Coronation Memories at the All Saints Coffee Morning

Five people recall the day seventy years ago

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While Putney and the world celebrated the Jubilee some had memories of the actual day seventy years ago. Not least members of the Monday morning coffee club at All Saints Church on Putney Common.

Renee Blunn (88) remembers that her family in Paddington had the only TV in the street. A 14 inch set. “It meant we were the most popular people and everyone came round to watch the TV, so much so that there wasn’t room in the living room and I couldn’t watch. But I did buy a pack of cards commemorating the event and still have it.”

Derek Woods (87) who has lived all his life in Rotherwood Road remembers being frustrated. ”I was doing my National Service down in Dorset and they wouldn’t give anyone leave to go to London as they said London would be too crowded. I was really annoyed I wanted to watch it with my parents.”

On Coronation Day, David Glews (79) was at street party in Birmingham which really stuck in his mind because it was the beginning of the end of rationing. ”We didn’t have lobster that day but it seemed to mark the end of the terrible shortages. My brother and I would spend most of our Saturdays queuing up with our ration books. I think at the party I dressed up as a soldier.”

Gay Wilson (89) was one of the lucky few who actually saw the procession. ”I had an uncle in the Navy, he got us tickets in the Mall. I’ll never forget the Queen of Tonga larger than life in her robes going by in an open carriage, not caring a fig that it was teeming with rain. I was working as a dancer with the Folies Bergère and I had to really race to get from the procession to the matinee I was in.”

David Glews (left) and Christine Sunda (right)

Christine Sunda (88) was doing a French degree at University College. For her the highlight was because of the Coronation strict rules about being out and about were relaxed. ”We had a mixed tent in Hyde Park so we could be in a good place the next day.

“The day started with the announcement that Hilary and Tensing had climbed Everest. It really did feel like the start of a whole new and exciting world. Although I joined the crowds such was the crush that I didn’t see much. But it was such an exciting day and of course the night before was fun.”

Senior members of the Parish of Putney neighbourhood are welcomed to a social gathering at All Saints’ Church every Monday from 10.00 am – 11.15 am with fresh coffee, tea and homemade cake. Volunteers take turns to host and provide for the mornings.

Hugh Thompson

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June 13, 2022

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