Stoke St Gregory History Pages
The Coronation -1953
Who remembers it? 70 years ago. My own recollection is that the ceremony was just something else happening somewhere else. I hadn't known the previous King, and at the age of five had no knowledge of the Princess about to become Monarch. I was given a mug and a copy of the New Testament, but the best bit was probably a big book with press-out pieces that fixed together to make a model of the Gold Coach and a group of accompanying riders. I think for many people the real excitement of the 1953 Coronation was seeing television for the first time. My grandparents had a set and my mother drove us three kids from Dolgelley to Colwyn Bay for the event in a borrowed van, which seemed to run out of petrol on the way. Was the engine gravity fed from the petrol tank, as we reversed up the hill and were then able to free wheel down to a garage?
This pageant took place in The Square, and we believe it was sometime around the Coronation. On Coronation Day itself Alf Nicholas (probably playing the piano in the photo above) played Reveille on the trumpet at the top of the church tower. Alf was landlord of the Royal Oak and father of Pete Nich of Stathe.
June and Rex Champion are pictured here with their father, who lived in Willow Farm, Curload. He had made this tribute to the new Queen.
Not many families in Stoke had television sets at the time, but Mr Badge, of the Meare Green garage that became Jays Nest, placed a TV in the village hall and all the school children were invited to watch the coronation there, as reported in this clip from the school Log Book. They were all given one of these commemoration mugs.
In preparation for the event the school had planted three trees on the playing field in February. Alfred House planted an Oak, Gregory House planted a horse chestnut, and Pitt House planted a beech tree. The occasion was reported in the newspaper.
Memories? - from wherever you were at the time