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Memories from 60 years ago By residents of St Dominick past and present.

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1 Memories from 60 years ago By residents of St Dominick past and present


3 Lets party! Streets were closed and lined with trestle tables and seats. All the ladies cooked. There was bunting everywhere - even the lamp posts were decorated. Everyone had red, white and blue hats, special aprons for the ladies and special coronation paper cups. I still have happy memories of the day and a glass souvenir bowl which belonged to my mother. Linda Fry

4 With my East London neighbours in 1953 Northbank Road, Walthamstow, London E17 Linda Fry

5 I went as the Queen (I was six) My dress was made from crepe paper and my crown made from a Persil washing powder box I won 1st prize much to my family's delight Linda Fry There was a fancy dress competition for the children Everything had to be made from paper or cardboard The boy next door was a soldier My little sister (aged 4) went as a rosette


7 Listening to the radio In those days most people listened on the radio. Radios were operated by 'accumulators' which were square chargeable glass containers holding acid and rain water. They had to be charged at Fred Rogers or Roberts garage at Hunters Oak. John Frantom Radios were only turned on for the news, weekend entertainment and big events like the coronation. On Saturdays most people had them charged up.

8 The day of the Coronation I went down to Towella Villa and watched the Coronation with Miss Trenance on her TV - it was just the two of us. We had lunch - I spent the whole day with her. I remember the tinned peaches and tinned cream which was a luxury because rationing was still on. Monica Frantom

9 The day of the Coronation John Frantom I was shoeing a horse called Miss Finny for the Barretts to go racing at Newton Abbott the next day. Francis Barrett and I stopped as we were called in to watch the Coronation on the Barretts TV. After that we shoed another 4 horses that we took to the races the next day.

10 A memorable lesson I was at Delaware school in a cookery lesson. The teacher came in and told everyone to shush and then announced the King is dead All the girls were shocked. I remember the date (6th Feb 1952) cos it was Nigel Hunns birthday but I can't remember what I was cooking! Audrey Stidwell

11 National Service Dave Stidwell I was doing National Service in the Army in the Woolwich Garrison. We had to march through London across Tower Bridge and then to Westminster Abbey. Our role was to test the seating which was made with scaffolds and boards. There were 50/60 troops who all had to make sure the seating was safe.

12 National Service Dave Stidwell 2 to 3 days later (on the day of the actual Coronation) the Garrison was in Germany. We were offered to watch it on TV but I (and a few others!) went off to the river. When we got back, we asked what the coverage was like. The others, who had watched, said they couldn't see anything for the picture interference!

13 She flew back in what? Yes - I was around in 1952, aged 7 but I dont remember much about the day the King died, and Queen Elizabeth II acceded to the throne. I remember she was in Kenya at the time, staying at a place called Tree Tops (was it a tree house?) and I think she flew back to the UK on a Super Constellation 4- engine, piston engine airliner, but that was about it. Robin Woods

14 Our very own fly-past The Coronation was much more exciting because I was given a model of the Coronation Coach complete with 8 horses in Dinky Toy scale, and, for about 2 weeks beforehand, the RAF and the Fleet Air Arm practiced their fly-past right over our school! The teachers knew that they couldnt compete with this marvellous spectacle, and they would release us into the playground when the first aircraft was heard. Robin Woods

15 Those wonderful flying machines There were, I think, between 100 and 200 aircraft involved, including many of the types which had seen service in World War II, including: Spitfires and Hurricanes and all sorts of bombers and other aircraft built by all the old British manufacturers including: Avro, DeHaviland, Vickers, Airspeed, Percival, Handly-Page and others, together with a number of American built types. Robin Woods

16 Plane spotting For some of us, of course, the highlight was the new jet fighters: the Gloster Meteor and the DeHaviland Vampire The expert plane spotters among us could even distinguish the Navys variant, the Sea Venom from the RAF Vampire. Were the V bombers, Vulcan Victor and Valliant around at that time, or not? Oh dear, I cant remember, but it was a long time ago! Robin Woods

17 Boring, boring, boring... My Dad worked for the Rank Organisation, who had some offices overlooking part of the route of the Coronation procession, and so we travelled into London on the morning of the big day. Father had arranged for us to watch the procession from an upstairs window. My two brothers couldnt come because they were too young!! We took up our position, and then we waited, and waited.... Robin Woods

18 Yawn,Yawn,Yawn.......and waited. My goodness, it was boring! We watched as the servicemen marched into position to line the route about two yards apart, although I dont think anyone was particularly concerned about a terrorist attack. We watched as the pavements of the street below filled up with spectators, 8 or 10 deep in places, but we would get a better view Robin Woods

19 Will he drop the crown? There was a black-and-white TV with a 12 inch screen in the corner of the room, on which the grown-ups watched the Coronation Service, but I didnt find it very exciting. When the Archbishop lifted the crown high above the Queens head, I remember hoping that he wouldnt drop it, and wondering if it would knock out the Queen, if he did! Robin Woods

20 The Procession Then the Service ended and the Queen and the Duke left for the procession, and we waited and waited for it to reach our vantage point. Being the smallest, I was pushed to the front, and told not to fall out of the window! When the procession came past it was, of course, magnificent, with the Queen and Duke smiling and waving from the carriage, the Household Cavalry in attendance, hundreds of servicemen marching, bands playing, etc, etc… Robin Woods

21 Excitement over When it had all gone, we went home. I cant remember whether or not we saw the fly-past. We might have been on an underground train at the time, but it didnt matter because, for the last two weeks, we had been treated to our own regular fly-past at school. Robin Woods

22 The Queens Accession In Feb 1952 I was working in County Hall (London) when a taxi driver came and told the messengers to tell us that King George VI had died. The messengers went all round the departments in County Hall letting everyone know what had happened. Win Foweraker

23 The Queens Accession King Georges untimely death meant that Princess Elizabeth acceeded to the throne. At the time she was out in Kenya with her new husband, the Duke of Edinburgh. They returned very quickly and arrived dressed in funeral clothes. Win Foweraker

24 We were married in March 1953, and, in that June, the Queen was crowned in Westminster Abbey Win and Frank Foweraker

25 Even though we lived in London, on the Isle of Dogs, we only listened to the coronation on the wireless and saw all the photographs later in the newspapers. Win Foweraker I have a few souvenirs

26 Royal River Pageant Six weeks after the coronation, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh went on a Royal River Pageant from Greenwich to Westminster. Frank, my husband, was a crane driver in the docks and he took me to where his crane was. We climbed to the cab and had a unique birds-eye view of this procession up the river. Win Foweraker


28 The Coronation on the box I was about 5 years old. I was living at Trehill Cross, and I remember going with my mother to Pendeen - a house at Boetheric, owned by Frances and Lewis Reep (where Brian and Christine Jones now live) - to watch the coronation on television. We had no TV at home. Hilary Bennet

29 The Coronation on the box I have a vague idea of a roomful of people trying to get a view of the event on a tiny black and white set, about the size of a shoebox. As I was quite short-sighted (undiagnosed at that time) it was all a bit of a blur (literally)! Hilary Bennet

30 The Coronation party There was a village party in the football field The children were all given a mug - I can't find mine now!! However, I do have a glass plate commemorating the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria (1897). And NO!!! - I wasn't there to collect it in person! Hilary Bennet

31 Why was Ollie chosen? I was living on the outskirts of London. Ollie, a pupil from my school in Chigwell, Essex, was chosen to go to sit in the specially constructed rows of seats near to Westminster Abbey. I supposed that every school was able to send somebody but I dont remember to be certain. We were all very envious of him, and he certainly appeared to have enjoyed the day. Judy Foweraker

32 The Coronation on TV Perhaps it was a public holiday; we had a day off from school, and I was very lucky to be invited, together with other children from the road where I lived, to watch the ceremony on a neighbours television! We all squeezed into their front room. The very small screen looked out from a wooden cupboard. But it was high enough for us all to be able to see the black and white picture. Judy Foweraker

33 The Coronation on TV It was very exciting to see all the pageantry and the Queen looking magnificent, especially when she was wearing the crown! I also remember the wonderful music, and afterwards being given some orange juice with cake or biscuits. Judy Foweraker

34 The Coronation Dad had found a really nice picture of Princess Elizabeth and put it into a large frame, which he put in our front room window on the day - people seemed to do that kind of thing back then. There were several street parties later in the afternoon and evening. Judy Foweraker

35 Watching on the Big Screen About a week or two (it may have been longer) after the actual day, the local cinema showed a coloured version of the ceremony, which I went to see with Mum and Dad. The picture was very clear and it was all quite beautiful but.... Judy Foweraker

36 Watching on the Big Screen.... but I think I was more thrilled to see the queen actually crowned (or coronated as I called it) at the time it happened – even though it was on that very grainy, black and white small screen. A big thank you to my friend Maxines Mum and Dad! Judy Foweraker

37 Some of Norma Chapmans souvenirs Hologram images of the Queen and Duke

38 Coronation celebrations I was a young teenager living at Landulph. The Parish held a Celebration Tea in Landulph Primary School. Everyone enjoyed a lovely afternoon tea and the youngsters and teenagers etc gathered in the field opposite the Methodist Chapel for an afternoon of fun, Pony Rides, See Saws, Greasy Pole, and the rest... Betty Behennah

39 Coronation celebrations A few of my friends and I were given baskets of food from the Tea Party to give to those elderly parishioners unable to walk to the Party. What a lovely, exciting and happy time we all had at Landulph, where I grew up and still love going back to join in festivities with old friends. Betty Behennah

40 The young Queen meets Brown Owl and Brownie Doreen Behennah who is standing nearest to the camera

41 Watching the Coronation on the TV I lived in London at the time, but did not go up to town to watch the procession, but watched the coronation on my grandparents television. Certain parts remain in my memory – the procession up the aisle and the actual anointing and crowning. Di Axtell

42 Watching the Coronation on the TV There were several of us in a small room watching a very small black and white TV. The atmosphere in the room was very jolly and obviously everyone was quite excited by the event. For me it was a first royal coronation, but the second for my mother, and the third for my father and grandparents. Di Axtell

43 Our street party The second part of the celebrations was the street party. Organised by the ladies, including my mother, there was no red tape about closing the road as there were very few cars to worry about. Trestle tables were obtained from somewhere and everyone brought tablecloths. Food was made including sandwiches, with tea, soft drinks and a few beers for the men! Di Axtell

44 Our street party Us children were in fancy dress – me the Order of the Bath We all wore red, white and blue tiara-shaped hats made of cardboard. Red, white and blue cardboard cups, napkins and straws were available for us to use. I kept mine for about 40 years until mother had a clear-out and threw the lot away! Di Axtell

45 I was also lucky enough to go to another street party, held on the next day, on my mothers cousins street. There was no fancy dress this time but food and entertainment – notably a Punch & Judy show. My second street party Di Axtell

46 More of Norma Chapmans souvenirs

47 Death of King George VI.... My parents heard the news of King George VI from the announcement transmitted on the wireless on the morning of 6th February 1952. Although the King had been ill, everyone was very shocked by his sudden death. Mother and Father knelt on the kitchen floor and said a prayer for him. Christine Cross

48 Death of King George VI.... They then stood and sang the National Anthem and, in spite of it being mid morning, they poured a glass of port and toasted the new Queen Elizabeth and said God Bless Her I was a 10 year old child but I remember feeling very sad and being extremely moved watching my parents obvious emotion and spontaneous grief. Christine Cross

49 Death of King George VI.... Every home had drawn curtains as a mark of respect until after the Kings burial on the 15th February. Elizabeth was immediately declared Queen and, when she arrived back from Kenya, she took the Royal Oath which sealed her accession to the throne. Christine Cross

50 Death of King George VI.... The newspapers were full of photographs of the royal family who were all dressed in black, looking visibly shaken and in mourning. I remember thinking how tiny our new Queen looked and I felt she was so very brave. Christine Cross


52 Street party Queen Elizabeth was crowned on the 2nd June 1953. It was a time of great rejoicing - street parties and celebrations took place everywhere My home was in a terrace of 30 houses. A barrier was placed at both ends. Chairs and tables were brought out of homes and placed in a long line in the centre of the road. Tablecloths, bunting and china were produced from every home. Christine Cross

53 Mothers had been saving ration-book tokens for months and baking for days before the event. Street party Christine Cross

54 Street party The result was a table groaning with homemade fare. Dandelion and burdock, lemonade and limeade pop were served in copious amounts to the children. Union Jack flags hung from every home. The public house at the end of the road rolled out a barrel of beer - all the dads were in good spirits! Christine Cross

55 Street party Mr Matthews, the grocer at the other end of the terrace, made sure we had extra goodies. A couple of pianos were pushed out from homes and were played constantly throughout the day. Young men and women danced the jitterbug and the jive – I thought they were very glamorous Everyone was invited to sing and we all did – after all we were in Wales! Christine Cross

56 Street party Mothers had made fancy dress for their children and we were all dressed in a variety of weird and wonderful outfits. Parents dressed in their Sunday best and we all wore crowns as hats. Grannies and grandads pushed out comfortable armchairs into front gardens to enjoy the day in comfort. Christine Cross

57 Street party All children were presented with a five shilling crown coin (25 pence) as a commemorative gift. We were not able to watch the coronation on television - we had no access to a set. The wireless remained on all day describing what was happening in Westminster and how the day was progressing. Christine Cross

58 Street party The day ended for the children when we eventually fell asleep and we were taken into our homes to bed. Our parents cleared up and congratulated themselves on a successful party, sitting outside in the gardens and gossiping into the early hours. Christine Cross

59 The Queen was so beautiful in the photographs in the newspapers the following day, and, as an 11 year old girl, I thought how tiny her small waist looked in her fine gown and robes. Prince Philip was very handsome. We all felt that, somehow, we too had been present at the coronation and celebrated with them. Street party Christine Cross

60 Petersham Mews, Kensington, SW7 Ann Savage

61 I was glad to be there... We were woken at 5.15am and joined other St Pauls choristers on the bus for Westminster Abbey to sing at the Queens Coronation, clutching cassocks, surplices with sponge-bags around our waists containing lunch! 8am - reached the Abbey. Jessop Price

62 At Westminster Abbey We were shown to the top of temporary scaffolding almost touching the Abbeys vaulted roof. We looked down on the conductor and the orchestra positioned on the organ screen. We had hours to wait for the Ceremony to begin. We watched the nobility, in their robes and coronets, taking their pre-assigned seats. Jessop Price

63 At Westminster Abbey We performed all the Coronation music, starting with Parrys I was Glad We enjoyed a wonderful birds-eye view of the solemn service. After the service, I remember that the nobility took ages to leave! At 4pm - we were finally allowed to climb down and leave the Abbey. 6pm – arrived back at school. Jessop Price


65 St Dominic celebrations Weeks before the coronation our mother Marie Martin was busy making us our outfits for St. Dominics carnival. The carnival was held in front of Fred Rogerss store - now The Meadows - and long shadows on the photos show that it must have been in the evening. We were to be dressed up for the mounted or horseback class. Virginia Spiers

66 Their outfits were made of pale turquoise taffeta with frills edged in scarlet and with sequins sewn on their pointed hats. Virginia Spiers My sister Sally and cousin Kathryn Reep were to ride Coffee (our skewbald pony) as circus performers.

67 St Dominic celebrations Mum led the pony and made herself a cow girls costume with fringes, beads, braid and charms sewn onto a green waistcoat and brown skirt. She also wore our fathers stetson hat. Corker or Chorister the white bull terrier had a special red and green frill around his neck but our daddy had to take him home in disgrace as he was jealous and aggressive towards other dogs! Virginia Spiers

68 A Queen Trooping the Colour My outfit (the Queen in full regalia) copied from the cover of a biscuit tin, comprised of: - scarlet felt tunic with a navy blue skirt - blue sash of the garter - epaulettes - white gloves - buttons etc from Uncle Peters war-time uniform - mock astrakhan hat with Prince of Wales feathers - my wellington boots Virginia Spiers

69 St Dominic celebrations The horse (I think it was Miss Muffet) had brasses on her bridle and a maroon saddlecloth, again copied from the biscuit tin, embroidered with symbols of the UK and edged in blue with a yellow fringe. Everybody thought my rig was the best but I was disqualified from first prize as it was judged an offence to impersonate the Queen! Virginia Spiers

70 I was disqualified for impersonating the Queen Virginia Spiers

71 St Dominic celebrations In the morning we went, with many relatives and neighbours, to the house of our uncle and aunt in Boetheric (Ernest and Nancy Reep) to watch events in London on their television. The screen was very small, encased in a big mahogany box with double doors and we could just about discern the Queen, crowned and waving from her coach through a snowstorm of interference. Virginia Spiers

72 St Dominic celebrations At some point we children all received our official coronation mugs but I cannot remember whether or not there was a proper tea. I was probably too excited at the thought of dressing up in Mums lovely outfit, having to appear as riding side-saddle and not falling off as I saluted the crowds! Virginia Spiers

73 Memories of a centenarian The night before the King died I remember that it was saying on the news that the King was passing quietly away. There wasn't a day off for the Coronation like we have Royal celebrations now. Everyone was working - I was working then at Fred Rogers Stores, which is now The Meadows bungalows. Herbert Buckle

74 Memories of a centenarian It would have been flower time and strawberry time so very busy. I remember that Ann and Dawn went to Meadowcrest above Radland to watch it on Fred Rogers TV. There were only about 4 or 5 TV's in the village then. I remember a little while before the Coronation that Moons of Plymouth came up and gave demonstrations of TV's in the Chapel Room. Herbert Buckle

75 Cricket Flannels Tony Lee My first recollection of this momentous day was the pair of long white cricket flannels laid out on the end of my bed, having attained the ripe old age of nine. The cricket flannels were not the only new thing in the house that day …

76 Our first TV Tony Lee A couple of days earlier we had acquired our first black and white television set. This was a large walnut cabinet with the screen behind two full length doors. My parents were hosting a party, for relatives and friends who did not have access to a TV, to watch the Coronation live.

77 The streets were deserted Tony Lee The big task was to collect my grandparents from few miles away. I noticed the lack of traffic and people. It was as if a curfew had been imposed. After a few hundred yards we did spot someone waiting at a bus stop. The buses were not running that day so we gave the person a lift to the next town.

78 Warming the valves Tony Lee Arrived home to find the our guests, around twenty or so, all squeezed into the dining room with all chairs in the house pressed into service. Much to my disgust I had to sit on the floor and tried not to get my white trousers dirty! The television was duly turned on just a little before the time specified. You had to allow time for the valves to warm-up to get a picture.

79 Watching in silence Tony Lee The Test card came on to much applause! The programme started with the procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey. The actual Coronation service was watched in complete silence by all. The picture remained fairly good, though the quality was not as good as it is today – no HD then!

80 The BBC needed a rest Tony Lee After the procession back to Buckingham Palace, the BBC closed down transmission for an hour. The television was switched off to let it cool down. Lunch was cheese and onion and bacon and egg pies.

81 It was all over too quickly Tony Lee Puddings followed and back on with the television to watch the crowds outside the Palace and the appearance on the balcony of the Queen and the Royal Family. Once again the broadcast shut down again and the party broke up. Tea followed and so to bed as it was school the following morning!

82 A trip to London I travelled from Cornwall to London, quite an adventure 60 years ago. My friend Doreen Reep went with me and just as we were about to board the train at North Road Station her father said, mind you take care of her as youre older than she is My Auntie and sister met us at Paddington Station. Norma Chapman

83 A trip to London We had gone to London for two weeks and intended seeing and going to as many places as we could. Then the excitement began as London was buzzing with festivities and decorations everywhere. Id never seen anything like it before in my life! Norma Chapman

84 A trip to London Coronation day, June 2nd 1953 was the highlight - we rose early and left at 4.30am. We knew it was going to be a long day. So I said Im going to wear my slippers and take my highest heeled court shoes to put on when the procession comes by My sister laughed and said you wont dare. I said oh yes I would and I did! Norma Chapman

85 A trip to London I wore blue slippers with fur around the top, and my mackintosh and carried my shoes as we walked through Hyde Park in the rain. I was on the laughing side at 2am next morning when we at last got to bed. My feet were fine! It had been a wonderful day! Norma Chapman

86 A trip to London We stood in the Mall under the trees on the left as you look towards Buckingham Palace. The colours were like a rainbow - out of this world. The Queen of Tonga sat in an open carriage in all her robes waving with the rain just pouring down on her, as she said she wanted to see the people and she wanted the people to see her, so she refused having any cover! Norma Chapman

87 Outside the Palace There was a sea of umbrellas as it was raining. You just shared with whoever needed shelter. The Queen just looked too perfect to be real. Later we walked up to be around the fountain outside the Palace. Then the Royal family came onto the balcony and people were cheering and dancing around the fountain until it got so thickly packed you just had to stand in one place. Norma Chapman

88 I still have the outfit I wore for that special day in 1953 But which one is me?

89 After sightseeing in London all day, my friend and I had promised to meet my sister and Auntie at the Drury Lane Theatre at a certain time. We asked a policeman the way. He looked at us and said Ive no idea as Ive only been drafted up to London for the Coronation - I come from Cornwall We said so do we! - what part of Cornwall?. He said St Ive near Liskeard, I dont expect youve heard of it Of all the policemen in London, how strange that we chose him! And we made it to the theatre on time – just! A Local Bobby!

90 Norma Chapman Normas sister Winnie Normas friend Doreen Reep Winnies friend

91 Hammersmith Palais Norma Chapman While still in London we visited the Hammersmith Palais with its revolving stage. It meant the music was continuous. Almost the whole place was full of men and women in either Army or Navy uniforms. When the music started for the next dance the floor filled up and, in those days, people danced all the same steps all going in one direction.

92 Hammersmith Palais Norma Chapman It was really wonderful to see – it looked as if the whole floor was moving. We came back to Stockwell, where my Auntie lived, at midnight or gone - something you wouldnt dream of doing these days - two girls on our own! We also went to Battersea Park and had a whale of a time on the big dipper and had photos taken.

93 Elizabeth of England Now can this tale unfold The first lady of our land She has a heart of gold A queen who is wonderful, Loyal and good, One who is trusted And understood With her crown and sceptre, Her robe and her train God bless Elizabeth Long may she reign. A coronation poem by E.G. Meredith


95 Thanks for Your memories Those with long memories Loan of equipment The National Trust Co-ordinating the project Ann Murphy Gathering information Nina Cox Slide show Kevin Owen

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