The Queen’s Coronation 1953


Memories of Lee Lewis



Memories of Frances Fletcher

‘ Then in 1952 it was the coronation there was a lovely party at school ,they had all tables put together in a long row and a buffet everyone had party’s in the street too , it was a wonderful day .’

Charles Southam who was then in the Boy’s Service, which can be thought of as an apprentership to the Army, grew up on King’s Road, adjacent to the Hare and Hounds pub. Before joining the regular army, Charles was fortunate to be a part of the military parades that marked the day in London. Charles said, “ I was on the coronation parade so I didn’t get to watch it (on television). I was on that marching round. It was a horrible day. It rained all the way round the 13 ½ route. Plus back to where we started it was 16 miles in total. Marching with a rifle on the slope and it rained all the way. We trained months for that. You had to do all the training bearing in mind we were 12 (soldiers) deep. And you had to train so when you came to the arches (along Pall Mall?) you had to change into 3 groups of 4 and come back together again. It all went well on the day. We slept in Earl’s Court, underground in the garages; on straw sacks. Not very pleasant. We wore ‘blues’ (jackets), white belts, and white gloves.”

For others, the Coronation was often the time when the family had it’s first television set. Or they visited a neighbor who had bought one. Barry Floyd, who grew up on Dormington Road recalled the occasion. Barry said, “Next door to us, (my neighbor) he was on reserved occupation so he was earning wages; and they had one of the first Bush TVs. A 9 inch TV. And it was lovely with a rosewood cabinet. Nine inches was all it (the screen) was and of course black and white (screen). I saw the coronation on it and the 1957 cup final. I remember it was Villa 2 Manchester United 1. Many hadn’t got a TV and of course if you didn’t have one then you went round to your neighbour’s. John Rowley, formerly of Aylesbury Crescent said, “We had a television in the 1950’s for the coronation. There wasn’t any in the street that had a television but we had one. We were seen as ‘posh’.

Memories of Frank Burton

Courtesy of Frank Burton

Its a picture of all of the kids in Halsbury Grove at a Fancy Dress Parade on Coronation Day June 2nd 1953 (obviously black and white). There are 24 kids and I can name 21 of them (I think the other 3 were guests for the day)
The picture was taken in the metal works classroom (converted for the day with flags, bunting and ribbons) on Warren Farm Road. It belonged to our school (Dulwich Road) It was taken by a professional photographer it seems, because printed on the back is:- “Photography by A.W.Cotterell, 26, Wenlock Road, Birmingham 20 (off Aston Lane) Phone BIR 5566

Starting from left rear row:-

                    Elegant Lady   ~ Anne Pitham
Fruit Bonnet ~ ? Stephens
                    Football Supporter ~  Alan Brookes
                    Clown ~ Geoffrey Elliker
                    Knight ~ Alan Clutterbuck                     El Pedro ~ Geoffrey Evans
                   Middle Row from left standing:-
                   Beautiful Doll in a Box ~ Sandra Lee ~ WINNER
                   Boy Dressed as Girl ~  Johnny Fletcher
                   Maid in India ~ Sylvia Richardson
                   Prima Ballerina ~ My Lovely Sister Freda Burton ~ RUNNER UP
                   Mary Mary Quite Contrary ~ Mary Cantillion
                   Nurse Linda ~ Linda Morton
                   Miss Glamourous 1953 ~ Ann Graves
                   Eastern Princess ~ Jean Clutterbuck
                   Queen Boadicea ~ Pauline Elliker
                   Mrs  Mop ~ Dorothy Richardson
                   Front sitting:-
                   Pretty Fairy with Wand ~ dont know
                   Little Pixie Girl ~ Janet Cantillion
                   Baby Rossetta ~ dont know
                   English Rose ~ Joy Parker
                   Queens Coach Guard ~ thats me ~ Frank Burton
                   Girl with the Pillbox Hat ~ Susan Neal
                   Party Girl ~ Jacqueline Brookshaw
                   Barrel of Beer ~ don’t know




  1. France’s remember it well Neasden Grove put out long tables for the children. We had Jelly and blancmange. It was a cold day and the cold Jelly didn’t sit right with me so I got throw ups. Lovely what we remember isn’t it.

  2. […] picture kindly shared with us by Frank Burton recalls Coronation day on Warren Farm Road. Read more… Coronation Day at Warren Farm Road Like this:LikeBe the first to like […]

  3. A lovely picture! You must have all gone to a lot of trouble with the costumes, they look fantastic! Of course, I remember my dear cousin, Freda, and Frankie in the front row. Also, Jean Clutterbuck, who had the most amazing hair which made all us girls jealous at school!

    Our party was in Ellerton Road and I remember how hard all the women worked to give us lovely spreads on trestle tables up and down the road and the groves, with lots of cake and jelly and trifles 🙂 I can also remember quite a few barrels of beer being carried around to various locations in the road, lol. After the feast we all joined in games organised in Finchley Park, there was egg and spoon and sack races etc., for the children and the adults- the ones who could still stand up straight anyway!

    Then for the evening entertainment we had a talent competition in Mr James’ front garden where the adults humped somebody’s treasured piano onto a home made stage. (Hang on, I think it was ours 🙂 ) My brother Lawrence played for all the contestants (I think Clemmy Watts must have been one of them – in fact I think he won!) and my brother whistled “In a Monastery Garden” while my other brother, Charlie, played piano. I remember it being a great day, even though the weather wasn’t good. All us children were given a Coronation mug FILLED with Cadbury’s chocolate….mmmmm! I know we went to bed tired, but happy!

    • Hi Pat,
      It’s Frank Burton here.
      i’m in desperate need of some information on the Burton family.
      Danielle, my daughter has just started Uni at Birmingham and today she went to the Birmingham Hippodrome for a lecture. She was asked if any members of her family had connections with the theatre and she mentioned Granny Burton and Auntie Win.
      They asked as to what was her Gran’s first name was, which, she didn’t know and I can’t remember.
      With hardly anyone to ask now, wondered if you know what Gran’s first name was and if so, can you quickly let us know please.
      Much appreciated

  4. Hello Pat,

    You just brought back wonderful memories of the Coronation celebrations in Ellerton Road. My mum ( a tiny Scottish lady) my sisters and I lived at number 66 Ellerton Road on the corner of the grove and mum made us red,white and blue dresses out of crepe paper for the Coronation street party.

    Clemmy Watts used to sit me on his knee and sing “Oh you beautiful doll” to me and to this day it brings a tear to my eyes when I hear it.

    Do you remember anything about my family? My sisters were Kathleen and Margaret.I’m Dorothy and then little Janet was born at number 66.Our surname was Capewell.



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