LOSE YOURSELF IN 1971
ROLLS-ROYCE STOPS ROLLING
Rolls-Royce Limited goes bankrupt in February and is nationalised. The company, founded in 1904, includes the aviation and luxury car-building arms but has been financially crippled by developing the RB211 jet engine. The car division is hived off as Rolls-Royce Motor Holdings Ltd in 1973, to allow the aerospace side to concentrate on jet motors.
THE OPEN UNIVERSITY, UM, OPENS
Although founded in 1969, the Open University sees its first students enrolled in January ‘71, when BBC television broadcasts also begin. Cue decades of late-night programmes featuring earnest academics sporting excessive facial hair and appallingly colourful knitwear. These ceased on 15 December 2006 but the distance learning institution itself continues, very successfully.
AND TIME FOR DOTOR WHO
Actor David McDonald (later Tennant on stage) is born in West Lothian in April. After an early part as a transsexual barmaid named Davina in Rab C Nesbitt, he finds considerably more fame as the tenth and hugely popular incarnation of the TARDIS’ timelord in Doctor Who, playing the role from 2005 to 2010, with a reappearance for the 50th anniversary in 2013.
Blue Peter presenters Valerie Singleton, John Noakes and Peter Purves bury the show’s first time capsule in the Blue Peter Garden. It’s dug up in 2000 and contains some waterlogged film/audio tapes, BBC badges and a set of newly introduced decimal coins.