Coronation memories - look back at Ilford street party ahead of 60th anniversary

PUBLISHED: 13:11 31 May 2013

Geoff Bye (right) on Coronation day in 1953.

Geoff Bye (right) on Coronation day in 1953.


Despite many speaking of the unfortunate weather on the day of the Coronation, one former Ilford resident remembers the sun shining and the exciting build-up which he felt as a six-year-old.

Geoff Bye, pictured with his three-year-old brother, Richard, dressed up as state trumpeters before joining others from the area for a large street party in Ley Street, Ilford, on June 2.

Now 66, and living in Germany, he said: “There was a party in the back garden for the neighbouring children with plenty of fizzy drinks and cakes. People talk about the rain on Coronation Day but I don’t remember it raining.

“Like so many others, no one that we knew had a television set so we didn’t see anything of the coverage.”

At a time when meat was still rationed, Mr Bye said many hoped the Coronation would signal the start of “better times” for the country.

He said: “There had been a great deal of build-up to the day itself and we had devoted a lot of time to the Coronation at school with the teachers telling us how important it was for the country. As children we were getting quite excited about the whole thing.”

Mr Bye left Ilford in 1966. He said: “Last summer we visited Ilford. Not much has changed, except that the houses seem a lot smaller than they did when I was a child.”

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