Coronation day, 1953

Tuesday June 2nd, 1953, the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. I was 16, pleased to get the day off school, [five years of misery], and shortly due to start work at J.S. Fry & Sons, [a case of “Beware of letting go of Nurse for fear of finding something Worse”; boy, oh boy, was it worse? In a word, yes.]  Some people crowded round the tiny black and white pictures on neighbours’ TV sets, but I don’t suppose we were invited anywhere so we heard it on the wireless, with Mary Britton from next door, (see “A Victorian Girl”) and Dad “not minding the Queen” but muttering about “all the hangers on.” It rained all day. There was no street party in Victoria Park. I saw the film later in the cinema, the Odeon, Kingswood. I chiefly remember the wonderful Queen Salote of Tonga who rode in an open landau and beamed all the way along the mighty parade route.

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