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Queen Elizabeth II Coronation 1953

Coronation Carnival 1 1953
1953. Flags and bunting decorated the streets for a carnival. Crowds lined the whole route from the start in Church Street to the venue of Tuckers Park.

During Wednesday 6th May and Tuesday 2nd June 1953 a variety of events took place in the town to celebrate Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation. The coronation on 2nd June 1953 was when she was officially crowned; she actually became queen when her father, King George VI, died in February the year before in 1952.

The celebrations in Faringdon kicked off with a football match against Swindon Town in Tucker’s Park. Other events were a production of ‘Beggar My Neighbour’ by Faringdon Dramatic Society, a street carnival procession and ball, square dancing, old tyme dancing, darts tournament, whist drive, and an open-air church service in the Market Place. On Coronation Day, the Market Place was the scene for a pig-roast, an afternoon children’s tea party, followed by dancing until midnight.

Coronation Carnival 2 1953
1953. The Burma Star float. All eight were Burma veterans: J. Corbishley, Fred Keogh, Pike, Jack Bryan, George Goddard, Rowland Hill, Carpenter, Bill Palmer.
Coronation Carnival 4 1953
1953. Maureen Dyer was the Carnival Queen and was attended by Doris and Ada Roberts. In the front were Miss McKenzie and Miss Carter.
Coronation Carnival 3 1953
1953. This impressive entry from the Saw Mills in Park Road is parked in Church Street ready for the parade to start. The giant elm was decorated with various tools of the trade and products made at the Saw Mills, such as gates, fencing, posts and brush heads. Sitting on the log were Jack Townsend and Jock Hackett.
Queens Coronation 1953
1953. The Faringdon fire crew shown here stopped in ‘The Narrows’ turned out for the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation celebrations.
Beggar My Neighbour 1953
1953. ‘Beggar My Neighbour’ a comedy by Arnold Ridley presented as part of the Faringdon Coronation Celebrations by Faringdon Dramatic Society.


Coronation 1953Coronation Tv 1953Very few people owned or could afford a television set in those days and many thousands were sold or hired especially to watch the coronation. (Even then only about a third of households had one by 1956.) Those that did have one were invaded by friends and family to watch the coronation being broadcast by the BBC (bearing some relevance to the afore mentioned play presented by Faringdon Dramatic Society). There was also a television made available at the County Grammar School for Girls in The Elms – all persons 60 years and over were invited.

Coronation Programme 1953Faringdon Coronation Celebrations Programme (pdf)

72 pages packed with information.

With thanks to Eileen Merritt for providing her copy of this souvenir programme.

 


References:

  1. The Changing Faces of Faringdon and Surrounding Villages – Book 1 p51-2. By Rosemary Church, Jim Brown, Millie Bryan and Beryl Newman. Robert Boyd Publications 1999 – now out of print.
  2. Extracts from the Faringdon Coronation Celebrations Programme (pdf)
  3. Faringdon Dramatic Society – https://www.faringdondramatic.org.uk/archives/beggar-my-neighbour-1953/

Researched and compiled by Ian Lee, June 2022.


Page last updated: 06-06-2022 Copyright © 2018-2022 Ian Lee