2. Big Events in Ken's Childhood

Pam Wall

Scene 5 in the Jubilee Mural, showing celebrations in the woods
Mural by Fred Fieber, photo by Peter Marsh

The BIG event for local people was, of course, the street party to celebrate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1953:

“My father, ‘cos he was a carpenter, he made all the shields, the whole street we had shields with two flags comin’ out. In fact I think me brother’s still got one. And father did, I think, twenty or thirty of these shields to go along the street. Then we had flags all the way across. I think the Mayor came round and we all got given a mug. We’re all sat down and.. it seemed to go on for days. The celebrations and that seemed to go on for days and days and days, ev’rybody just provided food and mucked in and it just all happened.”

You can view a selection of photos from Coronation celebrations here

and find out more about Coronation celebrations as depicted in the Jubilee Mural, here.

This shows a street party in Pennyfarthing Street. Have a look at the other pages on the Jubilee Mural too, which tell a lot about celebrations surrounding the Coronation.

Ken recalls a visit to Salisbury by Queen Elizabeth II not long after her Coronation

“Just after that, I think the Queen came to stay at Wilton House ‘cos she used to come out to Wilton House quite a bit in her in her early days. We were all told that she was going back to London by road, which means she’d have to come up Winchester Street ‘cos that was the London Road, was the main A30. And that she’d be coming through about two o’clock. So… people started gathering …. up on the corner of Winchester Street and London Road and all round there. And it got to about four o’clock, people thought well it can’t be right [laughter] and then she eventually come through at six o’clock. But we did see her come up and they all waved in this big car and off she went up round.”

A big annual attraction was the Fair:

Oh it was great, the fair! All of us kids used to … sit on the parapets of the bridge watching all the lorries come in. They couldn’t get into the market ‘til five o’clock on the Monday morning. Not like now where they make it up during the day ‘n take their time, they had to get on and do it. Along the Blue Boar Row you has striptease dancers and people like that.. and the boxin’ and the wild west show … ‘n.. funny attractions all the way along there so you could spend your early evening out ‘long under Debenham’s watchin’ these girls dancing and the chaps throwing knives. So there was quite a bit of entertainment along the Blue Boar Row at that time which you don’t have now. One of the big fastest rides was a ride called The Moon Rocket, where Popeye used to go around one way and like a spaceship thing used to go round the other way, and that was a fascinating ride. Understand it’s in Cardiff now, parts of it is in an old fairground in Cardiff. We used to go on all the rides. Waltzers. Dodgems. We used to go and play… roll the balls down, and there was a good game ‘cos you could always win … used to win a tumbler or something like that. I think I still got some tumblers that I won at the fair”.

At the moment we have no photos of the Fair as it used to be. Do you have any you would like to share?

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