/ Travel & Leisure

60 years of Which? – what are your memories?

60 years cover

Which? is officially 60 years old today. So what better way to celebrate than a brief stroll down memory lane, topped off with a quiz? Take a slice of our virtual cake and grab a cuppa for this special edition convo…

First off – 🎉🥂🎂!

In our 60 years we’ve achieved so much change for consumers, and as we look forward to our next 60 years we thought we’d challenge you all with a little walk down memory lane.

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve heard from Which? Conversation community members John Ward and Wavechange about their Which? memories. While we still have more memories from members yet to come, we thought we’d mark our anniversary with a little quiz!

So here you go, test out your Which? knowledge with our Which? 60 years quiz:

We’ve come a long way since the days of our founders Michael Young and Dorothy and Ray Goodman. Back then they were testing out products in a garage in London’s Bethnal Green.

Last month, we paid a visit to co-founder Dorothy Goodman to share memories of our origins and award her with a lifetime achievement award. Dorothy said:

‘You’re still testing products and brands to make sure that they’re fit for purpose, albeit with more sophistication than the early days.’

‘The Which? Drive, determination, and values remain today, and that’s what I’m most proud of.’

So what are you proud of and what are your favourite memories of Which?’s work over the years? Oh, and how did you score in the quiz?

Chin says:
7 October 2017

Happy Birthday all of you 🙂


Good morning and Happy Birthday. I look forward to seeing more Which? staff dropping in to Conversation.


Although it should be said the rash of staff visiting these last few days has been very encouraging.

On what seem the best achievements, I would say being the first major ISP and content provider in the mid ’90s showed Which? was enabling those with prescience to make their mark. In also being one of the first to host the modern Forum, Which? scored a major first, as it did with the remarkable openness with which the top W? directors visited and engaged. They were extraordinary days.


Many congratulations Which? on your diamond anniversary. Here’s to another 60 years of consumer interest and support. Champers all round today 🙂


Seven out of ten. Geoffrey Howe, compulsory seat belts and super-complaints floored me. Happy birthday, by- the- way. I have no record of joining, but I believe it was in the sixties, when I could begin to afford the luxury of a magazine subscription. I think (but could be wrong) that I was able to buy individual magazines and was thus hooked. For many years I had Which as my I.S.P. and even after wracking my brains (autocorrected from brians, thanks Which) I can’t remember why I left. I have a happier memory, back in the early days, of sitting at home and reading a review of binoculars and finding that the Boots Pacer was a best buy and only ten pounds. I put the magazine down, went into town and secured a pair. I still have them and enjoy the view. A Which best buy dish washer graced the family home when they first became available. It hissed and swished and gurgled, but the dishes came out sparkling. It was the first of many! Which has been a bible for many purchases, but also has been a constant irritant when looking for something I’ve seen, and finding it either had not been tested, or that particular model was not listed in the table of results.
More recently, the magazine has played second fiddle to the internet. The magazine frequently tests a handful of something and refers one to the ‘net’ for the rest. Some of the information articles are of interest and some I skip. I tend to judge the magazine these days, by the amount I read and the amount of pages that I flip. However, I always look forward to the next one when it arrives. Always good for a cup of coffee and a sit down.
I dip in and out of this Conversation site and, usually, having expressed an opinion, am content to let others elaborate for as long as they wish. This creation has been liberating, informative and a stroke of genius on the part of those who brought it into inception. I hope it will continue to inform and widen the perspective of those in charge of Which, in all its guises. We, here, might not be totally representative of the wider public, but there’s a lot of wisdom out there to tap into.


It is interesting to consider the activist Sheila McKechnie and where we are now

From her obit in the DailyTelegraph outlining how the Consumer Association upset UK businesses. You wonder about her likely reaction to the leasehold scams and Optical express.

” At the height of the campaign, she turned up at the offices of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders in a car painted with a Union flag and emblazoned with the words “the Great British Rip-Off”. She then delivered a letter to the SMMT’s chief executive, Christopher McGowan, dismissing the industry’s “feeble excuses” and demanding that it stop treating the United Kingdom as “Treasure Island”. Subsequently, several major dealerships announced they were cutting the prices of new cars.
While such tactics often proved effective, they made Sheila McKechnie unpopular with many in British industry who were quick to impugn the Consumer Association’s credentials – at some cost to its reputation. In 1999, she “named and shamed” the 10 mortgage lenders which, she claimed, had received the largest number of complaints from customers, and announced that the industry was in need of “an urgent dose of regulation to correct its many ills”.

She may not have been the greatest at running a charity but she certainly generated results – and highlighted wrongs.


A bit late, but Happy Birthday Which? and hopefully many more to come.


I remember buying the first copy for a shilling when I was about 11 and rather liking it. I saved my pennies and bought it regularly until a new invention was discovered in my road, which I was forced to investigate.
It was somewhat mysterious and alien, but I persevered and found out that it was unusual, operated in unusual ways, not always operating as would be expected and perhaps it might be a good idea for Which to investigate this phenomenon to see if it is good value.
I think maybe it could generate some thoughts. It was, as I later found out, called a ‘girl’.


Ha! Loved this Tel. I am glad you’ve enjoyed Which? for so long. 🙂