How Cirencester celebrated the Queen’s coronation in 1953

With the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee now just a few weeks away, and large celebrations planned, we have taken a look back at the festivities that occurred in June 1953 for the Queen’s Coronation.

The photo at the top of the page shows a party in Chesterton, one of many that occurred at the time.

The photos below show the decorations in the Market Place.

Coronation centrepiece 1953

Coronation centrepiece 1953

Coronation Model 1953

Coronation Model 1953

All photos courtesy of Robert Heaven.

Here is how the Standard reported on events at the time:

A succession of brief but heavy storms, followed at night by a steady downpour from about 9 o’clock onwards and a far from June-like cold wind accompanied the celebrations of Her Majesty’s Coronation in Cirencester and district.

But it would have taken more than unfriendly elements to dampen the ardour of those who, in town and village, had been preparing for the day in a thousand different ways.

From the moment the Union Jack was hoisted on Cirencester Parish Church tower at 8 o’clock on Tuesday morning and the bells began to ring out their greetings to Queen Elizabeth, a festive mood prevailed. Old and young, the people were going to celebrate, weather or no.

As fitted the occasion there were moments of solemnity too. Not only in the homes where earlier in the day people crowded around radio and television sets to join with the rest of the country and commonwealth in the moving Abbey service but sometimes in public places. Cirencester’s biggest crowd of the day, in fact, was that which heard the Queen’s speech relayed by loudspeakers in the Market Place at 9pm.

Mackintoshed, often with umbrellas, people lined the pavements on either side of the Market Place and filled every shop doorway. Homeward-bound families of holidaymakers stopped their cars, sometimes three abreast, to listen in with local inhabitants. For all, it had been a day to remember.

Find out more about the history of Cirencester by visiting or

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