The Year 1965 (and what a corker of a year)
1 January – Introduction of the new “Worboys Committee” road signs.
7 January – Identical twin brothers Ronnie and Reggie Kray, 31, are arrested on suspicion of running a protection racket in London.
14 January – The Prime Ministers of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland meet for the first time in 43 years.
15 January – Sir Winston Churchill is reported to be seriously ill after suffering a stroke.
24 January – Sir Winston Churchill dies aged 90 at Chartwell, his Kent home of more than 40 years.
30 January – Thousands attend Winston Churchill’s state funeral in London. During the three days of lying-in-state, 321,000 people file past the catafalque, and the funeral procession travels from Westminster Hall to the service at St Paul’s Cathedral, attended by the Queen, Prime Minister Harold Wilson, and representatives of 112 countries. He is buried privately at Bladon near his family’s ancestral home in Oxfordshire.
31 January – National Health prescription charges end.
1 February – The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh arrive in Ethiopia on a state visit.
4 February – Confederation of British Industry founded.
6 February – Sir Stanley Matthews plays his final First Division game, at the record age of 50 years and 5 days.
16 February – The British Railways Board (chairman: Richard Beeching) publishes The Development of the Major Trunk Routes proposing which lines should receive investment (and, by implication, which should not).
18 February – The Gambia becomes independent from the United Kingdom.
3 March – The remains of Roger Casement, from Pentonville Prison, are reburied in Dublin.
11 March – Goldie, a London Zoo golden eagle, is recaptured after 13 days of freedom.
19 March – A record price of 760,000 guineas is paid at Christie’s for Rembrandt’s Titus.
23 March – Dr Dorothy Hodgkin is awarded the Order of Merit.
The Greater London Council comes into its powers, replacing the London County Council and greatly expanding the metropolitan area of the city.
Finance Act introduces corporation tax, replacing income tax for corporate institutions.
6 April – Government publicly announces cancellation of the BAC TSR-2 nuclear bomber aircraft project.
23 April – The Pennine Way officially opens.
26 April – Manchester United win the Football League First Division title.
1 May – Liverpool win the FA Cup for the first time in their history, beating Leeds United 2-1 at Wembley Stadium. Roger Hunt and Ian St John score for Liverpool, while Billy Bremner scores the consolation goal for Leeds.
7 May – The Rhodesian Front under Prime Minister Ian Smith wins a landslide election victory in Rhodesia.
11 May – The National Trust officially launches its long-term Enterprise Neptune project to acquire or put under covenant a substantial part of the Welsh, English and Northern Irish coastline. Whiteford Burrows on the Gower Peninsula is considered the first property to be acquired under the campaign although its purchase was announced on 1 January.
13 May – The Conservatives make big gains in the UK local government elections.
17 May – An underground explosion at Cambrian Colliery in Clydach Vale kills 31.
18 May – The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh begin a 10-day state visit to the Federal German Republic.
19 May – West Ham United F.C. become the second British club to win a European trophy, defeating West German 1860 Munich 2-0 at Wembley Stadium.
3 June – The bank rate is reduced to 6 per cent.
17 June – London premiere of Frank Marcus’ farce The Killing of Sister George (at the Duke of York’s Theatre), one of the first mainstream British plays with lesbian characters. Beryl Reid plays the title role. The play previewed in April at the Bristol Old Vic.
18 June – The government announces plans for the introduction of a blood alcohol limit for drivers in its clampdown on drink-driving.
22 June – The 700th anniversary of Parliament is celebrated.
6 July – 1965 Little Baldon Hastings accident: A Royal Air Force Handley Page Hastings crashes at Little Baldon, Oxfordshire, just after takeoff from RAF Abingdon on a parachute training exercise, killing all 41 men on board.
8 July – Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs escapes from Wandsworth Prison.
12 July – The Secretary of State for Education and Science, Tony Crosland, issues Circular 10/65 requesting local authorities to convert their schools to the Comprehensive system.
22 July – Sir Alec Douglas-Home suddenly resigns as a head of the British Conservative Party.
24 July – Freddie Mills, former British boxing champion, is found shot in his car in Soho, dying the next day.
27 July – Edward Heath becomes leader of the British Conservative Party following its first leadership election by secret ballot.
29 July – The Beatles film Help! debuts in London.
Cigarette advertising is prohibited on British television.
Radio and television licence fees are increased.
3 August – “The Queen’s Award to Industry” for export and technological advancements is created.
Elizabeth Lane appointed as the first female High Court judge, assigned to the Family Division.
Peter Watkins’ The War Game, a television drama-documentary depicting the aftermath of a nuclear attack on the UK, is pulled from its planned transmission as BBC1’s The Wednesday Play for political reasons. It will go on to win the 1966 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. It would eventually be broadcast 20 years later.
20 August – The Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” is released in the UK.
21 August – Charlton Athletic F.C. player Keith Peacock becomes the first substitute to appear in a Football League match.
2 September – Sir Harry Hylton-Foster, Speaker of the House of Commons, dies in office.
16 September – UK Release of the film Darling starring Julie Christie.
21 September – British Petroleum’s oil platform Sea Gem strikes natural gas in the North Sea oil field.
24 September – The British governor of Aden cancels the Aden constitution and takes direct control of the protectorate, due to the bad security situation.
30 September – First episode of ATV ‘Supermarionation’ series Thunderbirds airs.
October – Corgi Toys introduce the all-time best selling model car, James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 from the film Goldfinger.
7 October – Ian Brady, a 27-year-old stock clerk from Hyde in Cheshire, is charged with the murder of 17-year-old apprentice electrician Edward Evans to death at a house on the Hattersley housing estate last night.
8 October – The Post Office Tower opens in London.
16 October – Police find a girl’s body on Saddleworth Moor near Oldham in Lancashire. The body is quickly identified as that of Lesley Ann Downey, who disappeared on Boxing Day last year from a fairground in the Ancoats area of Manchester, at the age of 10. Ian Brady, arrested last week for the murder of a 17-year-old man in nearby Hattersley, is suspected of murdering Lesley, as is his 23-year-old girlfriend Myra Hindley, who on 11 October was also charged with the murder of Edward Evans. Police suspect that other missing people from the Manchester area, including 12-year-old John Kilbride (who was last seen alive nearly three years ago) could also be buried there; some reports state that as many as 11 murder victims may have been buried in the area.
18 October – The Magic Roundabout premieres on BBC One at 17.50 local time.
20 October – It is reported that suspected mass murderer Ian Brady tortured his victims and tape-recorded the attacks on them. Detectives in Brady’s native Scotland are also reportedly investigating the disappearance of 12-year-old Moira Anderson in Lanarkshire eight years ago as a possible link to Brady.
21 October – Ian Brady and Myra Hindley are charged with the murder of Lesley Ann Downey and remanded in custody.
22 October – African countries demand that the United Kingdom use force to prevent Rhodesia from declaring unilateral independence.
Prime Minister Harold Wilson and Arthur Bottomley travel to Rhodesia for negotiations.
Police find the decomposed body of a boy on Saddleworth Moor. The body is identified as that of John Kilbride, a 12-year-old boy who disappeared from Ashton-Under-Lyne in November 1963.
29 October – Ian Brady and Myra Hindley appear in court, charged with the murders of Edward Evans (17), Lesley Ann Downey (10) and John Kilbride (12).
1 November – Three cooling towers at the uncompleted Ferrybridge C electricity generating station in West Yorkshire collapse in high winds.
5 November – Martial law is announced in Rhodesia. The UN General Assembly accepts British intent to use force against Rhodesia if necessary by a vote of 82-9.
The British Indian Ocean Territory is created, consisting of Chagos Archipelago, Aldabra, Farquhar and Des Roches islands (on 23 June 1976 Aldabra, Farquhar and Des Roches are returned to Seychelles).
The Murder (Abolition of Death Penalty) Act suspends capital punishment for murder in England, Scotland and Wales, for five years in the first instance, replacing it with a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment.
The Race Relations Act outlaws public racial discrimination.
11 November – In Rhodesia, the white minority regime of Ian Smith unilaterally declares independence.
13 November – The word “fuck” is spoken for the first time on British television by the theatre critic Kenneth Tynan.
20 November – The UN Security Council recommends that all states stop trading with Rhodesia.
29 November – Mary Whitehouse founds the National Viewers’ and Listeners’ Association.
EMI release Jacqueline du Pré’s recording of Elgar’s Cello Concerto with John Barbirolli and the London Symphony Orchestra.
National Coal Board closes the last deep coal mine in the Forest of Dean (Northern United at Cinderford).
3 December – The first British aid flight arrives in Lusaka; Zambia has asked for British help against Rhodesia.
12 December – The Beatles’ last live U.K. tour concludes with two performances at the Capitol, Cardiff.
15 December – Tanzania and Guinea sever diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom.
17 December – The British government begins an oil embargo against Rhodesia; the United States joins the effort.
A 70 mph speed limit is imposed on British roads.
A reorganisation of the cabinet sees Roy Jenkins appointed Home Secretary and Barbara Castle as Minister of Transport.
24 December – A meteorite shower falls on Barwell, Leicestershire.
27 December – The British oil platform Sea Gem collapses in the North Sea, killing 13 of the 32 men on it.
30 December – President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia announces that Zambia and the United Kingdom have agreed to a deadline before which the Rhodesian white government should be ousted.
The Certificate of Secondary Education (CSE) is introduced as a school-leaving qualification in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The Council for National Academic Awards is established.
Redundancy Payments Act gives statutory rights to redundancy payments.
Rent Act passed.
First national Building Regulations for England and Wales are made.
Mary Quant introduces the miniskirt from her shop Bazaar on the Kings Road in Chelsea, London.
The motorway network continues to expand with the Preston-Lancaster section of the M6 opening in January, the M4 being expanded from Slough to London in March, a motorway section of the A1 opening in County Durham in May, the M1 being expanded from Rugby to Kegworth (Leicestershire) in November, along with a four-mile stretch of the M5 west of Birmingham, as well as the first phase of motorway in Scotland with the M8 as well as the expansion of the M2 through Kent
The Rotunda landmark office building completed in Birmingham city centre.
Toyota, the Japanese industrial giant, begins importing passenger cars to the United Kingdom when its Corona family saloon – similar in size to the Ford Cortina – is launched
Asda opens its first supermarket in Castleford, Yorkshire