The date is May 31, 1953, and this is the start of the Farnham civil coronation parade in Castle Street – a scene which could be repeated widely throughout the country this year but as yet I’ve heard no similar plans for Farnham.
The Women’s Junior Air Corps contingent turns into The Borough as part of a very long parade involving all the town’s community organisations from Boy Scouts and Girl Guides through Red Cross cadets and nurses to the British Legion.
The routes led around the town to a civic service held in St Andrew’s parish church. It appears they also had motorcycle outriders.
This was just one of many events held to celebrate the coronation: a huge tea party for the “elderly” under canvas in Gostrey Meadow, community hymn singing as well as many individual roads around the district holding street parties for the children and fireworks in Farnham Park. There was also a special Coronation Carnival which involved some very impressive floats and tableaux.
The town’s streets were decorated along with many individual businesses putting up some very elaborate decorations and not just window displays. Some residential roads also went to great lengths, one spelling out ‘Queen Elizabeth’ in huge individual letters, one adorning the front of each house.
I wonder if this year’s investiture of King Charles III will see similar events and celebration? However, Charles has expressed his preference for a somewhat lower key affair, but hopefully local people and organisations will still make for it to be a none-the-less memorable occasion.