Thomas William Urwin

1 portrait

Thomas William Urwin, by Bassano & Vandyk Studios, 18 December 1969 - NPG x174767 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Thomas William Urwin

by Bassano & Vandyk Studios
quarter-plate film negative, 18 December 1969
4 1/2 in. x 3 3/8 in. (115 mm x 85 mm) overall
Purchased, 2004
Photographs Collection
NPG x174767

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The Open University is established, based on the vision of Michael Young. Its aims were to offer the chance to study for higher education qualifications on a part time and distance learning basis, giving people who were unable to attend a traditional university because of family, work commitments or disability the opportunity to achieve university degrees.

Art and science

The comedy sketch show Monty Python's Flying Circus is first broadcast. The Pythons performed surreal sketches that reinvented the comedy tradition, eschewing punch lines for a stream-of-consciousness structure and incongruous authorial interventions: 'and now for something completely different'. Kenneth Tynan's Oh! Calcutta amuses and shocks audiences with full nudity on stage, taking advantage of the recent end to censorship laws.


Neil Armstrong takes 'one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind' when he becomes the first man on the moon. Concorde makes its first supersonic flight. The plane was designed, developed and manufactured by a joint treaty between the French and English governments.

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