What happened in the 50s?
- 23 February - in the general election Labour held onto power with a majority of just five.
- 26 May - petrol rationing ended.
- 25 June - The Korean War began.
- 3 May - King George VI opened the Festival of Britain on the South Bank in London.
- 25 October - Clement Altee (Labour) called another general election. He hoped to increase his majority, but lost to Winston Churchill (Conservative) who formed the next government.
- British spies Burgess and Maclean defected to the USSR.
- 6 February - King George VI died.
- 5 July - the last London tram ran from Woolwich to New Cross.
- 4 November - Dwight D. Eisenhower (Republican) beat Adlai Stevenson (Democrat) to become the US President. The previous President Harry S Truman withdrew from the race for the Democratic Party Nomination.
- 14 November - The New Musical Express (NME) published the first hit singles chart.
- 29 May - Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first men to climb Everest.
- 2 June - The Coronation of HM Queen Elizabeth II.
- 27 July - The Korean War ended.
- 4 July - all rationing ended.
- 6 May - Roger Bannister ran a mile in under four minutes at the Iffley Road Track in Oxford.
- 6 April - Anthony Eden succeeded Winston Churchill as Prime Minister.
- 22 September - Commercial television was first broadcast in the UK.
- 13 July - Ruth Ellis became the last woman to be hanged in the UK.
- Mary Quant opened her first boutique, Bazaar, on the King's Road in Chelsea, London.
- 5 November - British and French paratroopers landed along the Suez Canal.
- 6 November - Dwight D. Eisenhower (Republican) beat Adlai Stevenson (Democrat) for a second time to hold onto the US Presidency.
- Britain's first transistor radio, the Pam 710, went on sale.
- In 1957s Lee Cooper, Britain's home grown jeans label took out adverts in the national press. This signified jeans were being officially pushed for leisure wear as well as work wear.
- 9 January - Anthony Eden resigned as Prime Minister and Harold Macmillan succeeded him.
- 1 June - ERNIE (Electronic Random Number Indicating Equipment) picked the first premium bond winners.
- 4 October - Sputnik, the first artificial satellite, launched by the USSR.
- November - CND (The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) started.
- In the course of 1958, more than half of UK households had television sets for the first time
- 1 January - The European Economic Community (EEC) was formed.
- 29 August to 5 September - white working class youths rioted in Notting Hill. The riots were racially motivated.
- 5 December - Prime Minister Harold Macmillan opened Britain's first stretch of motorway. It formed part of the M6. The M1 opened the following year.
- 25 July - the first Hovercraft trip across the English Channel.
- 26 August - BMC launched the Mini in the UK.
- 11 October - postcodes were used for the first time.
- 17 November - duty free drinks were first sold at UK airports.