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Through Time: Flashback To June 1953 – The Big Royal Event

Published on: 4 Jun, 2022
Updated on: 4 Jun, 2022

The 1953 Coronation celebrated in Midleton Road

By David Reading

A timely recollection of the Queen’s Coronation in 1953

It was the big event of 1953: the Queen’s Coronation. And the people of Midleton Road were among thousands in Guildford who threw a party to mark the occasion.

This picture, showing the celebration in my garden at No.24, was taken with a Brownie 127 camera, which millions of people owned in the 1950s. In those days having a group photo taken was a grand occasion, although this is hardly reflected in the faces of the kids of Midleton Road. Most of us look indifferent.

I remember most of those in the picture. Sadly some are no longer with us, including my best friend Julian Hopper (back row, on the left) and his brother Chris next to him. I am in the middle with little Alan Wise on my lap.

Midleton Road stood on the old A3 opposite the Dennis Brothers factory, where my Dad, Ron Reading, worked. Those were the days when only a dozen cars a minute passed down the road. Today the area is a traffic pollution hot spot. The houses were demolished years later when the A3 was re-routed.

I remember very little of the party itself but have always treasured this picture from my distant past. I wonder if there are Guildford residents who recognise any of the subjects in my picture or who have their own pictures of that time?

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test One Response to Through Time: Flashback To June 1953 – The Big Royal Event

  1. Aubrey Leahy Reply

    June 5, 2022 at 9:57 pm

    I do not recognize anyone in the photo but then my memory is not what it once was (strange that!).

    I lived on Woodbridge Hill and went to a friend of the family to watch on their very small television. It would be another five years before we got one of our own.

    Something I am immensely grateful for is that none of my youth was spent glued to a small screen. Instead, I was always out and about.

    Two years prior to the Coronation, and the very exotic Coronation chicken dish created to commemorate it, there was during the Festival of Britain, an exhibition held in a huge marquee on what then was known as Station Meadows.

    When I say huge, it is through the eyes of a seven-year-old who was transfixed by all the gadgets and new fangled devices, especially the popcorn machine!

    Re-examining the photo I note another vast difference between then and now. Almost certainly all of the clothes worn were made in Britain.

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