These wonderful 1953 coronation celebration photographs from Frances Thornton sadly missed our Platinum Jubilee issues through lack of space, but they really record the local mood in the Bourne on the day the Queen was crowned.
I’ll let Frances tell you about the day.
She writes: “This celebration was organised by my late mother Lillian Biggane who lived at number 38 Lodge Hill Road (the decorated house shown in the photographs) and Sid Hawkes, our next-door neighbour also with help from other neighbours in the road.
“I am the little girl presenting a bouquet to a lady who could be Florence Mitchell, the wife of RJ Mitchell, the designer of the famous Spitfire aircraft.
“I believe there is a connection to Lower Bourne, but not sure.
“After the event on the village green there was to be a tea party for the local children in Lodge Hill Road itself.
“Unfortunately, because of rain, my mother and neighbours rallied together and trestle tables laden with food and drink were erected throughout our house at number 38, which was a complete joy for the children.
“My mother Lillian Biggane spent a lot of time and effort in making it look special for the Queen’s coronation.
“Not sure if this was held on the same day but an article was reported in the Farnham Herald to confirm this.
“This celebration almost 70 years ago proved to be a great success and I believe it was the precursor to the Bourne Flower Show which is now held annually.”
In the bouquet presentation photograph, Frances is the eight-year-old girl standing centre just about to present the flowers to Mrs Mitchell on the right wearing a hat.
Others identified in that image are Lilian and Patrick Biggane, Edwin and Elsie Parrot and Mrs Quinn.
Leading the procession from the footpath next to St Martin’s Church on to the green are Valerie Wilson (left), Barbara Daniels, whose parents ran the local butcher’s shop, playing the part of the Queen, and Joyce Norton.
Following on is Eva Smith leading the rest of the children: Roy Smith, Frances Biggane, Joan Smith, Heather Stacey, Michael Biggane and Elsie Parrott.
Along with the Bourne photographs were a series of souvenir postcards of the coronation itself published by Valentine’s of Scotland.
They included this shot of the royal family on the Buckingham Palace balcony following the ceremony.
The back of each card carried the following inscription: Prints flown to Dundee by aeroplane on Coronation Day June 2nd 1953.
“Postcards on sale in London by 11 o’clock on June 3rd.”
That’s a pretty big achievement in the days before the internet!