Where were you on Coronation Day?

2nd. June 1953, the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth 11.

It’s strange, I was just over 5 years old and can remember almost everything that happened. What I did last Thursday is another matter !

For weeks before the big day, the Village had been in high activity, making bunting, decorating windows, hanging Flags, organizing Party’s and Parades.

Coronation Day Parade, Chipstead in Kent
The Coronation Parade of Floats in Chipstead, Kent 1953

In my home the highlight of the year was installing a Television Set. This took up half the Sitting Room and had a screen the size of an A4 piece of Paper. If you were lucky, you could go through a week without a Bulb going in the back and having the Repair Man in his brown overall turning up to fix it.
Always the attentive wait, you’d switch it on and sit there praying that after a period of about two minutes a minute picture may appear and slowly get bigger to fit the whole screen!

This was our treat for the big day and of course a giant step into the technological age.

Family dressed for Coronation Day 1953My Grandparents arrived quite early, always a treat as they had a car and it smelt of Leather and Petrol – remember that to this day.
We congregated around the screen and watched with pride and joy as our Country crowned yet another Monarch in pomp, circumstance, but not colour!

After the Service was over I decided to play in the front garden where I made a kind of bivvy tent within the Pampas. Keen to show the family who were still around the TV Set, I banged on the window and to my horror, broke it!
Oh happy days, they were not amused.

The following day we had the grand Village Parade and as you can see from the top photo, it was not exactly a fine warm summer’s day. Looking at it again, the Crowd didn’t appear to be exactly ecstatic either!
I have to say I was a bit glum (you can see me in my Sailor’s kit on the front Float) because the following day I was being whipped into Hospital to have my tonsils out, something I have to say I’m quite glad about now. Back then, sore throat and you were in for the chop!

So the three days around the Coronation are still in my filing system. It was a grand time, a bit of History, the Country was united and I had a sore throat !


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