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Coronation 1953

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marions memories

Coronation of Queen Elizabeth 11 on 2nd June 1953 ... and my 7th Birthday

by Marion Pancheri

Having no car, no telephone and no television, the arrangements for watching the Coronation were organised by my parents well in advance of the day. Their friends, who lived about two miles away, had a new television for the special occasion. It was slightly larger than the first one that "Aunty Phil and Uncle Reg" had. Even so, It was a small screen in a box. When I first saw it, it was showing Muffin the Mule. I really thought that the puppet was literally behind the actual box and I crawled round to the back of the set to find Muffin. Alas, he wasn't there!

Scroll forward a year or so and I knew what to expect when we went to watch "The Coronation". The weather was dull, but I didn't notice that when I woke up, as all the flags were out in my street and I felt that it was such a happy day. My mother, father, sister and I rode our bikes to Aunty Phil's. The sitting room was full of people, mainly their family and their neighbours.

I sat on the floor in front of my mother's legs, and had to sit still for quite a long time. The room was small and there was not much of a gap between the television and me. The images on the screen were not exactly clear, but things that stood out for me were when the Lords raised their coronets above their own heads, the act of placing the canopy above Her Majesty's head, and the television shot of Prince Charles on a balcony. At the end of the session, we had to bike home in the rain, which was a bit deflating, but there were many Union flags out hanging limply because they were so wet.

We had a street party the weekend after the actual day, it was well organised and enjoyable, with all the children from our road and the parents hovering behind the children to ensure that they had plenty to eat. We also had a community party in a church hall at the end of our estate, which was adjacent to a field. There were prizes available for various things including fancy dress. I still have my certificate for the "consolation prize" in the fancy dress competition and for coming third in the girls running race. Apart from the proverbial Coronation mugs, I have a lovely illustrated book which I received later in the year, depicting so much of the actual ceremony and processions.

It was a very special day and so important for me as all the flags were out for June 2nd ... my 7th birthday.

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