Film ID: YFA 860 Video of YFA_860 Leeds Salutes A Queen LEEDS SALUTES A QUEEN 1953 Visitor TabsDescription This film was produced by members of Leeds Camera Club as a document of the Coronation Celebrations held in Leeds in 1953. The city was covered in colourful and ornate decorations for the celebration, and included in the film is extensive footage of Leeds city centre during this celebration time. Title - Leeds Salutes A Queen The City of Leeds Celebrates the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II Produced for the City Council by the Leeds Camera Club In October 1952 plans were made for decorating the city There is a sign on an office door displaying Coronation Committee. A few men enter the room, and while sitting around a large wooden table, they discuss plans decorating the city. Sign - City Architects Department This sign is followed by many designs of decoration proposals put forward by the department. Title - All schemes were completed by Coronation Week In Leeds city centre, workmen are carrying banners. The decorations are then attached to the end of a mast which is erected in the centre of a street. Cars can be seen passing on either side. Other buildings are being decorated including some men who decorate a building with large flower boxes filled with colourful flowers. Different parks and gardens in the city centre are landscaped, and there is also footage of a terraced street. The street and all the houses on it have been decorated for the occasion. Bunting hangs from between the houses, and the neighbourhood children are out playing in the street, some looking towards the camera. There is a banner which reads, "God Bless Our Queen Long May She Reign." More decorations can be seen throughout the city centre, and the Lewis's building has been decorated with a large crown and E II R sign. Workmen also build some of the decorations from scratch. A picture of Elizabeth II hangs on the Schofield's storefront. Following this is footage taken from a rooftop overlooking the city centre. The decorated streets are full of traffic and pedestrians. There are also some soldiers who pose for a picture near phone boxes. There is more footage of the city centre including a fully decorated Queen's Hotel. Title - The heraldic motifs in City Square were taken from the Coat of Arms of the Black Prince. More decorations are shown, specifically focusing on the ones inspired by the Black Prince's Coat of Arms. Again, the people of Leeds can be seen going about their daily business in the hustle and bustle of a busy city. The Norwich Union building is also visible near City Square. This is followed by views of the Leeds skyline which includes the clock tower of the Town Hall and the top of Lewis's store. This is followed by external shots of the Queen's Hotel and the Civic Hall. Title - The cascade before the Civic Hall will remain as a permanent memento. There is a fountain which has been built outside the Civic Hall. A few members of the public sit on a park bench nearby while children get close to the fountain. The cascading waterfall is backlit by lights which change colour. Title - The week started with a Civic Procession to the Parish Church Police begin to march, and they are followed by a military band, other servicemen, and dignitaries who process from the Hall through the streets of Leeds. There are spectators who line the city streets. Title - Concerts were given in the Headrow by the City Police Band The bank marches to the Headrow where there is a small stage. Folding chairs have been arranged in front of the stage, and they are filled with audience members once the performance begins. Other spectators stand near the statue in the Headrow to watch the concert. Title - One Woodhouse Moor guns announced the Crowning of the Queen Three large military guns have been set up in a paved area, and soldiers fire the guns as part of the salute. A large crowd has gathered to watch. Title - The Transport Department provide a decorated bus to tour the city A double decker bus has been specially decorated for the festivities and reads, "God Bless our Gracious Queen." It also includes a portrait of Elizabeth painted on the back of the bus. The bus makes its way through city centre before pulling around the drive at the front of the Civic Hall. Title - An inspection by the Lord Mayor. The Lord Mayor exits the Hall and walks down the steps to where the bus is parked. He then proceeds to inspect the bus, both outside and in, before giving his approval. Title - A window spotting completion was also held Various Coronation memorabilia is displayed in different shop windows, or instance, a picture of the Queen in an electronic goods shop. Stoves and an iron and ironing board can also be seen in the shop window. People then mark down in small books which items they've been able to spot around the city. Title - A display of parachute jumping was given on the military field There is a brief shot of a few military men wearing parachute backpacks. Then, in the middle of the field, a large balloon takes flight, and from the basket, parachute jumpers leap out. Men then walk towards the balloon as it lands. They line up for a quick inspection before loading back into the basket and jumping out again. Title - A decorated beaker and tin of sweets were given to each school child. There is a shot of the beaker and tin. The tin has a portrait of the Queen on it as well as acknowledgement of presentation from Leeds City Council. Title - Entertainments were provided in the city parks A huge fair takes place in one of Leeds' parks. Included are various fair rides and game tents which have been set up for the special event. There are many families which have turned out for the fair, and some of the children ride on ponies. There is also a stage which has been set up. It features different musical and comedy acts including can-can dancers and a singer accompanied by a man playing and accordion. Many spectators have gathered, some sitting on chairs and others sitting on the grass near the stage area. Title - The week ended with a fireworks display in Roundhay Park as a fitting climax There is a large and colourful fireworks display which ends with portrait of the Queen. Title - Produced by John S. Eley Photographed by John S. Eley and Arthur H. Jellings The End Context With money seemingly no object, this seems to be Leeds’ real post war celebration from back street to civic pomp. Exceptionally filmed by Leeds Camera Club, at times Leeds looks like a dinky matchbox set, beautifully done up for the 1953 Coronation despite the odd blackened building. There are abandoned trikes and prams among the terraced houses, alluring shop windows, an enticing fair, and an impressive range of acts performed in Roundhay Park. The whole country made a huge effort for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth, the first real chance for a country wide celebration since the end of the war, with the 1951 Festival of Britain having a much lesser resonance for many. There were similar celebrations for the coronation of King George VI in 1937, but in ’53 there was greater affection for the 25 year old Princess Elizabeth, enhanced by lingering patriotism in the aftermath of the war. Leeds Camera Club had some excellent filmmakers in its ranks and, either individually or collectively, they captured diverse aspects of post war Leeds in many wonderful films. Here Jack Eley and Arthur Jellings are at the helm filming Leeds and its people from all angles.