World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

1987 in the United Kingdom

Article Id: WHEBN0006071434
Reproduction Date:

Title: 1987 in the United Kingdom  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: 1987 in the United Kingdom, 1989 in the United Kingdom, 1986 in the United Kingdom, 1985 in the United Kingdom, 1804 in the United Kingdom
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

1987 in the United Kingdom

Events from the year 1987 in the United Kingdom. At the beginning of the year, the Archbishop of Canterbury's envoy Terry Waite was kidnapped in Lebanon and remained a hostage until 1991. The major political event of this year was the re-election of Margaret Thatcher in June, making her the longest continuously serving Prime Minister since Lord Liverpool in the early 19th century. The year was also marked by a number of disasters — the sinking of the ferry MS Herald of Free Enterprise, the Hungerford massacre, the "Great Storm", the Remembrance Day Bombing in Northern Ireland and the King's Cross fire.




  • January – Most of Britain is affected by heavy snow and sub zero temperatures.
  • 1 January – Personal Equity Plans permitting tax-free investments in shares are introduced.
  • 2 January – Golliwogs are banned from Enid Blyton books by their publisher and replaced by politically correct gnomes following complaints that golliwogs were offensive to black people.[1]
  • 4 January – Economists predict that unemployment will fall below 3,000,000 by the end of this year.
  • 5 January – Harold Macmillan, Lord Stockton, former Prime Minister, is buried in the village of Horsted Keynes, having died on 29 December at the age of 92.
  • 7 January – Telford, the new town created in Shropshire some 20 years ago, is reported to have the highest unemployment rate in the West Midlands region, even eclipsing the unemployment levels seen in the city of Birmingham and nearby towns including Wolverhampton, Brierley Hill, Wednesbury and Bilston, which have lost a large percentage of traditional heavy industry since the late 1970s, although Brierley Hill's unemployment crisis is beginning to ease with the ongoing development of the Merry Hill Shopping Centre, which already includes two retail parks and a large shopping mall and is set to expand even further by the end of the decade.
  • 13 January – Prince Edward leaves the Royal Marines just three months after joining.
  • 14 January – Heavy snow falls across Britain leaving houses, towns, roads, railways and motor vehicles stranded and blocked.
  • 15 January – Unemployment is reported to have fallen in December 1986 for the fifth month in succession.
  • 20 January
    • Terry Waite, the special envoy of the Archbishop of Canterbury in Lebanon, disappears in Beirut while negotiating for the release of hostages.[2]
    • Police arrest 26 suspected football hooligans across Britain after a mass operation.
  • 30 January – The flotation of British Airways begins.




  • 1 April – MP's vote against the restoration of the death penalty by 342–230.
  • 3 April – The jewellery of the late Duchess of Windsor is sold at auction for £31 million, six times the expected value.[2]
  • 5 April – Arsenal win the Football League Cup for the first time in their history with a 2-1 win over Liverpool, earning them their first major trophy since 1979. Charlie Nicholas scores both of Arsenal's goals.
  • 16 April – Conservative MP Harvey Proctor appears in court charged with gross indecency.[7]
  • 22 April – The former Prime Minister Jim Callaghan is appointed to the Order of the Garter. He will be retiring from parliament after the General Election.
  • 29 April – Chancellor Nigel Lawson promises that the United Kingdom will soon have an income tax rate of 25p in the pound.
  • 30 April – The House of Lords approve the sterilisation of a "mentally subnormal" 17-year-old female.


  • 4 May – Everton win the Football League First Division title for the ninth time in their history.
  • 8 May – Soldiers of the SAS kill eight members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army at Loughgal, County Antrim.[8]
  • 11 May
    • Margaret Thatcher calls a General Election for 11 June, with most of the opinion polls pointing towards her securing a third successive election victory for the Conservatives, with the Labour opposition expected to increase its share of votes and seats in its first General Election under the leadership of Neil Kinnock.
    • British Rail renames Second class as Standard class.
  • 14 May – Unemployment has fallen to 3,107,128.
  • 15 May – Family Law Reform Act removes remaining legal distinctions between children born to married and unmarried parents.[9]
  • 16 May – Coventry City F.C. win the FA Cup for the first time in their history with a 3–2 win in the final over Tottenham Hotspur, who had won all of their previous seven FA Cup finals.[10]
  • 25 May – Aldershot F.C. become the first team to win promotion through the new Football League playoffs, winning promotion from the Fourth Division with a 3-0 aggregate win over their illustrious opponents Wolverhampton Wanderers (who have a total of eight major trophies to their name, the most recent just seven years ago). The Hampshire club have already condemned another illustrious side, Bolton Wanderers (four times FA Cup winners) to relegation to the Fourth Division for the first time in their history.





  • 7 September – Ford completes its takeover of the luxury sports car company Aston Martin.
  • 9 September – 25 Liverpool football fans are extradited to Belgium to face charges of manslaughter in connection with the Heysel Stadium disaster more than two years ago.[26]
  • 11 September – The government unveils plans to abolish the Inner London Education Authority.
  • 22 September – The government bans automatic weapons of the type used by Hungerford killer Michael Ryan.
  • 23 September – An Australian court lifts the ban on the publication of Spycatcher.[27]


  • October – Construction work begins on the extension to the M40 motorway between Oxford and Birmingham. It is hoped that the motorway, providing an alternative route to the M6 and M1 from the Midlands to London as well as improving road links with the Midlands and the South Coast ports, will be fully operational by 1990.[28]
  • 1 October – Swedish home product retailer IKEA opens its first British store at Warrington in Cheshire.[29]
  • 9 October – Margaret Thatcher tells the Conservative Party Conference in Blackpool that she wants to continue as Prime Minister until 1994 and the age of 69, which would make her Britain's oldest Prime Minister since Harold Macmillan in 1963. She is already three months away from becoming Britain's longest serving Prime Minister this century, exceeding the previous record set by Herbert Asquith more than 70 years ago.
  • 11 October – £1 million Operation Deepscan in Loch Ness fails to locate the legendary Loch Ness Monster.[30]
  • 15–16 October – Great Storm: Hurricane force winds batter much of south-east England, killing 23 people and causing extensive damage to property.[31]
  • 18 October – Two days after the end of the storm in south-east England, some 250,000 homes in the region are still without electricity.
  • 19 October – Black Monday: Wall Street crash leads to £50 billion being wiped of the value of shares on the London stock exchange.[32]
  • 23 October – Retired English jockey Lester Piggott is jailed for 3 years after being convicted of tax evasion.[33]
  • 25 October – Peugeot begins production of its second car – the 405 four-door saloon – at the Ryton plant near Coventry. The first customers are set to take delivery of their cars after Christmas. A French-built estate version will be launched next year.


  • November – The first Acid House raves are reported in the United Kingdom, many of them being in derelict buildings.
  • 1 November – British Rail establishes a world speed record for diesel traction, 148.4 mph (238.9 km/h) with a test InterCity 125 formation between Darlington and York.[34]
  • 2 November – Peter Brooke succeeds Norman Tebbit as chairman of the Conservative Party.
  • 3 November – It is announced that unemployment in Britain fell quicker during October than in any other European country.
  • 5 November – London City Airport opens.[8]
  • 8 November – Enniskillen bombing: Eleven people are killed by a Provisional Irish Republican Army bomb at a Remembrance Day service at Enniskillen.[35]
  • 11 November – Customs officers in Southampton seize more than £50 million worth of cocaine – the most expensive haul of the drug ever found in Britain.
  • 12 November – Unemployment has fallen to 2.7 million (just under 10% of the workforce), the lowest level of unemployment in Britain for over six years.
  • 17 November – The government announces that the Poll tax (community charge) will be introduced in April 1990.
  • 18 November – A fire at Kings Cross on the London Underground kills 31 people.[36]
  • 19 November – Conservative support has reached 50% in a MORI poll for the first time.[9]
  • 24 November – The government announces that free eye tests are to be abolished.


  • December – The British-built Peugeot 405 is European Car of the Year, and Peugeot's first winner of the award for nearly 20 years. British sales begin in the new year, several months after it was launched in France.
  • 9 December – The England cricket team's tour of Pakistan is nearly brought to a premature end when captain Mike Gatting and umpire Shakoor Rana row during a Test Match.[2]
  • 15 December – Channel Tunnel construction is initiated, and it is expected to open in 1993 or early 1994.[37]
  • 17 December – A year that has seen an excellent performance for the British economy ends with unemployment at less than 2.7 million.
  • 25 December – ITV enjoys a record breaking audience when more than 26 million viewers tune in for the Christmas Day episode of Coronation Street, in which Hilda Ogden (Jean Alexander) makes her last appearance in the show after 23 years.
  • 29 December – PWL release the Kylie Minogue single I Should Be So Lucky. Australian Minogue, 19, has already earned a cult following in Britain with her part in the hugely popular TV soap Neighbours.
  • 31 December – 31 British and Belgian people are recognised in the New Year Honours for heroism shown in the rescue operation at the Zebrugge tragedy earlier in the year.[38]


  • Inflation remains low for the sixth year running, standing at 4.2% for 1987.[39]
  • Largest ever deficit to date on UK balance of payments.
  • With overall unemployment falling below 3,000,000, youth unemployment is now below 1,000,000.[40]
  • Overall economy growth for the year reaches 5.5% - the highest since 1963.[10]





  1. ^ [11]
  2. ^ a b c d
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^ [12]
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^ [13]
  29. ^ [14]
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^
  39. ^ [15]
  40. ^
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.