Film ID:
NEFA 20589



Visitor Tabs


An amateur film made by John W. McHugh and Robert Wilson for the County Borough of Gateshead of various coronation celebrations taking place around the borough in 1953.

Title: County Borough of Gateshead Coronation Celebrations 1953.

Title: Commemorating the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

Title: 28th May 1953. The presentation of seats by the Rotary Club of Gateshead, at the ornamental grounds near the Cenotaph.

The film opens on a policeman holding open the passenger door of a black car that is parked on Prince Consort Road across from the Shipley Art Gallery. A man and two women step from the car. One of the women is wearing a ceremonial gold chain. 

A group of dignitaries stand beside the cenotaph on the corner of Prince Consort Road and Durham Road. A man in gold ceremonial chains shakes another mans hand. The group stand around a wooden bench.

Title: … accepted by his Worship the Mayor, Alderman M. Grant.

A view of a wooden bench.

The Mayor gives a speech to the crowd.

Five older men are seen sitting on one of the benches. A number of dignitaries standing behind them.

Two brass plaques on the bench read; 'Presented by The Rotary Club of Gateshead' and 'Elizabeth II 1953'.

General view of the benches and Cenotaph. A number of older men are sitting or standing around the benches.  

Inside the park behind the cenotaph general views of the decorative flower beds with two men sitting on park benches.

Title: 31st May 1953. Mayors Sunday. The Civic Procession En Route to and from St. Mary’s Church.

A military brass band marches passed The Central public house on Half Moon Street. They are followed by a number of men and women, some wearing military medals, marching in front of a series of banners. Behind them is a procession from the Boy’s Brigade, followed by a Salvation Army marching band and the Mayor and Town Clerk who walk behind a third man carrying the Mayoral mace.

Two churchmen lead a group of other male and female dignitaries.

A view of St Mary's Church as seen from Newcastle.

A young man wearing vestments and carrying a cross leads a choir out of St Mary's Church. They are followed by various dignitaries.

Title: Some of the Gaily Decorated Streets in the Borough.

Red, white and blue bunting hangs around the street and houses in Suffolk Place.

Bunting hangs between the terraced houses in Roseberry Avenue. A man climbs a ladder against a decorated gas lamp. On the other side of the street two boys hang additional decorations.

Union Jacks and bunting flutter in the breeze in Gainsborough Crescent.

A red, white and blue decorated arch hangs across the street in Wardill Gardens. A Union Jack with a crown about it hangs at the turning circle of the cul-de-sac.

Three men stands underneath the decorated arch, one of the men is holding a letter and is pointing while the other two look on.

In Albert Street a small girl runs towards camera passing underneath bunting and flags that criss-cross the street.  A young man smoking a cigarette hangs from a ladder against a gas lamp manipulating the shade.

A woman leans out of a window of a decorated house. Red and blue bunting hang above the downstairs bay window and the initials E.R. handing from the upstairs bay windows.

A woman hangs bunting from the front door of a house watched over by a second woman.

Another woman holds a ladder while a man hangs a Crown insignia about a front door.

General views of decorated houses in the unknown street.

Red, white and blue bunting criss-cross the street at Kelso Place.

At Milling Street people stand in the doorways of their terraced houses with flags and bunting hanging across the street. A gentle wind blows the flags and bunting.   

Three women stand in the doorway of a terraced house in Brussels Street. As well as bunting hanging between the houses and across the street each house have a royal insignia hanging over the front door. A crowd of people look at the camera.

A ceremonial arch of pictures made up the Queen and the royal insignia hangs across a road. More picture and bunting hang from the shop window of. E Walker.

An alleyway between two terraced houses is decorated with red and white flowers, an angel and royal insignia. Two women and young girl in sunglasses watch on.

Crowds of people in a decorated terraced street look at the camera.

People stand in the doorways of their terraced houses with bunting and royal insignia’s hanging above each of the downstairs windows.

In the middle of another terraced street a man and woman stand next to a policeman. Bunting, flags and a banner that reads 'Long Live the Queen' hangs across the street and blows gently in the wind.

Bunting hangs above Taits Fish Shop in Gotfield Street. A man walks up the steep street with bunting and large red banners hanging across.

A decorated archway banner in the middle of a street is held down by beer barrels. The banner reads 'God M Save'.

In another street another decorated archway showing a picture of the Queen is also weighed down by barrels.

 Two decorated conifer trees stand in the middle of an unknown decorated street.

Title: … and some of the prize-winners.

A man shakes the hand of a woman wearing a red, white and blue hat. She is holding a placard that reads 'First Prize'. Standing behind her a group of men and women all wearing red, white and blue hats. In front the woman are a number of children.

General view of a group of children and young people standing in the middle of a street. Many of them are wearing decorative hats. 

In the doorway of a house a man in a striped suit and flat cap has his arm around the shoulders of an older woman in blue dress. She is holding a white flower.

A group of people stand in the middle of the street posing for the camera. A woman is holding a placard that reads 'Second Prize'.

The film changes to a street of recently build semi-detached houses with bunting and decorations. A red and white banner hangs above one of the houses that reads 'God Save the…'. A Union Jack hangs outside the front door of another house. Above the downstairs window is a decorated E.R. insignia with two crowns on either side.

In another terraced street a man holds a placard that reads 'Third Prize'. He is surrounded by three men. 

A woman tries to organise a group of people besides another woman holding a placard that reading 'Fourth Prize'. They are surrounded a by group of people and children who are posing for the camera. A third woman wearing a dress and bonnet made of red, white and blue material now holds the placard.

Title: Open Air School. Garden seats in Honour of this Happy Event.

A young man unveils a wooden bench watched over by a crowd of children some of whom are leaning out of a window. A number of the children are wearing Brownie, Scout or Cadet uniform’s.

A larger crowd of adults and children begin to clap as a second bench is unveiled by a young woman.

A stone plinth stands next to a small tree. In the background a number of people can be seen walking into a building.

Title: Saltwell Park. Dancing displays by Gatehead’s Schoolchildren.

On a large open space groups of children dancing around three May-poles. They are being watched by crowds who stand around the edge of the field.

The children skip in pairs around and then across the display area.

The children perform ring-a-ring-a-roses and other traditional folk dance routines.

The children in groups of three’s and four’s skip around the display area again.

The sequence ends with the children in pairs dancing in two large circles.

The film changes to a small stage where four young girls dressed in both male and female 18th century costumes perform a version of the Allemande.

Another group of young girls in kilts perform the Highland fling.

Six young girls in pale blue dresses Morris Dance with sticks.

Eight younger girls in blue, pink and yellow dresses perform a contemporary dance routine.

The six girls seen previously Morris Dancing continue to perform using handkerchiefs.  

Title: The Towers Lawn Saltwell Park. Presentation of “Merrie England” by Gateshead Operatic & Dramatic Society.

An overhead view showing a group of actors in Elizabethan costumes performing to an unseen crowd. Various individuals come forward to sing or dance. In front of the stage can be seen an orchestra.

A large number of actors come together in rows of three. The front row begins to dance in unison.

Overhead shot of the audience sitting in deck-chairs looking at the stage. Behind them another large crowd stands watching the performance.

Back on stage two couples are dancing.

A woman in a large Elizabethan dress sings a solo.

A man conducts the orchestra of string and wind instruments behind a large screen while on the stage the soloist continues singing.

A man appears and begins dancing with the female soloist.

Title: 6th June 1953. Youth Day Procession…. Through the Town….. Commencing and ending at West Park Road.

On the back of flat-bed lorry (Reg: CN 9838) stand or sit a group of young men in Army Cadet Force uniforms. Amongst them is a woman wearing a nurse’s uniform. Around the edge of the lorry a sign reads; 'Soldiers of the Queen'.

On the back of another flat-bed lorry seven boys in Air Training Corps uniforms stand beside a model of a jet aircraft. An eighth boy can be seen in the cockpit of the model wearing a headset. All around the edge of the lorry are posters and advertisements for the Air Training Corps.

On a third flat-bed lorry (Reg:DCN 11) a man is dressed as St George. He is holding a shield and lance and stands beside a paper-Mache model of a dragon. A young woman in a white dress sits underneath the dragon while behind St George stands another young woman dressed as Britannia. Above the cabin of the lorry is a sign that reads; 'St George’s Youth Club' with Union Jacks hanging from the underside.

On the back of a fourth flat-bed lorry (BCN 768) a group of twenty members of the Girls Brigade sit or stand. Along the side of the lorry are three red and white life buoys and behind them is their banner of a blue cross. Three of the women are kneeling and holding a ribbon.

On the back of a fifth flat-bed lorry (BCN 341) a group of young girls wearing dark coloured dresses with red trim, sit or stand beside a large red star draped in red and blue bunting. Some of the girls are holding placards that read 'Cheerful', 'Dutiful', and 'Earnest'. At the back of the lorry is another placard that reads 'Trying Hard'.

On the back of a sixth flat-bed lorry (BCN 641) another group of Girl Guides sit around a mock campsite with tent and various cutlery items handing from a hand-made rack.

On the back of a seventh flat-bed lorry a group of Cubs and Scouts practise their knotting skills. Another boy is holding a drum.

On the back of a eighth flat-bed lorry a group of young people are dresses in green, possibly linked to Robin Hood. On the back is a sign that is only partially seen that reads; 'Durham Road Methodists'.

Title: A Difficult Task for the Judges.

Three men holding note books walk up and down past various lorries.

On the back of another flat-bed lorry a group of young people in various uniforms and costumes sit on top of or around a large display that reads; 'Denewell Ave. Youth Club Offers Greetings to Her Majesty'. At the very top is a young girl dressed as Britannia.

On another flat-bed lorry a group of young people are dressed in various stage costumes. They stand beneath a white banner with a blue circle and a triangle in the middle.

A group of boys sit on the back of a red and white draped flat-bed lorry. Some are wearing international costumes. Above then are three white discs that read 'Asia', 'Africa' and 'Oceania'. Around the edge of the lorry are two panels that read; '109 Years of Service' and 'Y.M.C.A. serves 2,000,000 Boys'.

A young man in running shorts and the number 4 on his back stands beside a float in the shape of a paddle steamer.

A young boy wearing a red hat and a striped suit holds the reins of a small horse that is harnessed to a small decorated cart. The cart is full of hay and a sign over the top reads; 'Y.M.C.A.. British Boys for British Farms'.

Nurses from the British Red Cross Society make up a display of another float. One of them is holding a baby; a stretcher is laid out in front. Around the edge of the lorry is a sign that reads; 'The Red Cross is an Emblem of a Great Labour of Love and Mutual Aid in Which All Nations Have Been Brought Together'.

Four women in grey uniforms and caps perform semaphore on the back of another flat-bed lorry. Around the edge is a sign that reads; 'Elizabethans of Today'.

A group of male cyclists, some in costumes, stand beside their bikes on the back of a flat-bed lorry.

General views of the Scout and Girls Brigade floats.

Title: The Mayor Presents The Prizes.

The mayor hands plaques to representatives on the Girls Brigade, Durham Road Methodists and Denewell Ave. Youth Club floats.

Overhead shot of all the floats travelling along a road with spectators watching from the pavement.

Two cars lead the procession of floats along another road. A small number of pedestrians watch from the pavement. As they drive past the camera some of those on board wave.

Title: Towers Lawn Saltwell Park. Commemorative Trees Planted by the Mayoress Mrs M. Grant and the Town Clerk, Mr J.W. Porter.

The Mayor, Mayoress and Town Clerk in ceremonial robes walk along a path in the park. In front of them walks anonther man carrying the Mayoral mace.

Using a spade the Mayoress shovels soil around a tree sapling watched over by the Mayor, Town Clerk and other spectators. They all applaude once she is finished.

The Town Clerk gives a small speech before shovelling a number of spade loads of soil around the sapling. The crowd begin to clap as he work.

A metal plaque next to the tree reads; 'Scarlet Oak (Quercus Coccinea) planted by the Mayoress of Gateshead Mrs M. Grant to commemorate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II 2nd June 1953'.

Title: Towers Lawn Saltwell Park. Marching Display by the Band of the 1st Battalion The Royal Northumberland Fusiliers.

General views of a military brass band marching into the park lead by a band leader swinging his baton. They perform for the surrounding crowds. Saltwell Towers can be seen in the background.

Title: The Orb, The Sceptre and the Sword. By the Gateshead Deanery Youth Council.

A group of young people in various historical and religious costumes walk past camera and stand beside a stone wall, possibly a church. Some of them are carrying banners while other are carrying home-made orbs, sceptres and a sword. Kneeling at the front three young girls hold a large home-made crown. The sequence ends with everyone walking back around the building. 

Title: Saltwell Park. The Horticultural Show.

Inside a marque general views showing vases and displays of flowers followed by various vegetables laid out for competition.

Two trophies and a silver shield stand on a table.

A man in glasses gives a speech behind the table containing the trophies and shield. Sitting next to him is the Mayor and Mayoress both in civic chains.

The Mayor gives a speech into a microphone followed by four other men.

General views of a flower display followed by views of pigs and piglets in an outdoor pen.

A large sign reads; 'Vehicles and Plant Exhibited by Gateshead Corporation Transport and Cleaning Dept.' Behind the sign is a red road sweeper, a small red van, a small red tanker identified as a '“Gully Emptier' and a red tipper waggon.

Title: Council Estate Garden Competition. Some of the Excellent Displays.

General views of various decorative front and back gardens including displays on Chiltern Gardens.

Title: Saltwell Park. Bowls Competition.

On a bowling green two men shake hands.

A group of well-dressed older men pose for the camera.    

Title: The Town Clerk, J.W. Porter, Esq “Kicks Off”.

Mr Porter bowls the jack or kitty followed by a bowl.

General view of a number of bowls matches taking place on the green.

Title: The End.

End Credit: Produced by Direction of the Town Council. J.W. Porter, Town Clerk.

End Credit: Photography by John W. McHugh and Robert Wilson G.B.P.