Our Heritage: Golden memories of 1953

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Following our appeal last month for readers’ memories of celebrations to mark the Queen’s coronation on June 2, 1953, Barbara Rhodes, fro Overton, sent us her recollections.

“I was 6 years old at the time and lived on Lincoln Road, Fairfield.

The district, comprising Sylvester Street, Sibsey Street, Kelsey Street, Lincoln Road and Wingate Saul Road held a fancy dress parade and a sports day.

We were taken to the Jubilee Hall on China Street for a tea.

The fancy dress parade caused great excitement amongst the children. I was dressed as Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow?

I wore a long flowery dress, straw hat and carried a garden in a basket.

We were all gathered on Wingate Saul Road and the pavement was chalk marked to denote the various age groups. At the tea party my friend and I were amazed to see sausages on sticks which we had never seen before (I think these were sharpened matchsticks).

The sports day was held on the girls’ grammar school playing field.

I won my one and only sporting prize – a tin of paints in the potato race!

All the children were given a pencil, mug and a money box in the shape of a crown.

Our houses were all be-decked in flags and banners.

I don’t think any of these events were held on Coronation day, but they took place close to it.

On the day itself our small living room was packed with neighbours as we were one of the few families with a television (an Echo I think).

I had to sit on the floor and my mother seemed to spend a lot of time providing cups of tea and sandwiches.

I remember being very impressed by the enormous parade and then ornate costumes of the Queen’s escorts as well as the golden coach.

I still have a miniature metal coach and horses.

I also remember the news of the conquest of Everest and was given a Mount Everest game which consisted of a cardboard mountain with coloured pins moved up by shaking a dice.”