Broad Street Wrington ARCHIVE
Wrington Celebrations 1948 - 1953
Recollections from Olive Mellett

These recollections were kindly submitted by Olive Mellett. The photographs in the text and below come from her album started shortly after the war, and form both a valuable 'Who's who' of people (particularly young people) in Wrington then, and an historical insight into events, not least those connected with the coronation - 50 years on !

There are many names given, but also some blanks. If you recognise anyone not identified, or find other memories sparked off, please do let the website know by e-mail . Also, if you have any similar recollections and/or photographs we could copy, again, please do get in touch.
[For responses, see final page]

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After the parades and parties of the victory celebrations, life quietened down as the men and women returned from the war. So in 1948 a committee was formed to plan a day just for the children.

The first Saturday in June became "Children's Day", and started with a fancy dress parade from the station yard to the recreation ground, where after the prizes were given out sports were organised.

Mr Waite the headmaster was on the committee, and for a few weeks beforehand, the children of Wrington and Redhill schools were encouraged to enter handwriting, painting, needlework and other types of handicrafts, for the exhibition in the Memorial Hall.

The day ended with a free tea for all the children in the "British Restaurant" (now the off-licence).

The day was such a success that a few years later, it was decided to have a carnival queen.
Those entering had cards with a dotted crown on. Each dot represented a vote and cost 1d. Each card took 60 votes =five shillings.

The first queen, Eileen Jones of Redhill, was crowned in Broad Street by "Aunty Margaret" of the Evening Post, and we also had floats to head the parade, and much coverage in the Evening Post !

All their parents paid to come and watch so the money for the queen was raised.

There was also a cup for the child with most points for all the events of the day
After 2 years of selecting the queen in this way, it was decided to put on a concert earlier in the year and select the queen by public vote in the interval.

60 children from Wrington and Redhill took part.
In 1953, coronation year, it was the parish council who arranged the day getting the village organisations involved. It started with a joint outdoor service in the recreation field the night before. Prizes were offered for the best shop window, best archway, best decorated house and garden.

TV was a novelty enjoyed by no more than a dozen folk in the village, soMr. Spalding had fixed one up in the Methodist Schoolroom (now the Scout hall) for any who wished to watch the actual coronation.

Also in the morning was a fancydress football match.
There was the usual craft exhibition, and tea for the children in Broad Street.
For days afterwards, people wandered around admiring the decorations and enjoying the atmosphere.
The fancy dress parade was in the evening followed by dancing in the street, and ending with a bonfire and fireworks in the quarry.
Later in the year the URC (then Congregational) sundayschool children put on an entertainment "Alice through history land"going back through the years to the first Queen Elizabeth.

 3 pages more photographs