Trisha Shetty (Editor)

1953 in the United Kingdom

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1953 in the United Kingdom

Events from the year 1953 in the United Kingdom. This is the year of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and the North Sea flood.



  • Monarch – Elizabeth II
  • Prime Minister – Winston Churchill (Conservative)
  • Events

  • 28 January – Derek Bentley is executed at Wandsworth Prison in London for his part in the murder of PC Sidney Miles.
  • 31 January – The car ferry MV Princess Victoria, sailing from Stranraer, Scotland, to Larne, Northern Ireland, sinks in the Irish Sea killing 133 people on board. Among the dead are Northern Ireland Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Major Maynard Sinclair, and Sir Walter Smiles, the Ulster Unionist MP for North Down.
  • 31 January/1 February – The North Sea flood of 1953 kills hundreds of people on the east coast of Britain. A corvette and a submarine sink at their moorings in HM Dockyard Sheerness.
  • 5 February – The rationing of sweets, introduced during World War II, ends.
  • 9 February – Fraserburgh life-boat John and Charles Kennedy capsizes on service: six crew killed.
  • 28 February – James D. Watson and Francis Crick announce that they have discovered the structure of the DNA molecule.
  • 4 March – Tommy Taylor, 21-year-old centre forward, becomes Britain's most expensive footballer in a £29,999 transfer from Barnsley to Manchester United.
  • 16 March – Josip Tito, the leader of Yugoslavia visits the UK, the first Communist leader to do so.
  • 24 March
  • Queen Mary, consort of the late George V dies in her sleep at Marlborough House.
  • The 10 Rillington Place murders are uncovered in London.
  • 31 March – The funeral of Queen Mary takes place at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.
  • 13 April – Ian Fleming publishes his first James Bond novel, Casino Royale.
  • 15 April – Britain awards the George Medal to 22-year-old American airman Reis Leming who rescued 27 people in last winter's floods in East Anglia.
  • 16 April – The Queen launches the Royal Yacht Britannia at John Brown & Company shipbuilders on the Clyde.
  • 24 April – Winston Churchill receives a knighthood from the Queen.
  • 25 April – Francis Crick and James D. Watson publish their description of the double helix structure of DNA in the paper Molecular structure of Nucleic Acids.
  • 2 May – Blackpool win the FA Cup final with a 4–3 victory over Bolton Wanderers, who have been 3–1 ahead until the final quarter of the game. Stan Mortensen scores a hat-trick, but the 38-year-old winger Stanley Matthews is instrumental in winning the game for Blackpool, who have never won a major trophy before. This is the first final to be televised.
  • 2 June – Public holiday
  • The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II takes place at Westminster Abbey.
  • The Times exclusively carries James Morris's scoop of the conquest of Mount Everest by a British expedition on 29 May.
  • 6 June – The Epsom Derby is won by Pinza, the only Derby victory for Gordon Richards at his 28th attempt, days after becoming the only jockey to be made a knight. The Queen's horse, Aureole, finishes second.
  • 23 June – Prime minister Winston Churchill, 78, suffers a stroke at a dinner for the Italian prime minister Alcide De Gasperi. On 27 June the public are told that he is suffering from fatigue.
  • 25 June – John Christie, a 54-year-old London man, is sentenced to death for the murder of his wife Ethel Christie. A total of eight bodies have been found at Christie's home, 10 Rillington Place in Notting Hill, including those of the wife and daughter of Timothy Evans who had been hanged in 1950 for his daughter's murder.
  • 26 June – Eskdalemuir enters the UK Weather Records for the highest rainfall in a 30-minute period with 80mm, a record that will remain for at least 60 years.
  • 30 June – First roll-on/roll-off ferry crossing of the English Channel, Dover–Boulogne.
  • 15 July – John Christie is hanged at Pentonville Prison, where a crowd of some 200 people stand to wait for the notice of execution to be posted.
  • 18 July – The Quatermass Experiment, first of the Quatermass science-fiction serials by Nigel Kneale, begins its run on BBC Television.
  • 20 July – The Good Old Days, filmed at the Leeds City Varieties, begins its 30-year run on BBC Television.
  • 19 August – The England cricket team under Len Hutton defeat Australia to win The Ashes for the first time in 19 years.
  • Autumn – Myxomatosis reaches the UK, first being illegally introduced onto an estate in West Sussex.
  • 26 September – End of post-War sugar rationing.
  • 6 October – Government sends troops to the colony of British Guiana blaming communists for causing unrest.
  • 27 October – Arbroath life-boat Robert Lindsay capsizes on service: six crew killed.
  • 2 November – The Samaritans telephone counselling service for the suicidal is started by Rev. Chad Varah in London.
  • 11 November – Current affairs series Panorama first airs on BBC Television; it will still be running more than fifty years later.
  • 17 November – Italian cargo steamer Vittoria Claudia sinks after collision with French motor vessel Perou in the English Channel, killing 20 Italian sailors.
  • 20 November – The Piltdown Man, which was discovered in 1912 and thought to be the fossilised remains of a hitherto unknown form of early human, exposed as a hoax.
  • 25 November – England v Hungary football match at Wembley Stadium results in a 6–3 defeat suffered by the England national football team against Hungary, ending a 90-year unbeaten home run against sides from outside the British Isles.
  • 26 November – The House of Lords votes in favour of the government's proposals for commercial television.
  • c. December – Matchbox toy vehicles are introduced by Lesney Products of London.
  • 10 December
  • Winston Churchill wins the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values".
  • Hans Adolf Krebs wins the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for his discovery of the citric acid cycle".
  • Pilkington Brothers take out their first patent for the float glass process developed by Alastair Pilkington.
  • Undated

  • Michael Ventris deciphers the Minoan language Linear B.
  • First Italian espresso coffee bar opens in the UK, The Moka in Frith Street, Soho, London.
  • Jazz musician John Dankworth sets up his big band, the Johnny Dankworth Orchestra.
  • Laura Ashley sells her first printed fabrics.
  • J. C. Bamford of Rocester introduce the backhoe loader.
  • E. Gomme introduce the popular G-Plan furniture range.
  • House of Fraser take over the Sunderland-based Binns group of department stores.
  • Some 25% of British households now own a television set, 17 years after the first sets became available. Many families buy a set this year to watch the Coronation.
  • Publications

  • Agatha Christie's novels After the Funeral (Hercule Poirot) and A Pocket Full of Rye (Miss Marple).
  • Gerald Durrell's first book, The Overloaded Ark.
  • Lawrence Durrell's book Reflections on a Marine Venus.
  • Islwyn Ffowc Elis's Welsh novel Cysgod y Cryman
  • Ian Fleming's first James Bond novel, Casino Royale.
  • L. P. Hartley's novel The Go-Between.
  • C. S. Lewis' novel The Silver Chair.
  • Evelyn Waugh's novel Love Among the Ruins. A Romance of the Near Future.
  • Geoffrey Willans and Ronald Searle's Molesworth book Down With Skool.
  • John Wyndham's novel The Kraken Wakes.
  • Births

  • 4 January
  • Jackie Ballard, journalist and politician
  • Richard Boden, director and producer
  • Vicki Bruce, psychologist and academic
  • 19 January – Linda Hayden, actress
  • 29 January
  • Ronnie Moore, footballer and manager
  • Richard Younger-Ross, politician
  • 17 February – Norman Pace, actor and comedian
  • 26 March – Christopher Fowler, thriller writer
  • 11 April – Andrew Wiles, mathematician known for proving Fermat's Last Theorem
  • 13 April – Stephen Byers, politician
  • 20 April – Sebastian Faulks, novelist
  • 6 May – Tony Blair, Prime Minister
  • 15 May – Mike Oldfield, musician
  • 19 May – Victoria Wood, comic performer (died 2016)
  • 24 May – Alfred Molina, actor
  • 26 May – Michael Portillo, politician
  • 2 June – Dave Boy Green, boxer and businessman
  • 3 June – John Moulder-Brown, actor
  • 15 July – John Yorke Denham, politician
  • 21 July – David Ervine, leader of the Progressive Unionist Party (died 2007)
  • 8 August – Nigel Mansell, racing driver
  • 15 August - Carol Thatcher, journalist
  • 18 August – Patrick Cowdell, English boxer
  • 23 August - Bobby G, singer (Bucks Fizz)
  • 12 October - Les Dennis, television presenter, actor and comedian
  • 21 October – Peter Mandelson, politician
  • 27 October – Peter Firth, British actor
  • 7 November – Lucinda Green, equestrian
  • 16 November – Griff Rhys Jones, comedian, actor and writer
  • 26 November – Hilary Benn, politician
  • 28 November – Alistair Darling, politician
  • 2 December – David Anderson, English miner and politician
  • 6 December – Geoff Hoon, politician
  • 13 December - Jim Davidson, comedian
  • Deaths

  • 28 January – Derek Bentley, criminal (born 1933) (hanged)
  • 29 January – Sir Norman MacEwen, RAF commander (born 1881)
  • 24 March – Queen Mary, consort of King George V, and grandmother of the Queen (born 1867)
  • 6 April – Idris Davies, Welsh poet (born 1905)
  • 1 June – Alex James, footballer (born 1901)
  • 30 September – Lewis Fry Richardson, mathematical physicist (born 1881)
  • 8 October – Kathleen Ferrier, contralto (born 1912)
  • 27 October – Thomas Wass, cricketer (born 1873)
  • 9 November – Dylan Thomas, Welsh poet and author (born 1914)
  • References

    1953 in the United Kingdom Wikipedia

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