Amazing pics show how the district celebrated the coronation in 1953

A service was held at Market Hill in Huntingdon to mark the Queen's Coronation.

A service was held at Market Hill in Huntingdon to mark the Queen's Coronation. - Credit: HUNTINGDON ARCHIVES

In the summer or 1953, the district came together to celebrate the Queen's coronation - unfortunately the weather put a bit of a dampener on some events. Apparently, there was a "blustering north west wind" as well as rain sweeping the whole country.

Ever upbeat, the headline on the front page of The Hunts Post of June 4, 1953 was Coronation Festivities Beat The Weather. 

 The story read: "Triumphing over wind and rain, the people of Hunts shared in the long to be remembered celebrations of her Majesty's Coronation. Although a few events were cancelled, it was a day of splendid rejoicing to live in the mind and to warm the heart."

As only a small number of homes had television sets in 1953, friends and neighbours gathered around the available ones which in some places were set up in public halls. The paper reported there were souvenirs and games for children and later the skies were lit with soaring fireworks and bonfires. 

There was, in fact, a week of celebrations and a large crowd gathered on Market Hill, in Huntingdon to hear a live broadcast of the Queen's Coronation. According to The Hunts Post: "Then followed the joyful hours of singing and dancing that lasted well into the night."

More than 700 people turned up for an event at the St Ives Corn Exchange and a decision was made to hold the planned fancy dress event outside. 

There was also a Square Dance and "open air" dancing in St Ives and the Coronation speech was broadcast from the town's British Legion Club.

Most Read

There was a procession and carnival in Ramsey but due to the weather, the town band was "forced to spend most of its time taking shelter in the WI Hall".

Elsewhere in Ramsey, it was reported: "The parish church which seats 800 was not large enough to hold the congregation for the town's united Coronation service". 

More than 800 people attended an open-air event to hear Godmanchester Orchestra and the Salvation Army band.

Street parties and festivities were also held across St Neots. There were sports days and talent shows as well as street parties and a grand carnival parade. 

Many thanks to Huntingdonshire Archives for the photographs.