Harry Pilkington

William Henry ('Harry') Pilkington, Baron Pilkington (1905–1983) was a glass manufacturer and former President of the Federation of British Industries but who is remembered politically as chairman of the Pilkington Committee that produced the controversial Pilkington Report of 1962. He was also Chancellor of Loughborough University from 1966 to 1980.


Pilkington was educated at Rugby School, a boarding independent school in the market town of Rugby in Warwickshire, followed by Magdalene College at the University of Cambridge.

Pilkington Brothers Ltd

Pilkington joined the board of the family business, Pilkington Brothers Ltd, in 1934 and served as chairman from 1949 to 1973. This glass manufacturing company became the lone survivor of twenty-four British glass manufacturers from the 19th century. While other companies died from competition, the Pilkington company advanced its techniques, especially in safety glass and glass sheets, using the company's proprietary float glass process.[1] In 1967 the company controlled 85% of the glass-making business in the United Kingdom and exported its products to over 100 countries.

Pilkington Report

The Pilkington Report concluded that the British public were not being well-served by commercial television due to what it regarded as its American-influenced programming (such as westerns). It further concluded that although the British public had not been explicitly asked whether they wanted commercial radio, there was no evidence to support the contention that they wanted it. The unintended result of this conclusion was the creation of offshore commercial pirate radio in 1964. It also commended the BBC for the high quality of its television programming and recommended that the franchise for the-then third television channel should be granted to the BBC (which opened as BBC 2 in 1964), rather than to a commercial operator.


Knighted in 1953,[2] Pilkington was created a Life Peer on 18 January 1968, taking the title Baron Pilkington, of St Helens in the County Palatine of Lancashire.[3]


External sources

Preceded by
New University, similar role
held by Sir Herbert Manzoni
Chancellor of
Loughborough University

Succeeded by
Sir Arnold Hall
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