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What happened in 1972? - UK

The wreck of Seawise University, formerly RMS Queen Elizabeth in Kong Kong Harbour, 1972
The wreck of Seawise University, formerly RMS Queen Elizabeth, in Kong Kong Harbour, 1972
Barry Loigman, M.D. (User:Bloigman), CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

We look at events, new products, films and music.

In the news

In 1972, Sir Clive Sinclair launched the Sinclair Executive pocket calculator
In 1972, Sir Clive Sinclair launched the Sinclair Executive pocket calculator. It was the first truly pocket-sized calculator.

Facts about 1972

For more information see How much did things cost in 1972?

Films

Sean Connery filming Diamonds Are Forever in 1971
Sean Connery filming Diamonds Are Forever in Amsterdam in 1971. It was the biggest grossing film in the UK in 1972. The car is a Triumph Stag
Rob Mieremet / Anefo, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The films that made the most money in the UK in 1971 were:

Source: '007 beats the Godfather' published in The Times 27 December 1972 page 2

Hit films from 1972 were a mix. 007 was still a favourite. There were more serious dramas such as 'The Godfather' and 'The French Connection'. There was historical drama as well as musical comedy.

Television

Barry Foster who starred in Van der Valk which started in 1972
Barry Foster who starred in Van der Valk which started in 1972
Punt / Anefo, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

These British TV shows debuted in 1972:

Children's TV

Children's TV programmes starting in 1972 included:

Source: The Encyclopaedia of Cult Children's TV by Richard Lewis

Music

Harry Nilsson who had the best-selling record of 1972
Harry Nilsson who had the best-selling hit record of 1972, 'Without You'
RCA Records, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

In 1972 Jesus Christ Superstar by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice opened at the Palace Theatre in London's West End.

The best-selling pop records of 1972 were:

Source: UK Top 100 Singles by Paul Gambaccini, Tim Rice and Jonathan Rice, published by Guinness in 1993

Without You, contrary to popular opinion, was not written by Nilsson, but by Pete Ham and Tom Evans of Badfinger, a British rock group. It has been covered by many artists. Amazing Grace by The Pipes, Drums and Military Band of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, eventually sold over seven million copies.

Royal news

The Duke of Windsor (right) and Duchess of Windsor (left) with President Nixon (centre)
The Duke of Windsor (right) and Duchess of Windsor (left) with President Nixon (centre). The Duke of Windsor, formerly Edward VIII, died in 1972
This photograph is from a collection taken from 20 January 1969 to 9 August 1974, under the direction of President Nixon's personal photographer, Ollie Atkins. This particular image is by Jack E Kightlinger, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

28 May - The Duke of Windsor, the former Edward VIII, died at his home in Paris. The funeral was held at St George's Chapel, Windsor. Thousands of mourners filed passed his coffin.

8 July 1972 - Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, married Birgeitte van Deurs, a secretary at the Royal Danish Embassy. The marriage took place at the tiny parish church of St Andrew, Barnwell, Northamptonshire.

20 November - the Queen and Prince Philip celebrated their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. They attended a service at Westminster Abbey and a lunch at the Guildhall in the City of London.

The Queen made a state visits to France and to Yugoslavia in 1972.

'The Country Life Book of Britain in the Seventies' by Ronald Allison, published by Book Club Associates in 1980

Sport

Les Cocker, Leeds United coach holds up the FA Cup in 1972
Les Cocker, Leeds United coach holds up the FA Cup in 1972
Image by Uncle Ernie licensed and derivative distributed under Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0). (Image cropped)

Leeds United beat Arsenal to win the FA Cup. Derby County won the Football League.

Glasgow Rangers won the European Cup-Winners' Cup. Violence from fans at the final in Barcelona saw Rangers banned from all European competitions for two years. [1]

Derby County paid a record transfer fee of £250,000 for David Nash from Leicester City. [1]

Well To Do won the Grand National at Aintree ridden by Graham Thorner. The owner and trainer was Captain Tim Forster.

Roberto, ridden by Lester Piggott, won the Derby at Epsom. It was Piggott's sixth Derby win.

The first ever race for women jockeys was won by Meriel Tufnell on the 50-1 outsider, Scorched Earth [2]

At the 1972 Olympics yachtsmen Rodney Pattison and Christopher Davis won gold medals. Pentathelete Mary Peters (Mary 'P') set a new world record and won the gold medal for the women's pentathlon. Peters was from Northern Ireland. She received death threats from the IRA after her win. She won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1972.

Toys

Raleigh Chopper Mk2
Raleigh launched the Chopper Mk2 in 1972

The Toy of the Year in 1972 was Plasticraft.

Other toys and games launched in 1972 included:

Not strictly a toy, the Raleigh Chopper Mk2 was launched in 1972. It was an improved and safer version of the original Chopper launched in 1969 in the UK.

Cars

Renault launched the Renault 5 in 1972
Renault launched the Renault 5 in 1972
Image by peterolthof licensed under Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)

New models launched for the UK market in 1972 were:

Read more: What were the best selling cars of the 1970?

Products

Dynatron Transpower SRX26 casette, 1972
Dynatron stereo with cassette 1972. Everyone was into stereo systems in the early 1970s

In 1972 93% of households had a television set, 72% had a 'fridge and 66% had a washing machine.

To get an idea of what new products people were interested in I had a look at the Consumers' Association (Which?) reports for 1972.

In 1972 Which? reviewed:

References

[1]'The Country Life Book of Britain in the Seventies' by Ronald Allison, published by Book Club Associates in 1980, page 97

[2]'The Country Life Book of Britain in the Seventies' by Ronald Allison, published by Book Club Associates in 1980, page 80

More on 1972

More on the 1970s

By Steven Braggs, July 2021

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Retrowow - vintage, retro and social history

20th Century History ★ Antiques & Collectibles

Retrowow - vintage, retro and social history

★ 20th Century History ★ Antiques & Collectibles ★