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That Was the Year That Was – 1966
Image by brizzle born and bred
The swinging sixties were in full flow, but in some corners of the world the peace and love mantra of the flower-power generation could not be heard.
Even as hippies in London and San Francisco were weaving daisies into their hair, in China Mao Tse-Tung launched the Cultural Revolution, a 10-year political campaign aimed at rekindling revolutionary Communist fervour. Brandishing their copies of Mao’s Little Red Book of quotations, students of the Communist Party – the so-called Red Guards – pursued an ideological cleansing campaign in which they renounced and attacked anyone suspected of being an intellectual, or a member of the bourgeoisie. Thousands of Chinese citizens were executed, and millions more were yoked into manual labour in the decade that followed.
Meanwhile, the US government, under president Lyndon B Johnson, was escalating its military presence in Vietnam. By the year’s end, American troop levels had reached 389,000, with more than 5,000 combat deaths and over 30,000 wounded. The war was a brutal and dirty one, with many US casualties caused by sniper fire, booby traps and mines.
The Americans responded by sending B-52 bombers over North Vietnam, and by launching the infamous Search and Destroy policy on the ground.
"To know war," Johnson said in his State of the Union address before Congress, in January 1966, "is to know that there is still madness in this world".
There was bloodshed on the streets of London too, when Ronnie Kray, brother of Reggie, shot George Cornell dead in the Blind Beggar pub in Whitechapel in March.
Two years after his proclamations about the "white heat of technology" Harold Wilson was prime minister of a Labour government that included technology minister Tony Benn. If Benn was pleased to witness the introduction of the first homegrown UK credit card – The Barclaycard – in 1966, he was in the minority. The card was met with "a tidal wave of indifference", according to a Barclays executive.
Perhaps the UK public simply had other things on their minds.
This was, after all, the year in which Bobby Moore’s England beat the Germans 4-2 to lift the World Cup at Wembley.
Musically, 1966 was a vintage year. Jim Reeves’ Distant Drums knocked the Small Faces’ All or Nothing off the top spot. Other number ones in the year included Frank Sinatra’s Strangers in the Night, Good Vibrations by the Beach Boys, the Walker Brothers’ The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore and The Green, Green Grass of Home by Tom Jones.
The Beatles and the Rolling Stones also continued their dominance of the music scene, with Yellow Submarine, Eleanor Rigby, Paperback Writer and Paint it Black all topping the charts.
A Man for all Seasons won Best Picture at the 1966 Oscars, and its star Paul Scofield won Best Actor. Other films released this year included Georgy Girl, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Alfie and the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
On the small screen, viewers were subjected to the rants of Alf Garnet in Till Death us do Part; while US audiences were introduced to the delights of the Monkees and Star Trek. And the dynamic duo, Batman and Robin, thwarted lute-playing electronics genius the Minstrel as he tried to sabotage the computer systems at the Gotham City Stock Exchange.
"Batman heads off new corporate IT disaster" – now there’s a headline to conjure with.
The Queen opens the £10 million Severn Bridge on September 8. The Severn Bridge was opened in 1966 to replace the ferry service crossing from Aust to Beachley. The new bridge provided a direct link for the M4 motorway into Wales.
The Severn Bridge has now carried more than 300,000,000 vehicles since it was opened in 1966. Between 1980 and 1990 traffic flows increased by 63% and there were severe congestion problems in the summer and at peak times each day. Further increases in traffic flows were expected in the years ahead. The problems encountered on the Severn Bridge were made worse by the occasional high winds, accidents and breakdowns. It is for these reasons that the Second Severn Crossing was constructed as without it congestion would become more serious and frequent on the M4, M5 and the local road network.
Bristol’s Mecca Centre opens
1966 – Thursday May 19 is a glittering night in Bristol when 800 of the West Country’s VIPs are invited to the opening of the city centre’s brand new £32 million leisure complex on Frogmore Street With a dozen licensed bars, a casino, a cinema, a night club, an ice rink and a thousand plastic palm trees, this is the biggest entertainment palace anywhere in Europe and somewhere to rival the West End of London. There are girls! In bikinis! There’s even pineapple! On sticks! Drivers park their Hillman Imps in the multi-story car park!
And, amazingly enough, the venue has been an entertainment centre ever since. Bristol . . . entertainments capital of the South West, and one of the entertainments attractions of Europe. That was the talk of the town when Mecca moved into Bristol, splashed out a fortune and began building the New Entertainments Centre in Frogmore Street, towering over the ancient Hatchet Inn and the Georgian and Regency streets nearby.
The New Entertainments Centre wasn’t just big, it was enormous and it was what 60s leisure and fun-time were all about, Mecca promised. Here, slap bang in the middle of Bristol, the company was creating the largest entertainment centre in the whole of Europe. A dozen licensed bars, an ice rink, bowling lanes, a casino, a night club, a grand cinema, asumptuous ballroom and, naturally, a multi-storey car park to accommodate all those Zephyr Zodiacs, Anglias, Westminsters, Minis, Victors and Imps etc which would come pouring into town bringing the 5,000 or so customers who would flock to the centre every day.
London might have its famous West End. Bristol had its Frogmore Street palace of fun and the opening night of the biggest attraction of all, the Locarno Ballroom, on May 19th was the Night To Crown All First Nights, the Post proudly announced. Sparkling lights, plastic palm trees in shadily-lit bars, a revolving stage, dolly birds in fishnet tights and grass skirts . . . this was glamour a la mid-60s and Bristol loved it.
Horace Batchelor K-E-Y-N-S-H-A-M
1966 – KEYNSHAM became a familiar household name to millions of Radio Luxembourg listeners across Europe in the 1950s and 1960s — thanks to a local betting expert.
Self-styled ‘football pools king’ Horace Batchelor helped punters win a total of more than £12 million between 1948 and 1971 at a time when £75,000 was a fortune and his series of radio ads always mentioned mentioned Keynsham, which Horace would then spell out.
Customers followed his unique ‘infra draw’ tip system, which forecast which matches would be drawn in the pools. He put the otherwise little-known town on the map by spelling out its name letter by letter so listeners would address their applications correctly when ordering tips by post.
His ads included genial patter such as: ‘Hello, friends — this is Horace Batchelor, the inventor of the fabulous Infra-Draw system. You too can start to win really worthwhile dividends using my method.’
Members of the system clubbed together to enter very large permutations with a good chance of winning the pools and then sharing the takings — though each individual only received a small fraction of each big windfall. Horace himself set a world record by personally netting more than 30 first dividends and thousands of second and third dividends.
During his heyday up to 5.000 orders a day were delivered via Keynsham to his office in Old Market, Bristol. His first major pools win came in 1948 when he was presented with £11,321 at Bedminster’s Rex Cinema —part of the biggest dividend then paid by Sherman’s Pools.
It also included £45,000 which he shared with syndicate members. – By 1955 he had won enough to live in luxury, running three cars and puffing cigars in an 18-room house. He later retired to a 27-bedroom ‘Batchelor pad’ in Bath Road, Saltford, a small village just outside of Keynsham, which he named ‘Infra -Grange’ after his system.
Pickles was made Dog of the Year in 1966
Pickles, the mongrel dog who found the World Cup in a London street after it had been stolen three months before the 1966 finals, became a bigger story than that year’s general election.
In March 1966, a few months before the start of the World Cup finals in England, a mongrel dog named Pickles found the missing Jules Rimet trophy in a London street.
One week before Pickles came to the rescue, the priceless trophy had been stolen from the Westminster’s Methodist Central Hall where it was being displayed, albeit in a glass cabinet.
And this despite the presence of no less than five security guards. On that fateful Sunday, however, the guard stationed next to the trophy had taken the day off. The thieves stole in through a back door and snatched away the World Cup.
For his winning role in the tale, Pickles was made Dog of the Year in 1966 and awarded a year’s free supply of dog food. His owner, a Thames lighterman named David Corbett, was a prime suspect in the case and police questioned him for hours before he was cleared.
With a dramatic goal in the final moments of what was a nail-biting match, England finally became soccer World Cup champions, securing a 4-2 win over West Germany at London’s Wembley Stadium. It was just one of the many highlights of 1966 that are etched on my memory from a year that had its fair share of controversy and tragedy as well as producing some outstanding music.
‘more popular than Jesus’
Controversy come in the wake of John Lennon’s quip in a newspaper interview that The Beatles were ‘more popular than Jesus now’. It caused a furor and led to thousands of the group’s records being burned on bonfires in protest in some parts of America. I recall seeing the news coverage on TV showing angry groups of people tossing piles of vinyl in to the flames. It was far cry from the outpourings of adoration and admiration that the Liverpool lads usually enjoyed. And for a while threatened to damage their reputation.
The anti-Beatles outcry did however subside following an apology from Lennon and things eventually got back to normal on the Fab Four front. The catchy Paperback Writer topped the charts and their imaginative album Revolver reinstated their popularity.
Aberfan coal tip disaster in Wales
One of the most tragic events that year In Britain was the Aberfan coal tip disaster in Wales that claimed 144 lives, including 116 children. I was at work on a weekly newspaper on the October morning it happened. My colleagues and I had a radio on and listened to updates on and off throughout the day as rescuers dug through the tons of slurry that had roared down the hillside, desperately trying to find survivors in the mangled remains of the school building. I’ll always remember that it was a very dark period, particularly as so many young lives had been lost in what was later shown to have been an avoidable tragedy.
On the music front, 1966 threw up several gems, not least some groundbreaking offerings from The Beach Boys. It was, of course, the year that the magical singles Good Vibrations and God Only Knows and the grandiose album Pet Sounds set new standards in rock recording. Indeed, such was the excellence of the band at that time that it spurred The Beatles on to experiment and push their own musical boundaries still further.
Motown was in its glory too, and The Four Tops epitomized all that was great about the sounds made under the guidance of Berry Gordy in the bustling, vibrant city that was Detroit. Reach Out I’ll Be There.
Other memorable songs, were Dusty Springfield’s You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me, the Spencer Davis Group’s Somebody Help Me, the Rolling Stones Paint It Black, The Walker Brothers’ operatic The Sun Ain’t `Gonna Shine Anymore, and Chris Farlowe’s cover version of the Stones’ Out Of Time. All of them are classics of rock.
Tom Jones’ Green, Green Grass of Home was the biggest selling single. Way before The Voice!
George Harrison married Patti Boyd.
Sergio Leone created the spaghetti western with The Good, The Bad and The Ugly starring Clint Eastwood. Due to the striking height difference between Clint Eastwood and Eli Wallach of over 9 inches, it was sometimes difficult to include them in the same frame.
Because Sergio Leone spoke barely any English and Eli Wallach spoke barely any Italian, the two communicated in French.
In the 1960s Michael Caine was a cocky young British movie star with a Cockney accent. He played a caddish womanizer in Alfie (1966) "Not a lot of people know that"
Adam Sandler, Halle Berry, David Schwimmer, David Cameron, Cindy Crawford, Helena Bonham Carter were all born in 1966.
The first episode of Star Trek aired.
Walt Disney died.
The Beatles achieved their 10th number 1!
The Sound of Music won Best Picture at the Oscars.
Twiggy was named the face of ’66 by Daily Express.
1966 was also the year that the term Swinging London was coined by Time magazine, and as they say the rest is history
For a few years in the 1960s, London was the world capital of cool. When Time magazine dedicated its 15 April 1966 issue to London: the Swinging City, it cemented the association between London and all things hip and fashionable that had been growing in the popular imagination throughout the decade.
London’s remarkable metamorphosis from a gloomy, grimy post-War capital into a bright, shining epicentre of style was largely down to two factors: youth and money. The baby boom of the 1950s meant that the urban population was younger than it had been since Roman times.
By the mid-60s, 40% of the population at large was under 25. With the abolition of National Service for men in 1960, these young people had more freedom and fewer responsibilities than their parents’ generation. They rebelled against the limitations and restrictions of post-War society. In short, they wanted to shake things up… Added to this, Londoners had more disposable income than ever before – and were looking for ways to spend it. Nationally, weekly earnings in the ‘60s outstripped the cost of living by a staggering 183%: in London, where earnings were generally higher than the national average, the figure was probably even greater.
This heady combination of affluence and youth led to a flourishing of music, fashion, design and anything else that would banish the post-War gloom. Fashion boutiques sprang up willy-nilly.
Men flocked to Carnaby St, near Soho, for the latest ‘Mod’ fashions. While women were lured to the King’s Rd, where Mary Quant’s radical mini skirts flew off the rails of her iconic store, Bazaar.
Even the most shocking or downright barmy fashions were popularised by models who, for the first time, became superstars. Jean Shrimpton was considered the symbol of Swinging London, while Twiggy was named The Face of 1966. Mary Quant herself was the undisputed queen of the group known as The Chelsea Set, a hard-partying, socially eclectic mix of largely idle ‘toffs’ and talented working-class movers and shakers.
Music was also a huge part of London’s swing. While Liverpool had the Beatles, the London sound was a mix of bands who went on to worldwide success, including The Who, The Kinks, The Small Faces and The Rolling Stones. Their music was the mainstay of pirate radio stations like Radio Caroline and Radio Swinging England. Creative types of all kinds gravitated to the capital, from artists and writers to magazine publishers, photographers, advertisers, film-makers and product designers.
But not everything in London’s garden was rosy. Immigration was a political hot potato: by 1961, there were over 100,000 West Indians in London, and not everyone welcomed them with open arms. The biggest problem of all was a huge shortage of housing to replace bombed buildings and unfit slums and cope with a booming urban population. The badly-conceived solution – huge estates of tower blocks – and the social problems they created, changed the face of London for ever. By the 1970s, with industry declining and unemployment rising,
Swinging London seemed a very dim and distant memory.
1966 in British music
14 January – Young singer David Jones changes his last name to Bowie to avoid confusion with Davy Jones (later of the Monkees).
19 January – Michael Tippett conducts the performance of his cantata The Vision of St Augustine in London.
6 February – The Animals appear a fifth time on The Ed Sullivan Show to perform their iconic Vietnam-anthem hit "We Gotta Get Out of this Place".
4 March – The Beatles’ John Lennon is quoted in The Evening Standard as saying that the band was now more popular than Jesus. In August, following publication of this remark in Datebook, there are Beatles protests and record burnings in the Southern US’s Bible Belt.
5 March – The UK’s Kenneth McKellar, singing "A Man Without Love", finishes 9th in the 11th Eurovision Song Contest, which is won by Udo Jürgens of Austria.
6 March – In the UK, 5,000 fans of the Beatles sign a petition urging British Prime minister Harold Wilson to reopen Liverpool’s Cavern Club.
16 April – Disc Weekly is incormporated with Music Echo magazine.
1 May – The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and the Who perform at the New Musical Express’ poll winners’ show in London. The show is televised, but The Beatles’ and The Stones’ segments are omitted because of union conflicts.
13 May – The Rolling Stones release "Paint It, Black", which becomes the first number one hit single in the US and UK to feature a sitar (in this case played by Brian Jones).
17 May – American singer Bob Dylan and the Hawks (later The Band) perform at the Free Trade Hall, Manchester. Dylan is booed by the audience because of his decision to tour with an
electric band, the boos culminating in the famous "Judas" shout.
2 July – The Beatles become the first musical group to perform at the Nippon Budokan Hall in Tokyo. The performance ignites protests from local citizens who felt that it was inappropriate for a rock and roll band to play at Budokan, a place – until then – designated to the practice of martial arts.
11 August – John Lennon holds a press conference in Chicago, Illinois to apologize for his remarks the previous March. "I suppose if I had said television was more popular than Jesus, I would have gotten away with it. I’m sorry I opened my mouth. I’m not anti-God, anti-Christ, or anti-religion. I was not knocking it. I was not saying we are greater or better."
29 August – The Beatles perform their last official concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California.
16 September – Eric Burdon records a solo album after leaving The Animals and appears on "Ready, Steady, Go", singing "Help Me Girl", a UK #14 solo hit. Also on the show are Otis Redding and Chris Farlowe.
9 November – John Lennon meets Yoko Ono when he attends a preview of her art exhibition at the Indica Gallery in London.
9 December – The Who release their second album A Quick One with a nine-minute "mini-opera" A Quick One While He’s Away.
16 December – The Jimi Hendrix Experience release their first single in the UK, "Hey Joe".
1966 in British television
3 January – Camberwick Green is the first BBC television programme to be shot in colour.
3 March – The BBC announces plans to begin broadcasting television programmes in colour from next year.
5 April – The Money Programme debuts on BBC2. It continued to air until 2010.
23 May – Julie Goodyear makes her Coronation Street debut as Bet Lynch. She did not become a regular character until 1970.
6 June – BBC1 sitcom Till Death Us Do Part begins its first series run.
30 July – England beat West Germany 4-2 to win the 1966 World Cup at Wembley.
Summer – Patrick McGoohan quits the popular spy series Danger Man after filming only two episodes of the fourth season, in order to produce and star in The Prisoner, which begins filming in September.
2 October – The four-part serial Talking to a Stranger, acclaimed as one of the finest British television dramas of the 1960s, begins transmission in the Theatre 625 strand on BBC2.
29 October – Actor William Hartnell makes his last regular appearance as the First Doctor in the concluding moments of Episode 4 of the Doctor Who serial The Tenth Planet. Actor Patrick Troughton briefly appears as the Second Doctor at the conclusion of the serial.
5 November – Actor Patrick Troughton appears in his first full Doctor Who serial The Power of the Daleks as the Second Doctor.
16 November – Cathy Come Home, possibly the best-known play ever to be broadcast on British television, is presented in BBC1’s The Wednesday Play anthology strand.
3 January – The Trumptonshire Trilogy: Camberwick Green
5 January – Softly, Softly (1966–1969)
10 March – The Frost Report (1966)
7 May – Quick Before They Catch Us (1966)
17 May – All Gas and Gaiters (1966–1971)
24 May – Beggar My Neighbour (1966–1968)
7 August – It’s a Knockout (BBC1 1966–1982
17 November – The Illustrated Weekly Hudd (1966–1967)
5 April – The Money Programme (1966–2010)
22 March – How (1966–1981)
3 January – British Rail begins full electric passenger train services over the West Coast Main Line from Euston to Manchester and Liverpool with 100 mph (160 km/h) operation from London to Rugby. Services officially inaugurated 18 April.
Stop-motion children’s television series Camberwick Green first shown on BBC1.
4 January – More than 4,000 people attend a memorial service at Westminster Abbey for the broadcaster Richard Dimbleby, who died last month aged 52.
12 January – Three British MPs visiting Rhodesia (Christopher Rowland, Jeremy Bray and David Ennals) are assaulted by supporters of Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith.
20 January – The Queen commutes the death sentence on a black prisoner in Rhodesia, two months after its abolition in Britain.
Radio Caroline South pirate radio ship MV Mi Amigo runs aground on the beach at Frinton.
21 January – The Smith regime in Rhodesia rejects the Royal Prerogative commuting death sentences on two Africans.
31 January – United Kingdom ceases all trade with Rhodesia.
9 February – A prototype Fast Reactor nuclear reactor opens at Dounreay on the north coast of Scotland.
17 February – Britain protests to South Africa over its supplying of petrol to Rhodesia.
19 February – Naval minister Christopher Mayhew resigns.
28 February – Harold Wilson calls a general election for 31 March, in hope of increasing his single-seat majority.
1 March – Chancellor of the Exchequer James Callaghan announces the decision to embrace decimalisation of the pound (which will be effected on 15 February 1971).
4 March – In an interview published in The Evening Standard, John Lennon of The Beatles comments, "We’re more popular than Jesus now".
Britain recognized the new regime in Ghana.
5 March – BOAC Flight 911 crashes in severe clear-air turbulence over Mount Fuji soon after taking off from Tokyo International Airport in Japan, killing all 124 on board.
9 March – Ronnie, one of the Kray twins, shoots George Cornell (an associate of rivals The Richardson Gang) dead at The Blind Beggar pub in Whitechapel, east London, a crime for which he is finally convicted in 1969.
11 March – Chi-Chi, the London Zoo’s giant panda, is flown to Moscow for a union with An-An of the Moscow Zoo.
20 March – Theft of football’s FIFA World Cup Trophy whilst on exhibition in London.
23 March – Pope Paul VI and Michael Ramsey, the Archbishop of Canterbury, meet in Rome.
27 March – Pickles, a mongrel dog, finds the FIFA World Cup Trophy wrapped in newspaper in a south London garden.
30 March – Opinion polls show that the Labour government is on course to win a comfortable majority in the general election tomorrow.
31 March – The Labour Party under Harold Wilson win the general election with a majority of 96 seats. At the 1964 election they had a majority of five but subsequent by-election defeats had led to that being reduced to just one seat before this election. The Birmingham Edgbaston seat is retained for the Conservatives by Jill Knight in succession to Edith Pitt, the first time two women MPs have followed each other in the same constituency.
6 April – Hoverlloyd inaugurate the first Cross-Channel hovercraft service, from Ramsgate harbour to Calais using passenger-carrying SR.N6 craft.
7 April – The United Kingdom asks the UN Security Council authority to use force to stop oil tankers that violate the oil embargo against Rhodesia. Authority is given on 10 April.
11 April – The Marquess of Bath, in conjunction with Jimmy Chipperfield, opens Longleat Safari Park, with "the lions of Longleat", at his Longleat House, the first such drive-through park outside Africa.
15 April – Time magazine uses the phrase "Swinging London".
19 April – Ian Brady and Myra Hindley go on trial at Chester Crown Court, charged with three so-called Moors Murders.
30 April – Regular hovercraft service begins over the English Channel (discontinued in 2000 due to competition with the Channel Tunnel.)
Liverpool win the Football League First Division title for the second time in three seasons.
3 May – Swinging Radio England and Britain Radio commence broadcasting on AM with a combined potential 100,000 watts from the same ship anchored off the south coast of England in international waters.
6 May – The Moors Murderers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley are sentenced to life imprisonment for three child murders committed between November 1963 and October 1965. Brady is guilty of all three murders and receives three concurrent terms of life imprisonment, while Hindley is found guilty of two murder charges and an accessory charge which receives two concurrent life sentences alongside a seven-year fixed term.
12 May – African members of the UN Security Council say that the British army should blockade Rhodesia.
14 May – Everton defeat Sheffield Wednesday 3-2 in the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium, overturning a 2-0 Sheffield Wednesday lead during the final 16 minutes of the game.
16 May – A strike is called by the National Union of Seamen, ending on 16 July.
18 May – Home Secretary Roy Jenkins announces that the number of police forces in England and Wales will be cut to 68.
26 May – Guyana achieves independence from the United Kingdom.
6 June – BBC1 television sitcom Till Death Us Do Part begins its first series run.
23 June – The Beatles go on top of the British singles charts for the 10th time with Paperback Writer.
29 June – Barclays Bank introduces the Barclaycard, the first British credit card.
3 July – 31 arrests made after a protest against the Vietnam War outside the US embassy turns violent.
12 July – Zambia threatens to leave the Commonwealth because of British peace overtures to Rhodesia.
14 July – Gwynfor Evans becomes member of Parliament for Carmarthen, the first ever Plaid Cymru MP, after his victory at a by-election.
15 July – A ban on black workers at Euston railway station is overturned.
16 July – Prime Minister Harold Wilson flies to Moscow to try to start peace negotiations over the Vietnam War. The Soviet Government rejects his ideas.
20 July – Start of 6-month wage and price freeze.
26 July – Lord Gardiner issues the Practice Statement in the House of Lords stating that the House is not bound to follow its own previous precedent.
30 July – England beats West Germany 4-2 to win the 1966 World Cup at Wembley. Geoff Hurst scores a hat-trick and Martin Peters scores the other English goal in a game which attracts an all-time record UK television audience of more than 32,000,000.
1 August – Everton sign Blackpool’s World Cup winning midfield player Alan Ball, Jr. for a national record fee of £110,000.
2 August – Spanish government forbids overflights of British military aircraft.
4 August – The Kray Twins are questioned in connection with a murder in London.
5 August – The Beatles release the album Revolver.
10 August – George Brown succeeds Michael Stewart as Foreign Secretary.
12 August – Three policemen are shot dead in Shepherd’s Bush, West London, while sitting in their patrol car in Braybrook Street.
15 August – John Whitney is arrested and charged with the murder of three West London policemen.
17 August – John Duddy is arrested in Glasgow and charged with the murder of three West London policemen.
18 August – Tay Road Bridge opens.
24 August – Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is first staged, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
29 August – The Beatles play their very last concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California.
3 September – Barely five months after the death of Barry Butler, a second Football League player this year dies in a car crash; 30-year-old John Nicholson, a Doncaster Rovers centre-half who previously played for Port Vale and Liverpool.
5 September – Selective Employment Tax imposed.
15 September – Britain’s first Polaris submarine, HMS Resolution, launched at Barrow-in-Furness.
17 September – Oberon-class submarine HMCS Okanagan launched at Chatham Dockyard, the last warship to be built there.
19 September – Scotland Yard arrests Ronald "Buster" Edwards, suspected of being involved in the Great Train Robbery (1963).
27 September – BMC makes 7,000 workers redundant.
30 September – The Bechuanaland Protectorate in Africa achieves independence from the U.K. as Botswana.
4 October – Basutoland becomes independent and takes the name Lesotho.
18 October – The Ford Cortina MK2 is launched.
20 October – In economic news, 437,229 people are reported to be unemployed in Britain – a rise of some 100,000 on last month’s figures.
21 October – Aberfan disaster in South Wales, 144 (including 116 children) killed by collapsing coal spoil tip.
22 October – British spy George Blake escapes from Wormwood Scrubs prison; he is next seen in Moscow.
Spain demands that United Kingdom stop military flights to Gibraltar – Britain says "no" the next day.
25 October – Spain closes its Gibraltar border against vehicular traffic.
5 November – Thirty-eight African states demand that the United Kingdom use force against Rhodesian government.
9 November – The Rootes Group launches the Hillman Hunter, a four-door family saloon to compete with the Austin 1800, Ford Cortina and Vauxhall Victor.
15 November – Harry Roberts is arrested near London and charged with the murder of three policemen in August.
16 November – The BBC television drama Cathy Come Home, filmed in a docudrama style, is broadcast on BBC1. Viewed by a quarter of the British population, it is considered influential on public attitudes to homelessness and the related social issues it deals with.
24 November – Unemployment sees another short rise, now standing at 531,585.
30 November – Barbados achieves independence.
1 December – Prime Minister Harold Wilson and Rhodesian Prime minister Ian Smith negotiate on HMS Tiger in the Mediterranean.
12 December – Harry Roberts, John Whitney and John Duddy are sentenced to life imprisonment (each with a recommended minimum of thirty years) for the murder of three West London policemen in August.
20 December – Harold Wilson withdraws all his previous offers to Rhodesian government and announces that he agrees to independence only after the founding of black majority government.
22 December – Rhodesian Prime minister Ian Smith declares that he considers that Rhodesia is already a republic.
31 December – Thieves steal millions of pounds worth of paintings from Dulwich Art Gallery in London.
Centre Point, a 32-floor office building at St Giles Circus in London, designed by Richard Seifert for property speculator Harry Hyams, is completed. It remains empty for around a decade.
London School of Contemporary Dance founded.
Mathematician Michael Atiyah wins a Fields Medal.
The motorway network continues to grow as the existing M1, M4 (including the Severn Bridge on the border of England and Wales) and M6 motorways are expanded and new motorways emerge in the shape of the M32 linking the M4 with Bristol, and the M74 near Hamilton in Scotland.
Japanese manufacturer Nissan begins importing its range of Datsun branded cars to the United Kingdom.
The 1966 British Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Brands Hatch on 16 July 1966. It was the fourth round of the 1966 World Championship. It was the 21st British Grand Prix and the second to be held at Brands Hatch. It was held over 80 laps of the four kilometre circuit for a race distance of 341 kilometres.
The race, the first of the new three-litre engine regulation era where starters reached 20 cars,
was won for the third time by Australian driver Jack Brabham in his Brabham BT19, his second win in succession after winning the French Grand Prix two weeks earlier. New Zealand driver Denny Hulme finished second in his Brabham BT20, a first 1–2 win for the Brabham team. The pair finished a lap ahead of third placed British driver Graham Hill in his BRM P261. Brabham’s win ended a streak of 4 consecutive wins by Jim Clark at the British Grand Prix. Brabham’s win put him ten points clear in the championship chase over Austrian Cooper racer Jochen Rindt with Hulme and Ferrari’s Lorenzo Bandini a point further back.
1965–66 in English football
7 October 1965: An experiment to broadcast a live game to another ground takes place. Cardiff City play Coventry City and the match is broadcast to a crowd of 10,000 at Coventry’s ground Highfield Road.
20 March 1966: The World Cup is stolen from an exhibition at Central Hall, Westminster, where it was on show in the run-up to this summer’s World Cup in England.
27 March 1966: The World Cup is recovered by Pickles, a mongrel dog, in South London.
16 April 1966: Liverpool seal the First Division title for the seventh time in their history with a 2–0 home win over Stoke City.
14 May 1966: Everton win the FA Cup with a 3–2 win over Sheffield Wednesday in the final at Wembley Stadium, despite going 2–0 down in the 57th minute.
11 July 1966: England, as the host nation, begin their World Cup campaign with a goalless draw against Uruguay at Wembley Stadium.
16 July 1966: England’s World Cup campaign continues with a 2–0 win over Mexico (goals coming from Bobby Charlton and Roger Hunt) that moves them closes to qualifying for the next
stage of the competition.
20 July 1966: England qualify for the next stage of the World Cup with a 2–0 win over France in their final group game. Roger Hunt scores both of England’s goals.
23 July 1966: England beat Argentina 1–0 in the World Cup quarter-final thanks to a goal by Geoff Hurst.
26 July 1966: England reach the World Cup final by beating Portugal 2–1 in the semi-final.
Bobby Charlton scores both of England’s goals.
30 July 1966: England win the World Cup with a 4–2 win over West Germany in extra time.
Geoff Hurst scores a hat-trick, with Martin Peters scoring the other goal.
First Division Liverpool
Second Division Manchester City
Third Division Hull City
Fourth Division Doncaster Rovers
FA Cup Everton
League Cup West Bromwich Albion
Charity Shield Manchester United and Liverpool (shared)
Home Championship England
That Was the Year That Was – 1967
Image by brizzle born and bred
1967 the continued presence of American troops increased further and a total of 475,000 were serving in Vietnam and the peace rallies were multiplying as the number of protesters against the war increased.
The Boxer Muhammad Ali was stripped of his boxing world championship for refusing to be inducted into the US Army.
In the middle east Israel also went to war with Syria, Egypt and Jordan in the six day war and when it was over Israel controlled and occupied a lot more territory than before the war.
Once again in the summer cities throughout America exploded in rioting and looting the worst being in Detroit on July 23rd where 7000 national Guard were bought in to restore law and order on the streets.
In England a new type of model became a fashion sensation by the name of Twiggy and mini skirts continued to get shorter and even more popular with a short lived fashion being paper clothing.
Also during this year new Discotheques and singles bars appeared across cities around the world and the Beatles continued to reign supreme with the release of "Sgt. Peppers Lonely Heart Club Band" album, and this year was also coined the summer of love when young teenagers got friendly and smoked pot and grooved to the music of "The Grateful Dead. Jefferson Airplane and The Byrds".
UK beat combos as The Searchers, Gerry and The Pacemakers, The Who and The Kinks enjoyed more commercial success.
The movie industry moved with the times and produced movies that would appeal to this younger audience including "The Graduate" Bonnie and Clyde" and "Cool Hand Luke" .
TV shows included "The Fugitive" and "The Monkees" and color television sets become popular as the price comes down and more programmes are made in color.
"Summer of Love"
Memories of the Summer of Love five decades after the event all too often seem to concentrate on the clichéd imagery parodied by Mike Myers in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. But such artists as The Seekers are as much a part of the summer of 1967 as The Beatles, and their vast record sales cannot be entirely explained away by their appeal to a middle-aged public. The fact that "Georgy Girl" was the theme song to a popular film certainly boosted its success. It also garnered the only known Oscar nomination for a member of the Carry On team; the lyrics were by Jim Dale.
But this was also the year that Engelbert Humperdinck’s "Release Me" beat the best double-A side in pop history, "Strawberry Fields/Penny Lane", to No 1 in the hit parade, Vicky Leandros sang a much-hummed Eurovision entry, "L’amour est bleu", and Des O’Connor entered the Top 10 with "Careless Hands".
All such songs were ostensibly aimed at the respectable record-buyer, for whom seeing Frankie Vaughan in cabaret at the Talk of the Town was the acme of sophistication. They were also secretly listened to around the world by suburban would-be hipsters who could face no more of the boring passages from Sgt Pepper, or most of The Rolling Stones’ one excursion into psychedelia, Their Satanic Majesties Request. The Seekers provided a real alternative for the teenager who could face no more George Harrison with a sitar or the future Sir Michael Jagger’s determined efforts at decadence.
Buying a Seekers disc could involve a covert, perhaps after-dark, trip to the local electrical store, for admitting that you preferred to spend five shillings and ninepence on the songs of Miss Durham as opposed to those of Mick Jagger amounted to social death in terms of overall grooviness.
Today, The Seekers and their ilk rarely seem to appear on those occasions when British television relentlessly unearths that same Pathé newsreel of Carnaby Street to "celebrate" yet another 1960s anniversary. Instead, their music seems to belong to the provincial England on which the 1950s are rather reluctant to loosen their grip. In 1958, Tony Hancock recorded one of his finest radio half-hours, Sunday Afternoon at Home, a Pinteresque evocation of the miseries of suburban life where every form of entertainment is either closed or broken, and where the laws of time no longer apply. This is the same realm found in the photo archives of local newspapers – yellowing monochrome pictures of short-back-and-sided youths awkwardly lined up in their Civil Defence Corps uniforms; the sea of tweed coats that was the Winchester Young Farmers meetings of the late 1960s; and the local grammar school’s celebration of its rousing success at the county chess tournament.
The local advertisements of the time portray a relentlessly grey world of sales of sensible slacks at the local tailors and barbers offering a short-back-and-sides for a mere 4s 6d. In the papers, you’ll read about the local controversy about the possibility of automatic level-crossing barriers in the very near future, and the searing excitement of Michael Miles (of ITV’s Take Your Pick fame) opening a new shoe-shop – also in the very near future.
In this England, respectable fathers would favour car-coats, listening to Mrs Dale’s Diary and driving Morris Oxfords with starting-handle brackets and leather upholstery rather than sporting a kaftan at the wheel of a psychedelic Mini. Just as in a Ladybird book, red telephone boxes would still require the user to press button A and dial the operator for long-distance calls and, if the railway branch line had escaped the ravages of Beeching, the train arriving at the gas-lit station might still be steam-powered.
This, after all, was the year when David Frost and Simon Dee were still a middle-aged person’s idea of what was young and hip. But 1967 was also the year Derek Cooper published his classic The Bad Food Guide, wherein he memorably skewered the frozen/deep fried/artificial cream/close at 5pm experience of typical British cuisine. The local "all night café" probably closed at 8.45pm. In 1967, a holiday abroad meant loading up the Hillman Superminx with Wonderloaf, lest the honest British tourist be forced to eat foreign food.
Of course, the wireless might provide exciting escape in the form of the all-new Radio 1, but even there, among the ex-pirate ship names, many of the DJs were reliably velvet-voiced middle-aged ex-actors such as Pete Murray. There was also the problem of the "needle-time agreement" with the Musicians’ Union, which limited the airtime devoted to record playing as opposed to live studio broadcasts.
To supplement sessions by leading groups of the day, the station was heavily reliant on its in-house session band and, according to the late John Peel, one of V C Radio 1’s early highlights was the Northern Dance Orchestra’s version of "Hey Joe". At least the band’s middle-aged vocalist did his very best to emulate Jimi Hendrix while wearing a cardigan in order to display his essential youthfulness.
As for British pop television, one of the very few 1967 moments from Top of the Pops that the BBC has thoughtlessly neglected to wipe – only four complete editions from the 1960s survive – boasts The Rolling Stones miming to "Let’s Spend the Night Together". It is an iconic televisual moment, not least for those times when the camera pans to the audience to reveal cardiganed young blades clad in Hank Marvin glasses dancing with grim determination opposite eminently respectable mini-dressed young ladies. Fortunately, the BBC employed DJs with the demeanour of a particularly tolerant housemaster to explain away Jagger/Richards’s more risqué lyrics.
The year 1967 also saw one the Stones’ major controversies. Overshadowing their drugs bust was the infamous "Not Waving Bye-Bye Scandal" of 22 January. Sunday Night at the London Palladium was the jewel in ITV’s light entertainment crown, so the Stones’ decision to commit a foul act of sabotage – not waving goodbye to the audience in the closing credits – was guaranteed to shock prime-time viewers. It also rather helpfully detracted from the question of precisely what such an anti-Establishment group was actually doing there in the first place.
Such programmes were broadcast in black and white – in 1967, BBC2 was the first and only channel to provide very limited colour broadcasts, and ITV’s colour shows were for export only. So, for many Britons, the alternative to this monochrome world was their local cinema. There, for a mere 1s 9d, the bill of fare might still include a newsreel and a B-film. The former would typically have a smooth-voiced announcer proclaiming the latest colonial disaster (it wouldn’t be a proper 1960s newsreel without a British sporting victory and footage of at least one governor’s residence in flames). The latter would be one of Merton Park Studios’ Scales of Justice criminal shorts, as fronted by "the eminent criminologist Edgar Lustgarten".
The studio’s 1967 offering, Payment in Kind, offers a fascinatingly bleak view of Wilson-era suburbia, with tallymen in their Vauxhall Victor Supers offering hire-purchase fantasies to bored housewives trapped behind their Tricity Deluxe cookers, combined with the traditional trilby-hatted Inspectors and police Wolseleys, black, with clanging bells. Then, following an Eastmancolor travelogue praising the beauties of Bournemouth as a holiday resort – "Dancing until 11 o’clock! This really is a swinging seaside town!" – there was, at long last, the main feature.
Here, one might at least expect to see some prime 1960s Technicolor clichés, such as the obligatory crane shot of five hipsters zooming over Tower Bridge in a Mini Moke, or general decadence and nudity along the lines of Antonioni’s 1966 Blow-Up. But, of two of the best British films released that year, Bedazzled and The Deadly Affair, the former actually re-affirmed conventional morality (as well as demonstrating that Dud was a far better actor than Pete) and the latter was about a world of middle-aged despair.
Both were inevitably in complete contrast to the 1967 film that was to taint British cinema for quite a while after – Casino Royale. It may have boasted one of the most expensive casts ever, but it also used five studios, seven directors and countless scriptwriters to produce a film where the only abiding memories are of the Herb Alpert theme music and of poor David Niven’s moustache visibly wilting in despair at the strain of carrying one of the most appalling films of this, or any, decade. It was a movie that had most British filmgoers eagerly awaiting the National Anthem that was played at the end of every cinema bill.
Fortunately, that year’s Bond film, You Only Live Twice, was a safe option, with a hero who, as he previously informed us in Goldfinger, would not even contemplate listening to The Beatles without ear-muffs, and who philandered for Queen and Commonwealth. In the 1960s, Commander Bond spent precisely no on-screen time in Carnaby Street, and You Only Live Twice appropriately commences with Bond in the (then) colony of Hong Kong, where British military police in Sam Browne belts control the natives.
Almost as popular as 007 in box-office terms was Carry On Doctor, where the sole concessions to the new age were Barbara Windsor’s miniskirt and Jim Dale combing his hair forward, and that immortal classic Calamity the Cow, an everyday Children’s Film Foundation story of how cattle rustlers in deepest Surrey were defeated by a gang of Italia Conti students led by a notably well-spoken Phil Collins.
In fact, it was often British-set films that subverted or entirely ignored the (American funded) myth of universal hedonism that were the most interesting offerings of the decade; Michael Reeves’s The Sorcerers used the horror-film genre to attack the impulses behind much of Britain’s youth culture, and Nigel Kneale’s screenplay for Quatermass and the Pit was inspired by the experiences of his wife as a young Jewish girl in 1930s Germany. The film’s budget may seem pitiable, but the conclusion of the "ethnic cleansing" of London hasn’t been equalled by films costing 20 times as much. Elsewhere, the Carnaby Street myth was applied by middle-aged film-makers with appalling results, none more so than in Corruption, with Anthony Booth doing his best to copy David Hemmings in Blow-Up with dialogue along the lines of "Freak out, baby!" Far out.
To reduce any era to ill-researched and increasingly banal images is to remove the fascinating ambiguities caused by the fact that periodisation can never be rigid. In 1967, the BBC was still screening The Black & White Minstrel Show. Homosexual acts were partly decriminalised. Forty years ago, Britain was fighting a bloody colonial battle in Aden, unmarried women might still be refused the Pill, and "orphans" would still depart from Tilbury to a new life in Australia. Glossy TV shows such as The Saint or The Avengers continue to peddle a 1960s myth precisely because they were shot on colour film as opposed to countless shows that were recorded on black-and-white video tape, only to be wiped a few years later.
This was a time when millions of viewers might enjoy Thora Hird and Freddie Frinton in Meet the Wife (name-checked by John Lennon on Sgt Pepper) or Hugh Lloyd and Terry Scott in Hugh and I, in addition to the self-conscious radicalism of Till Death Us Do Part. The surviving tapes of such shows, recorded in a cramped studio before live audiences, now appear as hilarious as an edition of Newsnight, but they were as much a staple of the Radio Times as The Billy Cotton Band Show.
Indeed, just as many viewers tuned into Jack Warner in Dixon of Dock Green as they did to see Simon Dee cruising through Manchester in his white Jaguar E-Type for Deetime. It was equally possible to view the ambiguities of The Prisoner and the mysteries of The Mike & Bernie Winters Show together with the enigma that was Hughie Greene in Double Your Money and the reassuringly respectable "Supt Lockhart of the Yard" of No Hiding Place – all on the same evening.
Just as there are Britons who refuse to admit that the nearest they came to the world of Miami Vice in the 1980s was seeing an L-reg Hillman Avenger doing a handbrake turn in Southampton, there are countless citizens in their sixties who should have the courage to admit that their favoured listening of 1967 was not so much "A Day in the Life" as The Seekers’ "When Will the Good Apples Fall" or David Bowie’s "The Laughing Gnome" – for do not all these songs hail from the decade that supposedly celebrated individuality? So, whenever anyone of late middle-age vintage trots out the cliché that "if you can remember the 1960s, you weren’t there", bear in mind that the nearest they came to a freak-out was probably a caffeine overdose in a transport café on the A303.
London was in full swing, hemlines were rising and morals falling. More importantly, all manner of groundbreaking modifications were made to the people’s car – not least a whole host of technical changes that would take the Beetle into next decade… Here’s how that infamous year, and the milestone changes to the Bug, unfolded…
Ken Dodd’s Christmas show is the most watched programme on the box, The Beatles release Sergeant Pepper in a haze of drug fuelled genius, Che Guevara is shot and a man is given a new heart for the first time. The Dartford Tunnel is opened, plans for the creation of a new town called Milton Keynes are revealed and Spurs beat Chelsea 2-1 in the FA Cup Final.
The Summer of Love was a social phenomenon that occurred during the summer of 1967, when as many as 100,000 people converged in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco. Although hippies also gathered in major cities across the U.S., Canada and Europe, San Francisco remained the epicenter of the social earthquake that would come to be known as the Hippie Revolution. Like its sister enclave of Greenwich Village, the city became even more of a melting pot of politics, music, drugs, creativity, and the total lack of sexual and social inhibition than it already was. As the hippie counterculture movement came farther and farther forward into public awareness, the activities centered therein became a defining moment of the 1960s, causing numerous ‘ordinary citizens’ to begin questioning everything and anything about them and their environment as a result.
This unprecedented gathering of young people is often considered to have been a social experiment, because of all the alternative lifestyles which became more common and accepted such as gender equality, communal living, and free love. Many of these types of social changes reverberated on into the early 1970s, and effects echo throughout modern society.
The hippies, sometimes called flower children, were an eclectic group. Many were suspicious of the government, rejected consumerist values, and generally opposed the Vietnam War. A few were interested in politics; others focused on art (music, painting, poetry in particular) or religious and meditative movements. All were eager to integrate new ideas and insights into daily life, both public and private.
Inspired by the Beats of the 1950s, who had flourished in the North Beach area of San Francisco, those who gathered in Haight-Ashbury in 1967 rejected the conformist values of Cold War America. These hippies rejected the material values of modern life; there was an emphasis on sharing and community. The Diggers established a Free Store, and a Free Clinic for medical treatment was started.
The prelude to the Summer of Love was the Human Be-In at Golden Gate Park on January 14, 1967, which was produced and organized by artist Michael Bowen as a "gathering of tribes".
James Rado and Gerome Ragni were in attendance and absorbed the whole experience; this became the basis for the musical Hair. Rado recalled, "There was so much excitement in the streets and the parks and the hippie areas, and we thought `If we could transmit this excitement to the stage it would be wonderful….’ We hung out with them and went to their Be-Ins [and] let our hair grow. It was very important historically, and if we hadn’t written it, there’d not be any examples. You could read about it and see film clips, but you’d never experience it. We thought, ‘This is happening in the streets,’ and we wanted to bring it to the stage.’"
Also at this event, Timothy Leary voiced his phrase, "turn on, tune in, drop out", that persisted throughout the Summer of Love.
The event was announced by the Haight-Ashbury’s psychedelic newspaper, the San Francisco Oracle:
A new concept of celebrations beneath the human underground must emerge, become conscious, and be shared, so a revolution can be formed with a renaissance of compassion, awareness, and love, and the revelation of unity for all mankind.
The gathering of approximately 30,000 like-minded people made the Human Be-In the first event that confirmed there was a viable hippie scene.
The term "Summer of Love" originated with the formation of the Council for the Summer of Love in the spring of 1967 as response to the convergence of young people on the Haight-Ashbury district. The Council was composed of The Family Dog, The Straight Theatre, The Diggers, The San Francisco Oracle, and approximately twenty-five other people, who sought to alleviate some of the problems anticipated from the influx of people expected in the summer. The Council also supported the Free Clinic and organized housing, food, sanitation, music and arts, along with maintaining coordination with local churches and other social groups to fill in as needed, a practice that continues today.
January – The London-set film Blowup is released in the UK. Director: Michelangelo Antonioni. Stars: David Hemmings, Vanessa Redgrave, Sarah Miles
1 January – England’s World Cup winning manager Alf Ramsey received a knighthood and captain Bobby Moore received an OBE in the New Year Honours.
2 January – Veteran actor Charlie Chaplin opened his last film, A Countess From Hong Kong, in England.
7 January–1 July – The television series The Forsyte Saga was first shown, on BBC Two. The Forsyte family live a more than pleasant upper middle class life in Victorian and later Edwardian England.
15 January – The United Kingdom entered the first round of negotiations for EEC membership in Rome.
16 January – Italy announced support for the United Kingdom’s EEC membership.
18 January – Jeremy Thorpe became leader of the Liberal Party. Thorpe took Liberals to brink of coalition government but resigned as party leader in 1976 after being accused of conspiracy to murder.
23 January – Milton Keynes, a village in north Bucks, was formally designated as a new town by the government, incorporating nearby towns and villages including Bletchley and Newport Pagnell. Intended to accommodate the overspill population from London – some 50 miles away – it would become Britain’s largest new town, with the area’s population multiplying during the 1970s and 1980s.
26 January – Parliament decided to nationalize 90% of the British steel industry.
27 January – The UK, Soviet Union, and USA sign the Outer Space Treaty.
6 February – Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin arrived in the UK for an eight-day visit. He met The Queen on 9 February.
7 February – The British National Front was founded by A. K. Chesterton (by merger of the British National Party and League of Empire Loyalists).
12 February – Police raided ‘Redlands’, the Sussex home of Rolling Stones musician Keith Richards, following a tip-off from the News of the World. No immediate arrests are made, but Richards, fellow band member Mick Jagger and art dealer Robert Fraser were later charged with possession of drugs.
Around 5:30pm on February 12th, 1967, around 20 police descended on Keith Richards‘ Sussex home, “Redlands”. Of The Rolling Stones, both Keith Richards and Mick Jagger were there at the time of the bust (Brian Jones was supposed to be there too but, according to Keith Richards, he and his girlfriend, Anita Pallenberg, were fighting when they left for Redlands, so they just left them behind in London) Several others had come down for the weekend including The Beatles‘ guitar player George Harrison and his then girlfriend, Patti Boyd, although they had left prior to the raid.
Brian Jones‘ trial took place in November 1967 also resulting in a prison sentence for the accused. However, after appealing the original prison sentence, Brian Jones was fined £1000, put on three years’ probation and ordered to seek professional help.
On this period, Keith Richards said, “There was a realization that the powers that be actually looked upon is as important enough to make a big statement and to wield the hammer. But they’d also made us more important than we ever bloody well were in the first place.”
25 February – Britain’s second Polaris nuclear submarine, HMS Renown, was launched.
27 February – The Dutch government announced support for British EEC membership.
1 March – The Queen Elizabeth Hall was opened in London.
4 March – The first North Sea gas was pumped ashore at Easington, East Riding of Yorkshire.
Queens Park Rangers became the first Football League Third Division side to win the League Cup at Wembley Stadium defeating West Bromwich Albion 3-2. It was also the first year of a one-match final in the competition, the previous six finals having been two-legged affairs.
5 March – Polly Toynbee reveals the existence of the "Harry" letters that allege the secret funding of Amnesty International by the British government.
15 March – Manny Shinwell, 82, resigned as chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party.
18 March – The supertanker Torrey Canyon ran aground between Land’s End and the Scilly Isles.
29 – 30 March – RAF planes bombed the Torrey Canyon and sank it.
9 July – Alan Ayckbourn’s first major success, Relatively Speaking, had its West End opening at the Duke of York’s Theatre with Richard Briers, Michael Hordern and Celia Johnson.
Hendrix on Fire
31 March – At the London Astoria, Jimi Hendrix set fire to his guitar on stage for the first time. He was taken to hospital suffering burns to his hands.
Not wishing to be outdone by The Who’s Pete Townshend who had performed first and smashed up his guitar, Hendrix opted to set his amp on fire so as not to be accused of copycat behaviour.
He requested some lighter fluid but couldn’t bring himself to destroy the Strat and so swapped it secretly for a less valuable instrument.
The Fender Stratocaster continued to be used on Hendrix’s American tour (his return to the States after moving to the UK in 1966 to make his fortune). It later fell into the hands of his record company managed by James Wright.
“When Jimi used to smash a guitar up you would try and rebuild it so he could use it again for that purpose. Pete Townshend smashed his guitar up and put the neck into the amp. Jimi was annoyed at this and asked for some lighter fuel. He just wanted to outdo Pete Townshend,” Wright told The Times.
“He played the black guitar for most of the act and then right at the end he swapped it for a repaired one that he set fire to. At the time the black Fender was his favourite guitar and he didn’t want to ruin it.
At the time of the stunt Hendrix was a big star in Britain but still relatively unknown in the States. A picture of him leaning over the burning instrument was used on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine and the incident went down in rock ‘n’ roll history – helping to turn him into a legend.
The guitar is in relatively good condition aside from a few chips and scratches.The CBS era instrument with contour style solid body and original candy apple case dates from late 1966/67 with rosewood neck and black solid body and white scratch protection.
It will be sold by the Fame Bureau on 27 November in Mayfair, London. It is 42 years since the man widely considered to be the greatest electric guitarist in history died in London aged 27. Another Fender Stratocaster that Hendrix set fire to in 1967 at the Finsbury Astoria was auctioned by the Fame Bureau in January £90,000.
2 April – A UN delegation arrived in Aden because of the approaching independence. They leave 7 April, accusing British authorities of lack of cooperation. The British said the delegation did not contact them.
8 April – Puppet on a String performed by Sandie Shaw (music and lyrics by Bill Martin and Phil Coulter) won the Eurovision Song Contest for the UK.
11 April – Tom Stoppard’s play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead received its Old Vic premiere.
13 April – Conservatives won the Greater London Council elections.
2 May – Harold Wilson announced that the United Kingdom had decided to apply for EEC membership
5 May – The British-designed satellite Ariel 3, the first to be developed outside the Soviet Union or United States is launched.
The first motorway project of the year was completed when the elevated motorway section of the A57 road was officially opened (by Harold Wilson) to form a by-pass around the south of Manchester city area. The M1 was also being expanded this month from both termini, meaning that there would now be an unbroken motorway link between North London and South Yorkshire.
6 May – Manchester United won the Football League First Division title.
11 May – The United Kingdom and Ireland officially applied for European Economic Community membership.
14 May – The Roman Catholic Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King was consecrated.
20 May – In the first all-London FA Cup final, Tottenham Hotspur defeated Chelsea 2-1 at Wembley Stadium.
24 May – The Royal Navy Leander-class frigate HMS Andromeda was launched at Portsmouth Dockyard, the last ship to be built there.
25 May – Celtic F.C. became the first British and Northern European team to reach a European Cup final and also to win it, beating Inter Milan 2-1 in normal time with the winning goal being scored by Steve Chalmers in Lisbon, Portugal.
Shadow cabinet Tory MP Enoch Powell described Britain as the "sick man of Europe" in his latest verbal attack on the Labour government.
28 May – Sir Francis Chichester arrived in Plymouth after completing his single-handed sailing voyage around the world in his yacht, Gipsy Moth IV, in nine months and one day.
29 May – The first Spring Bank Holiday occurred on a fixed date of the last Monday in May, replacing the former Whitsun holiday in England and Wales.
‘Barbeque 67′, a music festival, at the Tulip Bulb Auction Hall, Spalding, featured Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Pink Floyd and Zoot Money.
1 June – The Beatles released Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, one of rock’s most acclaimed albums.
4 June – Stockport Air Disaster: British Midland flight G-ALHG crashed in Hopes Carr, Stockport, killing 72 passengers and crew.
27 June – The first automatic cash machine (voucher-based) was installed in the office of Barclays Bank in Enfield.
29 June – Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones was jailed for a year for possession illegal drugs. His bandmate Mick Jagger was sentenced to three months for the same offence.
1 July – The first scheduled colour television broadcasts from six transmitters covering the main population centres in England began on BBC2 for certain programmes, the first being live coverage from the Wimbledon Championships. A full colour service (other than news programmes) began on BBC2 on 2 December.
4 July – Parliament decriminalised male homosexuality in England and Wales with the Sexual Offences Act.
7 July – In the last amateur Wimbledon tennis tournament, Australian John Newcombe beat German Wilhelm P. Bungert to win the Gentlemen’s Singles championship. The next day, American Billie Jean King beat Briton Ann Haydon Jones to win the Ladies’ Singles championship. The matches are also the first to be broadcast in colour.
13 July – English road racing cyclist Tom Simpson died of exhaustion on the slopes of Mont Ventoux during the 13th stage of the Tour de France.
18 July – The UK government announced the closing of its military bases in Malaysia and Singapore. Australia and the United States do not approve.
27 July – The Welsh Language Act allowed the use of Welsh in legal proceedings and official documents in Wales.
28 July – The British steel industry was nationalised.
July – Astronomers Jocelyn Bell Burnell and Antony Hewish became the first to observe a pulsar.
3 August – The inquiry into the Aberfan disaster blamed the National Coal Board for the collapse of a colliery spoil tip which claimed the lives of 164 people in South Wales in October last year.
5 August – Pink Floyd released their debut album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.
8 August – Dunsop Valley entered the UK Weather Records with the Highest 90-min total rainfall at 117 mm. As of August 2010 this record remains.
9 August – Playwright Joe Orton was battered to death by his lover Kenneth Halliwell (who then committed suicide) in their north London home.
14 August – The Marine, &c., Broadcasting (Offences) Act 1967 declared participation in offshore pirate radio in the United Kingdom illegal. Wonderful Radio London broadcast from MV Galaxy off the Essex coast for the last time.
17 August – Jimmy Hill, manager of the Coventry City side who have been promoted to the Football League First Division for the first time in their history, announced that he is leaving management to concentrate on a television career.
28 August – The first Late Summer Holiday occurred on a fixed date of the last Monday in August, replacing the former August Bank Holiday on the first Monday in England and Wales.
Herbert Bowden was appointed chairman of the Independent Television Authority.
6 September – Myrina was launched from the slipway at Harland and Wolff in Belfast, the first supertanker and (at around 192000 DWT) largest ship built in the U.K. up to this date.
9 September – Former prime minister Clement Attlee, 84, was hospitalised with an illness reported as a "minor condition".
10 September – In a Gibraltar sovereignty referendum, only 44 out of 12,182 voters in the British Crown colony of Gibraltar supported union with Spain.
20 September – The RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 (the QE2) was launched at Clydebank by Queen Elizabeth II, using the same pair of gold scissors used by her mother and grandmother to launch the Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary respectively.
21 September – The Conservatives captured Cambridge and Walthamstow from Labour in by-elections.
27 September – The RMS Queen Mary arrived in Southampton at the end of her last transatlantic crossing.
29 September – Cult television series The Prisoner was first broadcast in the UK on ITV.
30 September – BBC Radio completely restructured its national programming: the Light Programme was split between new national pop station Radio 1 (modelled on the successful pirate station Radio London) and Radio 2; the cultural Third Programme was rebranded as Radio 3; and the primarily-talk Home Service became Radio 4.
5 October – A Court in Brighton was the first in England and Wales to decide a case by majority verdict (10 to 2) of the jury.
10 October – Simon Gray’s first stage play, Wise Child, opened at the Wyndham’s Theatre, London, with Alec Guinness, Gordon Jackson, Simon Ward and Cleo Sylvestre.
11 October – Prime Minister Harold Wilson won a libel action against rock group The Move in the High Court after they depicted him in the nude in promotional material for their record Flowers in the Rain.
25 October – The Abortion Act, passed in Parliament, legalising abortion on a number of grounds (with effect from 1968).
30 October – British troops and Chinese demonstrators clashed on the border of China and Hong Kong during the Hong Kong Riots.
October – St Pancras railway station in London was made a Grade I listed building, regarded as a landmark in the appreciation of Victorian architecture.
2 November – Winnie Ewing won the Hamilton by-election, the first success for the Scottish National Party in an election for the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
5 November – A Sunday evening express train from Hastings to London derailed in the Hither Green rail crash, killing 49 people.
7 November – Boxer Henry Cooper became the first to win three Lonsdale Belts outright.
18 November – Movement of animals was banned in England and Wales due to a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak.
19 November – The pound was devalued from 1 GBP = 2.80 USD to 1 GBP = 2.40 USD. Prime minister Harold Wilson defended this decision, assuring voters that it will tackle the "root cause" of the nation’s economic problems.
27 November – Charles de Gaulle vetoed British entry into the European Economic Community again.
28 November – Horse racing events were called off due to the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak.
30 November – British troops left Aden, which they had occupied since 1839, enabling formation of the new republic of Yemen.
1 December – Tony O’Connor became the first black headmaster of a British school, in Warley, near Birmingham, Worcestershire.
5 December – The Beatles opened the Apple Shop in London.
10 December – Ronald George Wreyford Norrish, George Porter and the German Manfred Eigen won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for their studies of extremely fast chemical reactions, effected by disturbing the equlibrium by means of very short pulses of energy".
11 December – The Concorde supersonic aircraft was unveiled in Toulouse, France.
12 December – Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones, 25, won a High Court appeal against a nine-month prison sentence for possessing and using cannabis. He was instead fined £1,000 and put on probation for three years.
22 December – BBC Radio 4 panel game Just a Minute, chaired by Nicholas Parsons, was first transmitted. It would still be running more than forty years later.