Last year, some friends and I got together for a Jubilee evening. We had Coronation Chicken and Jubilee champagne and looked at coronation memorabilia. I was surprised to find that people my own age could remember nothing at all about the Coronation. My own memories are little more than a series of images. A wet, grey day and going to the house of my great aunt’s friend because she had a television set. A vague memory of a room full of people and a very small screen. Later, going with the same aunt to the ABC Broad Green (long gone) to see a colour film of the coronation. It was on with a black and white film of Life with the Lyons; Ben and Bebe Daniels were very popular on the wireless at that time. A party held for all the children in our road. It wasn’t in the street but some nearby hall and we were all in fancy dress. There’s a newspaper clipping with a photo of this somewhere, but I can’t lay hands on it just at the moment.
My sister and I had: coronation china; those wonderful little models of the coach and horses; money boxes shaped like crowns; a glitter press-out book to make your own coronation procession. All that is long gone. The coronation cup and Mappin & Webb spoon shown above were my husband’s. The tin I picked up a while ago at the market.
These books have all been found at jumble sales over the years. On top is the official guide. Under that a Pitkin souvenir booklet written by Beverley Nichols. Right at the bottom, the coronation edition of The Queen magazine. That’s full of the most wonderful advertisements.
At school, were given a book by Richard Dimbleby. I don’t think I’d actually started school at the time of the coronation, so they must have been presented to us the following term. What a long time ago it was. Let’s not forget this from Girl comic, long before I read it.