I was eight years old when Princess Elizabeth was crowned Queen. My brother was five. We didn’t have a television, so our mother took us to the cinema after the event to watch the coronation on the screen. Wow! My first visit to ‘the pictures’.
There was a film showing before the Big Event. The only thing I remember vividly is that it was about a circus and a man doing stunt dives had to climb to the top platform and dive into a small pool. The end was tragic and traumatic because he died in his attempt. The lights came up and my mum found my brother and me sobbing piteously. It was no good Mum saying it was just a story, and don’t take on so.. To us it was all very real. I wonder if my brother remembers it as clearly as I do? Must ask him.
The coronation film itself was in colour, quite unusual I think in those days. I’m sure it was stunningly beautiful and massively impressive, but some memories blur and fade with time.
I do remember the coronation propelling pencil each child received at primary school. It was red and had a shiny gold crown on top. I still have mine in my Box of Important Treasures.
Those far-off days of childhood were so important for developing our imaginations. The games we played were mostly simple. We were mums looking after our babies. We were tightrope walkers using a chalked line on the pavement. We were shopkeepers and teachers. We were lucky to have a quiet road to play in, stopping our games of marbles, communal skipping with one very long rope, and ‘Queenie, Queenie, who’s got the ball?’, only to move aside for the coalman with his horse and cart.
In some small way we were and are all part of history, whatever our ages. And as writers we help to foster the imaginations of each new generation as they grow up. To me that’s quite a WOW! thought, too.
Keep writing, everyone!
Frog and Flag. Imaginative name for a pub, eh?