The privatisation of government assets was reaching boiling pitch by the late 1980s and, having sold off Britain’s oil, gas, water, electricity and weather, there seemed little left in HM Government’s asset bank except food and miasma. That is, until one Treasury brightclogs came up with the notion of selling off Britain’s views.
The NOI was co-opted to design the advertising campaign, and the flotation took place on 3rd November 1989. The initial share price of 83p rose to £10.32 by the end of the first day’s trading, making multimillionaires of some lucky millionaires.
Some of the premium views were bought by foreign interests. Most people know that the view of the Houses of Parliament from Albert Embankment is owned by the Japanese prison system; less well known is that the view of Huyton & Prescot Golf Club from the northbound carriageway of the M57 is owned by the bass player from Boney M.