In July 1952, Her Majesty the Queen arrived at Newton Abbot Railway Station having travelled there by the Royal Train and was then driven to Stover to open the Royal Show which was held in the fields near Stover House. My grandfather had arranged for us to go to a field on the Bovey road to see the Queen pass by. My mother, brother, Auntie and cousins walked from Kingsteignton passing over Teign Bridge and along the causeway at Teigngrace, passing the Level Crossing and arrived at the field where we were to see the Queen pass by in her car. In the evening my parents took me to Newton Abbot Railway Station to see the Queen depart for London. There was a great crowd to see her. She was dressed in black as she was still in mourning for her father, King George VI.

Newton Abbot Railway Station decorated for the Queen’s visit.                                                                    The Queen inspecting the horses at the Royal Show Stover July 1952


At the time of the Queen's Coronation I was one month short of my seventh birthday and in Mrs Lee’s class at Kingsteignton Church of England Infants’ School (now St Michael’s).

There had been a lot of build-up prior to the event and there was a buzz of excitement as people prepared for the big day. My mother and our next door neighbour, Mrs. Roberts had made bunting and this was displayed from our house at the corner of Rydon Estate to Mrs. Robert's house in Rydon Road. The bunting was red, white and blue and could be seen from quite a long distance away.

In preparation for the Coronation, shops were decorated and a week or so before, I remember walking into Newton Abbot with my brother, John, and my mother pushing the pram with my baby brother, Richard, to buy some flags to decorate our house. My grandmother had made me a dress especially for the Coronation, white with red squirrels and I had hair ribbons of red, white and blue. On the afternoon of the Coronation we went to Oakford Lawn where Coronation mugs were presented to all the children in the village. Because one of my brothers was only a baby, I had to collect his mug as well. During the afternoon there was entertainment in the Old Age Pensioners hall. We went home for tea and in the evening there was a firework display in Play Fields (now known at Clifford Park), the only play equipment there was a see-saw and four swings.

The next day the newspapers were full of the pictures of the Coronation. Not many people had a television set in those days and a film was made of the Coronation. I was taken to the Odeon Cinema with my brother and parents to see the film together with their friends, Mr. and Mrs. Truman and their son. The cinema was full as many people wished to see the service in colour. It was very impressive. The dress which Her Majesty wore was decorated with flowers representing the United Kingdom, roses for England, thistles for Scotland, daffodils for Wales and shamrocks for Northern Ireland, and were depicted in diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds. A few days after the Coronation, Mr. and Mrs, Truman went to London to see the decorations and brought me back a souvenir which was a small glass mug with the coat of arms painted on it. I still have the glass mug today but sadly my Coronation mug was broken.

The Queen later went on a tour of the Commonwealth and at school we followed the tour with pictures of the different countries the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh Visited and the welcome they received from the people.


Contributed by a member of the KHS







Left:- Extract from the Daily Herald dated 6th April 1953