Hardwick Coronation Celebrations 1953

With the Golden Jubilee coming up in 2002, thoughts will turn to the accession of The Queen on 6th February 1952 and her coronation the following year on Tuesday 2nd June 1953. As in many towns and villages, the Coronation was marked by celebrations in Hardwick, which were organised by the Hardwick Coronation Committee, chaired by the Rector, Rev. G.B. Whittaker. Committee papers loaned by Annette Bond show that the main celebration was on Coronation Day and consisted of a village tea party with sports, music, dancing and films. The committee also decorated the village and distributed special decorated mugs and 1lb canisters of tea to village residents. If any of the older residents remember the event or have any photos, I would like to hear from you.

A list of names and addresses of the tea recipients shows that street names and numbers were not used (there was no need as the village was small; only 470 in the 1951 census) and house names were used instead. Those listed include: Glenroyd, Ashdene, Homelea, The Haven, St Just, Maspeth, Ravensmere, Sunnybrae, Dunromin, Crowthorne, Meadowview, Caenwood, Waveney, Killarney, Gardinia, St Caterines, Weston, Osokosi, The Nook, Hillsburgh, Elwyn, The Stores, Otterbush, Gildae, Red House Farm, Angelite, Umtali, Montana, Holmdale, Windyridge, Homefield, Ideal, Killarny Cafe. How many of these still exist? I recognise one or two.

The committee accounts show that expenditure was £70 14s 7½d (£70.73). It is not clear how the money was raised.


The following show the cost of the items purchased by the committee from local traders, most of which are no longer in existence.

Coronation committee receipt, 1953 From Smiths the bakers of Oakington, 8 dozen fancies (presumably cakes) at 2/6 (12.5p) per dozen, i.e. about a penny each. The bakers won a prize at the Eastern Counties Show held in Cambridge in 1945.

Coronation committee receipt, 1953 A hundred sixpenny (2.5p) bags of sweets, from a confectioner and tobacconist on Bridge Street, Cambridge.

Coronation committee receipt, 1953 The film and music equipment for the party, ordered from Globe Cinema Services, a Hardwick-based business. Note the 3-digit phone number. Receipts were often written over a 2d stamp, here still bearing the king's head (George VI).

Coronation committee receipt, 1953 This order, for 70 1lb tins of tea, was the largest single item of expenditure. It appears the Hardwick Service Station and Café on St Neots Road had recently taken over by Mr A Bond, and that the Service Station part of the business had been closed.

Coronation committee receipt, 1953 Bread and cakes from a different bakers. Bread rolls cost ½d (0.2p). 36 lbs of slab (cake) at 2/4 (12p) per lb. Note the Cambridge phone number - only 4 digits.

Coronation committee receipt, 1953 An urn for the tea party: £2/16/- (£2.80) from Macintosh's ironmongers in Cambridge.

Coronation committee receipt, 1953 No description on this receipt from Matthew & Son of Trinity Street, Cambridge. Probably food for the party.

Coronation committee receipt, 1953 Icecream and crisps from Hardwick Café.

Coronation committee receipt, 1953 The Coronation mugs from Woolworths, then as now in Sydney Street, Cambridge.

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