-servicemen.
21 November 1922. Ramsay MacDonald was elected leader of the Labour Party.
23/10/1922, A Bonar Law became UK Conservative Prime Minister, succeeding Austin Chamberlain.� He resigned 22 May 1923 due to illness (died 30/10/1923), and was replaced by Stanley Baldwin on 22 May 1923, becoming the shortest term of office in the 20th century.
20 May 1923, Bonar Law, UK Prime Minister, resigned due to illness.
19/10/1922, At the Carlton Club Meeting, in Britain, the Tories decided to quit the coalition with the Liberals.
1 August 1922, Britain distributed the Balfour Note to the rest of the Allies, stating that Britain would only attempt to recover from its European debtors the same amount as the US was seeking to recover from Britain as a War Loan. This placed the burden of moral responsibility for war damages squarely on the USA.
14 May 1922, William Abraham, British Labour politician from south Wales (born 1842) died.
26/2/1922, Britain and France concluded a 20-year alliance.
13/2/1922, Francis Pym, British politician, was born.
4January 1922, 80 acres of Hartlepool devastated by a major fire.
1921, The British Medical Association estimated that a family of five needed to spend 22s 6 � d on food to eat healthily; however Unemployment Benefit was just 29s 3d a week, and the poorest slum accommodation still cost 6s a week to rent.
11 November 1921, The British legion held its first Poppy Day.
23 August 1921. The 1921 Census of Britain showed the population had increased by almost 2 million to 42,767,530. 7.4 million of these lived in London. War losses affected the total, but the loss due to emigration was greater. Women exceeded men by 2 million, much the same as in 1911.
29 June 1921, Lady Randolph Churchill, American mother of Winston Churchill, died.
22 June 1921, The British Labour Party decided against affiliating with the Communists.
12 June 1921. Last Sunday deliveries by British postmen.
14 May 1921. The British Legion was founded in London by Earl Haig. It was renamed the Royal British Legion in 1971.
15/4/1921, Less than a day before it was due to begin, a rail and transport workers strike in support of the striking coalminers was called off. The miners had been locked out of the pits since 1/4/1921. The miners wanted higher wages, and wage equality across the country; the pit owners wanted to reduce wages. The owners proposed a compromise of continuing with present wages, but this was rejected by the miner�s executive this day by a majority of one vote. The miners called this day �Black Friday�.
1/4/1921. In Britain, a coal strike began; a state of emergency was proclaimed. Coal rationing began on 3/4/1921. However the strike became a lockout, and the coal miner's traditional allies, the railway and transport unions, failed to support them. The miners had to return on humiliating terms, including a wages cut. The strike was settled on 4 July 1921, after the UK government promised to subsidise the coal industry. Wage reductions in other industries followed and neither Lloyd George or any other politician ever again had the chance to make Britain 'a land fit for heroes'.
21/3/1921. Austen Chamberlain succeeded Andrew Bonar Law as Conservative leader (who had resigned due to ill-health).
17/3/1921. In Britain, Andrew Bonar Law resigned leadership of the Conservative Party.
12/2/1921, In Britain, Winston Churchill was appointed Colonial Secretary.
8January 1921, Lloyd George became the first Prime Minister to occupy Chequers, the house near Wendover given to the nation by Lord Lee of Fareham.
1January 1921, The Navy, Army, and Air Force Institute, or NAAFI, was founded in Britain.
11 November 1920, The Labour politician Roy Jenkins was born at Abersychan.
18/10/1920. Britain's miners walked out over a claim for 2 shillings (10p) more a week, work did not resume until 3 November 1920.
1 August 1920, The Communist Party of Great Britain was founded.�
30/4/1920. Britain abolished conscription.
6January 1920, Walter Cunliffe, British banker (born 4 December 1855), died at Epsom.
11/1919, A year after World War One ended, the Women�s Land Army was disbanded.
27/10/1919, Lord Curzon succeeded A J Balfour as British Foreign Secretary.
10/10/1919, British teachers, their salaries still at pre war levels, asked for a doubling of their pay.
10/9/1919, The TUC favoured nationalising the coal industry.
3 August 1919, Riots in Liverpool during the policemen�s strike.
19 July 1919, Allied victory in the Great War was celebrated with parades and banquets, three weeks after the Treaty of Versailles had been signed. However many British demobbed servicemen felt aggrieved at this, being unemployed and without the �Homes for Heroes� they had been promised. There were civil disturbances in several towns, which escalated into a full riot in Luton, where a crowd burnt down the Town Hall, where a feast had been prepared for local dignitaries. The Mayor was forced to flee the town.
23 June 1919, The British Government recommended nationalising the coal mines.
21 June 1919. German sailors unexpectedly scuttled the captive German fleet, 72 warships, at Scapa Flow.
31January 1919, In Glasgow, a sheriff was hit by a bottle as he read the Riot Act; 40 were injured in clashes with police.
7January 1919, Labour began to act as the official opposition in the UK House of Lords.
31 December 1918, The British War Cabinet met for the last time.
28 December 1918. Lloyd George�s coalition was re-elected to government. Lloyd George had the support of 478 MPs; the Opposition had 229 MPs, of whom 63 were Labour.
20 November 1918, The Germans surrendered their submarines at Harwich.
19 November 1918, The UK government revealed that the War had cost 767,000 deaths and some 2.3 million injured.
11 November 1918. Armistice Day. World War One ended. Fighting ceased on the Western Front, and Austro-Hungary signed an armistice with the Allies. See 29/9/1918.� Church bells rang out across Britain in celebration. The Allies had not expected such a sudden collapse of Germany; in September 1918 they were planning campaigns for 1919. However General Ludendorff was shaken by the sudden Allied advance (see 8 August 1918) and begged Kaiser Wilhelm to seek an armistice immediately. The Armistice was signed in Marshal Foch�s railway carriage, near Compiegne.� Warsaw became the capital of a restored Polish State. The armistice required Germany to relinquish 5,000 heavy guns, 30,000 machine guns, 2,000 aircraft, all U-boats, 5,000 locomotives,� 150,000 wagons and 5,000 lorries. The surface fleet was to be interned (see 21 November 1918), the Allies were to occupy the Rhineland, and the blockade of German ports would continue. World War One cost 9 million lives, with a further 27 million injured. Britain alone had lost 750,000 men, and a further 200,000 from the Empire, with another 1.5 million seriously injured. The War had cost the Allies an estimated US$ 126 billion, and the Central Powers a further US$ 60 billion. Britons now celebrated, and wages rose, although higher food prices eroded some of those gains. Women, at least those over 30, finally had the vote, and smoking, gambling and movies boomed, with Charlie Chaplin as movie star. The US was the greatest beneficiary of the War. US losses amounted to 53,000 men, a small number compared to 8,500,000 casualties of the European combatants. US industry had become more efficient, and key sectors such as chemicals had learned to do without Europe; the US aviation industry had been transformed. Economically, The US had needed European capital before 1914; by 1918 Europe owed the US some US$ 10,000 million.
15/9/1918, Mr C Chubb gave Stonehenge to the nation.
1 July 1918, A catastrophic explosion at the Chilwell munitions plant near Nottingham killed 134 workers. The women who worked there making nitrogen-based explosives were known as �Canary Girls�, because the chemicals turned their skin yellow and hair green. The blast was heard 30 miles away, but news of it was suppressed. The Chilwell factory had produced 19 million shells, half of those used by British forces during the First World War. Of the 7,000 surviving workers, all but 12 were back working at Chilwell the day after.
18 June 1918, The UK Government asked for a further War Loan of �500 million. General rationing in the UK began on 19 June 1918.
19/4/1918, Alfred Milner became British War Secretary.
7/3/1918, Bonar Law asked the UK Commons for another War Loan of �600 million.
25/2/1918. Rationing of meat, butter, and margarine began in London and the Home Counties.
6/2/1918. A deposit of �150 was required from UK Parliamentary candidates.
30January 1918, The Commons rejected the Lords� proposal for proportional representation.
23January 1918, The UK Government ordered restaurants to have two �meatless� days a week.
19January 1918, The training ship Warspite was destroyed by fire.
17January 1918, Sir Keith Joseph, British politician, was born.
1January 1918, Sugar rationing began in Britain.
31 December 1917, During the year 1917 German submarines sank 6,500,000 tons of Allied shipping whilst only 2,700,000 tons was built. In April 1917 Britain had only two months� worth of food stocks. However with US destroyer patrols searching for German submarines, escorted transatlantic convoys and the mining of the seas between Scotland and Norway, Allied losses were dramatically reduced and after April 1918 never exceeded 200,000 tons a month.
5/10/1917. Sir Arthur Lee donated Chequers to the nation as a country retreat for British Prime Ministers.
14/9/1917. German submarine shelled Scarborough.
2/9/1917, Major German night time air raid on Dover.
30 August 1917. Denis Healey, British Labour politician, was born.
28 July 1917, The formation of the Royal Tank Corps in the British Army was authorised.
17 July 1917. Churchill returned to UK government as Minister for Munitions.
5 July 1917, Joe Gormley, President of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), was born.
19 June 1917, All German titles and names are renounced by the British Royal Family, who adopted the name Windsor. The old name had been Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.
13 June 1917, Large German air raid on Folkestone, Shorncliffe and other Kent towns. 95 died and 260 were injured.
12 May 1917. The British army began to accept men aged 41-50.
26/4/1917. �German naval raid on Ramsgate.
18/3/1917. Ramsgate and Broadstairs shelled from the sea.
2/1917, In Britain the Women�s Land Army (WLA) was set up, to boost domestic food production whilst the men were away fighting in the trenches. The UK Government promoted a �voluntary rationing� scheme. By 1918 the WLA had 20,000 volunteers, doing dairy work, ploughing, and tree felling.
7 December 1916. In Britain, David Lloyd George succeeded Herbert Asquith as Prime Minister (see 8/4/1908). A Coalition government led by the Liberals was formed.
5 December 1916, An explosion at the Barnbow munitions factory, Leeds, killed 35 women. The incident was censored and went unreported at the time. War production resumed within a week, with wages on �12 a week, equivalent to over �1,000 a week in 2015.
28 November 1916, First German aeroplane raids on London.
15/9/1916. Tanks went into battle for the first time, for the British Army at the battle of Flers on the� Somme.� They were invented by Sir Ernest Swinton, weighed 30 tons, and travelled at 4mph. It was hoped they would break the stalemate of trench warfare. Some German soldiers fled, thinking the Devil had come. The tank forces achieved their objective but infantry reserves could not arrive in time to consolidate the successes.
29January 1916. Military tanks were trialled at Hatfield, Hertfordshire.
9 July 1916. British Prime Minister (1970-74) Edward Heath, was born in Broadstairs, Kent.
25 May 1916, Britain extended compulsory military conscription from single men (Military Service Act, given Royal Assent on 27January 1916) to married men too (a second Military Service Act).
21 May 1916, Daylight saving time began in Britain. It was introduced by William Willett, to save coal stocks by reducing the demand for electric lighting.
17 May 1916. The Daylight Saving Act was passed. Clocks went forward in Britain for the first time on 21 May 1916, causing some confusion. See 7 August 1925.
16 May 1916, French diplomat Francois-Georges Picot and British diplomat Mark Sykes began a secret correspondence to decide how the Middle East would be divided up after World War One (see also 30/10/1917). The Western Powers had already decided that the Ottoman Empire was too vast and too corrupt to be allowed to survive. Britain would claim Jordan, most of Iraq, and the port city of Haifa. France� would take SE Turkey, northern Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Palestine would be jointly administered between Britain and France. Russia would be granted the city of Constantinople and several Armenian-dominated regions. In fact the Russian Revolution of 1917 and further diplomatic developments meant that not all these provisions became reality, but the Sykes-Picot agreement set the scene for many of the issues of the Middle East during the 20th century.
2/4/1916, A large explosion occurred at the Uplees explosives factory, Kent, which was producing armaments for World War One. 116 men and boys were killed.
11/3/1916. British Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson was born in Huddersfield, Yorkshire.
26/9/1915. Kier Hardie, founder of the Labour Party, died.
15 July 1915. 200,000 Welsh miners went on strike for more pay.
10 May 1915. Denis Thatcher, wife of Margaret, British Prime Minister, was born.
26/2/1915. Clydeside armament workers went on strike for more pay.
30January 1915, John Profumo, British Cabinet Minister involved in the Profumo Affair with Christine Keeler and a Russian attach�, was born.
22 November 1914, Peter Townsend, British Air Force officer in World War Two, was born.
2 July 1914, Joseph Chamberlain, British politician, died.
4 June 1914, In Britain, railway workers and miners came out on strike in support of builders and other workers already on strike.
15 May 1914, The Commons rejected the idea of Home Rule for Scotland.
10 May 1914, In Britain, the Liberal Unionist Party united with the Conservatives.
30/3/1914. 100,000 miners in Yorkshire went on strike.
1913, Almost 4 million holidaymakers had visited Blackpool this year, up from nearly 2 million in 1893 and 850,000 in 1873.
7 November 1913. Box Hill, Surrey, was formally given to the nation.
26/10/1913, Hugh Scanlon, British trade unionist, was born.
14/10/1913, Britain�s worst coal mining disaster occurred at Universal Colliery, Senghenydd, Glamorgan, when 439 died in a pit explosion. The blast was heard 11 miles away in Cardiff.
31 July 1913, Lloyd George said the Lords should be abolished.
23 June 1913, Michael Foot, UK Labour Party Leader, was born.
3January 1913, James Hamilton Abercorn, British politician (born 24 August 1838) died.
1912, The D Notice committee was founedto �guide� the press on matters concerning national security.
18 December 1912. The Piltdown Man was discovered in Sussex. It was claimed to be the fossilised skull and other remains of the earliest known European man. On 21 November 1953 it was revealed as� a hoax, the skull was that of an orang-utan.
22 November 1912, The wives of striking Welsh coal miners in� joined their husbands in rioting against the police, during the 1912 National Coal Strike.
21/9/1912, Ian McGregor, chairman of British Steel and British Coal, was born.
24 July 1912, Emma Cons, British social worker and philanthropist, died at Hever, Kent (born 4/3/1838 in London).
21 July 1912, UK, Second reading of the Franchise Bill, giving all men over 21 the vote.
26 June 1912, The first Alexandra Day.
16 June 1912. Enoch Powell was born in Stechford, Birmingham.
26 May 1912, The UK was paralysed by a transport strike.
10/4/1912, Troops were called out to quell riots in Wigan.
27/3/1912. British Labour leader and Prime Minister 1976-1979, James Callaghan, was born in Portsmouth.
15/2/1912, An attempt by the British Labour Party to institute a Minimum Wage was defeated in the House of Commons.
13 November 1911. Bonar Law became leader of the Tory Party, succeeding Arthur James Balfour.
9 November 1911, A squadron of soldiers, the 18th Hussars, with rifles, patrolled the streets of Tonypandy, south Wales, after clashes between striking miners and the police, in which the police had been stoned.
8 November 1911, Arthur Balfour, Conservative leader, resigned.
23/10/1911. Winston Churchill was appointed First Lord of the Admiralty.
6/10/1911. Barbara Castle, British Labour politician, was born.
6/9/1911. The British TUC condemned the use of troops in strikes.
18 August 1911. In the UK, the Official Secrets Bill got Royal Assent. This made it a criminal offence for government departments to disclose certain categories of information.
17-19 August 1911. Railway strike in the UK. Armed troops were called out to assist the police in safeguarding the nation�s food supplies. Food convoys left main railway goods junctions under heavy guard.
14 August 1911, South Wales miners ended their strike after 14 months.
13 August 1911, Rioting broke out in Liverpool after Tom Mann and other trade unionists held mass meetings near St George�s Hall.
8 August 1911. Violence flared in Liverpool�s streets as a nationwide strike continued. The strike by railwaymen,
dockers, and other transport workers threatened a nationwide famine, and warships stood by to help merchant ships off Liverpool to unload. 50,000 troops stood by in Liverpool.
20 July 1911, 20 rioters in Wales shot dead by troops.
19 July 1911, The Liver Building in Liverpool was opened.
23 June 1911. Coronation of King George V.
22 June 1911, Liverpool�s Liver Clock, called �Great George�, began showing the time.
15 May 1911, King George V and his cousin the Kaiser reasserted their friendship.
3 May 1911, In Britain, Lloyd George introduced a National Health Insurance Bill.
7/4/1911, The House of Commons gave a second reading to a Bill giving copyright during an author�s lifetime and for 50 years after their death.
6/2/1911. The Labour Party elected Ramsay MacDonald as its leader, replacing Kier Hardie.
20 December 1910. Liberals and Tories tied in the UK general election. Liberals and Conservatives got 272 seats each (from 397 Liberal MPs). The Liberals under Herbert Asquith remained in power with the backing of 42 Labour MPs and 84 Irish Nationalists. The Tories lost support because their blocking of the Budget landed Britain with a �10 million debt. If the House of Lords still blocked the Budget, Asquith threatened to create 300 new peers to ensure it passed, a measure reluctantly agreed to by King George V. Reform of the powers of the House of Lords has now become a major political issue. This issue sidelined Liberal policies for home rule for Wales and Scotland. In the event, World War One also delayed home rule for Ireland.
29/10/1910, A J Ayer, British philosopher, was born (died 1989).
10 May 1910, In Britain the House of Commons resolved that the House of Lords should have no power to veto money Bills, limited power to postpone other Bills, and that the maximum lifetime of a Parliament should be reduced from seven to five years.
27/4/1910, In Britain the �People�s Budget� was passed again� by the Commons; after three hours of debate it was also passed by the Lords, and received Royal Assent.
4/4/1910, The first Commons reading of a Bill to abolish the Lords� power of veto.
11/3/1910, A dam burst in The Rhondda, Wales, sweeping away 500 children; 494 were rescued.
21/2/1910, Douglas Bader, World War Two fighter pilot and squadron leader, was born in London.
30 November 1909, The House of Lords threw out a Budget by Liberal Chancellor Lloyd George they considered too left-wing. Prime Minister Herbert Asquith now faced a General Election. The controversial Budget proposed taxing the highest 10,000 earners with incomes over �5,000 a year in Britain an extra 6d in the � income tax, over and above the rate of 1 shilling 2d in the � paid by all earners above �2,000 a year, a rise from 1 shilling in the �. Unearned income was also to be taxed at 1s 2d in the �. Death duties were to be doubled. The tax money would fund rearmament and old age pensions. The Tories described the Budget as a tax on the propertied classes. On 3 December 1909 King Edward VII dissolved Parliament, and taxes on alcohol, tobacco and cars were suspended as no Budget had been passed. For half a century it had been accepted that the unelected Lords could not veto a money Bill from the elected Commons, but the Tories argued this Bill had too many non-financial measures to come under this rule.
5 November 1909, The first Woolworth store opened in Britain, in Lord Street, Liverpool.
9/10/1909, Donald Coggan, 101st Archbishop of Canterbury, was born.
30 July 1909, Northcote Parkinson, British author, historian and journalist, best known for stating Parkinson�s Law that work expands to fill the time available, was born.
6 June 1909, Isaiah Berlin, Russian-British political philosopher, was born.
28 November 1908, The Court of Appeal in Britain ruled that Unions could not use their funds for political purposes. Many Labour MPs depended on sponsorship by the Unions.
26 November 1908, Charles (Lord) Forte, hotelier, was born.� He opened Newport Pagnell services on the M1 in 1959, and died in 2007.
6 November 1908, A cotton workers strike in Lancashire ended after seven weeks with the workers accepting a pay cut.
5 November 1908, The Cullinan Diamond was cut for Queen Alexandra, Britain.
25/10/1908, Lewis Campbell, British classical scholar (born 3/9/1830) died.
12/9/1908, Winston Churchill married Clementine Hosier.
15 August 1908, Winston Churchill announced his engagement to Clementine Hosier.
7/9/1908, Frederick Blayes, English classical scholar, died in Southsea (born Hampton Court Green 29/9/1818).
2 June 1908, Sir Redvers Buller, British General, died (born 1839).
30 May 1908, Bernard Fitz Alan Howard, 16th Duke of Norfolk, British statesman, was born.
11 May 1908, The foundation stone of the Liver Building, Liverpool, was laid.
12/4/1908, Herbert Asquith was appointed Prime Minister, replacing Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, who had resighned through ill-health. David Lloyd George became Chancellor of the Exchequer.
5/4/1908, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, English Prime Minister, resigned due to ill health (born 7/9/1836).
1/3/1908, John Adrian, 1st Marquess of Linlithgow, died.
22January 1908, The British Labour Party decided to adopt Socialism.
6January 1908, 2,000 textile workers went on strike in Oldham, Lancashire.
6/10/1907, Henry Brampton, English judge, died in London (born in Hitchin 14/9/1817).
31 August 1907, The UK and Russia agreed an entente, defining spheres of influence in Persia, Tibet, and Afghanistan.� There was an implicit agreement that Britain would not allow Russia to control the Bosporus, and the entente opened up the London money markets to Russia, allowing it to recover from the Japanese defeat of 1904/5. France was also part of this agreement, forming a Triple Entente to contain the newly unified Prussian-dominated Germany.
7/2/1907, George Goschen, British statesman, died (born 10 August 1831).
14 June 1907, The UK Government announced a Bill to curb the House of Lords.
19 May 1907, Sir Benjamin Baker, British engineer, died in Pangbourne, Berkshire (born 1840).
2 May 1907, King Edward VII of Britain met the French President in Paris.
24/4/1907, Winston Churchill, Colonial Under-Secretary, was made a Privy Councillor.
25/3/1907, The British Government killed off a Channel Tunnel Bill.
9/3/1907, John Alexander Dowie, Scottish evangelist and faith healer (born 25 May 1847 in Edinborgh, Scotland) died in Chicago, Illinois.
23January 1907, In the UK, Lloyd George advocated reducing the power of the House of Lords.
19January 1907, Captain Henry Singleton Pennell, English soldier who received the Victoria Cross, died.
30 November 1906, The Prince of Wales opened the new Cotton Exchange in Liverpool.
21 November 1906, In Glasgow, a man died when 200,000 gallons of hot whisky burst out of vats.
30/10/1906, Gathorne Cranbrook, British statesman, died (born 1/10/1814).
2/10/1906, John Humphreys Whitfield, British scholar of Italian language & literature, was born in Wednesbury, England (died 1995).
8/3/1906. The British government stated that the British Empire covered 11.5 million square miles, one fifth of the world�s land area, and had a population of 400 million, a quarter of the world total. The Empire had grown by a third in the last 25 years.
12January 1906. The Liberals won a landslide victory in the British general elections. Labour under Keir Hardie also made gains. The Liberals had 399 seats, up from 184 in the 1900 election. The Conservatives retained 156 seats, down from 402. Labour gained 29 seats; a secret Liberal-Labour pact gave the Labour candidate a free run against the Tories in key constituencies. Labour�s share of the vote was just 4.8%, but this was treble their 1900 share. In December 1905 the new Liberal Government got the Trades Disputes Bill passed by the (Conservative-dominated) House of Lords, reversing the House of Lords ruling in the Taff Vale case (1901), which had meant trades unions were liable for losses to the employer caused by strikes.
4 December 1905, British Prime Minister Arthur Balfour resigned.
25/10/1905, Lord Roseberry called for a future Liberal Government to challenge the power of the House of Lords.
7/9/1905, John Whitley, British air-marshal was born (died 1997)
22 July 1905, Ralph Lingen, British civil servant, died.
19/4/1905. A judge decided the public had no right of way to Stonehenge.
31/3/1905, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany arrived in Tangier, Morocco, to give a speech in favour of Moroccan independence. This was intended to humiliate France, who saw Morocco as their own protectorate, and to test the closeness of the Franco-British entente. Germany intended to subsequently �grant France limited control in Morocco�, a move supposed to bring France closer to Germany and away from Britain. However Germany was surprised by the forcefulness with which British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey backed France; Germany was further isolated from France, Britain and hence Russia too. This event paved the way for the Agadir crisis of 1911.
2/3/1905, Dr Gore was installed as the first Bishop of Birmingham.
20January 1905, Herbert Bowden, British politician, was born.
17 August 1904, In the UK, the Postmaster General reported that postcard usage increased by 25% in 1903.
9 December 1903, The Glasgow East End Industrial Exhibition opened in Duke Street, Glasgow, Scotland. It ran until 9/4/1904, attracting 908,897 visitors. The opening ceremony, led by Alexander Bruce, 6th Lord Balfour of Burleigh, was followed by a choral concert given by the Royal Marines.
24 November 1903, Sir John Maple, British business magnate, died.
22 August 1903. Lord Salisbury, four times Conservative Prime Minister, died, aged 73.
10 July 1903, Kenneth Clarke, UK Conservative politician, was born (died 1983).
3/9/1902, The Trades Unions Congress voted in London to back independent Labour Parliamentary candidates rather than rely on local alliances with Liberals.
12 July 1902. (1) Arthur Balfour (Conservative) succeeded Lord Salisbury as Tory Prime Minister.�
(2) Kitchener returned to a heroes� welcome in London.
4/2/1901, Queen Victoria was buried at Windsor, next to Albert.
22January 1901. Queen Victoria died, at of a cerebral haemorrhage Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, aged 81; the longest reigning and longest lived monarch of Britain. Accession of King Edward VII to the British throne. His coronation was on 9 August 1902. King Edward VII was born on 9 November 1840, and was the eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Crowned at 60 years of age, he proved a popular monarch who gave his name to the Edwardian era. He was made Prince of Wales by his mother when only one month old. His free and easy social life made him a prominent figure in society and he was involved in several scandals. His coronation was elaborate and was a departure from the rather dour image of the monarchy in the latter part of Queen Victoria�s reign. Edward VII is remembered as a popular man who tried to ensure peace in Europe, touring European capitals in a diplomatic role. An estimated 500,000 watched the funeral. procession of Queen Victoria as it travelled through the silent streets of London, on 2/2/1901. The funeral took place at Windsor.
31 December 1900, At Stonehenge, Stone No. 21 and its lintel fell down.
17/10/1900, Lord Salisbury�s Tory government was re-elected, in the British General Election. Tory popularity was high after the Boer War victory.
See South Africa for events of Boer War
25 June 1900, Earl Louis Mountbatten, military commander and last Viceroy of India, was born at Frogmore House, Windsor.
22 May 1900, William Lindley, English engineer, died (born 7/9/1808).
27/2/1900, The British Labour Party was formed by the Trades Unions, along with the Fabians. Ramsay MacDonald was its secretary; he later became its leader and Prime Minister.