Film ID:
NEFA 21891



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An amateur film of Queen Elizabeth II coronation celebrations taking place in London as well as Stockton-on-Tees in June 1953 made by local toyshop owner Leslie Brown. The film includes the coronation of the Stockton Coronation Queen at the Globe Theatre and festive decorations in Stockton town centre. At Ropner Park, Stockton’s Coronation Gala takes place, the parade led by the Stockton Coronation Queen. The final part of the film records a Mayor’s Sunday parade on Stockton High Street. The amateur film is intercut with footage and titles from a commercial film of the Coronation in London.

[Commercial film title]

Title: Coronation London

Title: London streets are transformed with beauty and colour for the coronation

The film begins with general view of a decorated London street with pedestrians, cars and red double-decker buses. St Paul’s Cathedral can be seen in the distance. More views of decorated streets and buildings including The Strand and Oxford Street where a large banner hangs across the road that reads ‘God Save the Queen’.

Title: Eros in coronation splendour

A metal cage covers Eros’s statue in Piccadilly Circus.

Title: More beautiful vistas as dark descends

At night, the cage around Eros is lit up in front of the usual lights on display around Piccadilly Circus. A couple are silhouettes against the dark sky as a fireworks display takes place on the other side of the river Thames.

Title: Oxford Street and Bond Street decorative efforts

Colour streamers hang down from lampposts and views of decorated department stores. A view of a model showing the Queen on horseback. A large ‘E.R’ hangs over a street below.

Title: The beautiful Abbey Annexe

General views of the new Westminster Abbey Annexe and the ‘Queen’s Beasts’, a series of heraldic figures across the front of the annexe.

Title: Whitehall motif is a tribute to the Guards

General views along Whitehall showing the decorated lamppost with the top designed as a helmet. Crowds stand around a ceremonial soldier on horseback outside Horse Guards Parade.

Title: The Mall and Buckingham Palace

Crowds and traffic move along the decorated Mall with decorated arches hanging across the road.

Title: The Coronation of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II Part One

Outside Buckingham Palace members of the Queen Guard come to attention as the Coronation Coach comes out of the palace gates past crowds of onlookers.

Title: The Mall.

The royal procession makes it way along The Mall watched by large crowds.

Title: Trafalgar Square

The Coronation Coach travels through Trafalgar Square past large crowds.

Title: The Queen Mother and Princess Margaret drive to the Abbey

The carriage carrying the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret pulls up outside the Westminster Abbey Annex. The royal party get out and goes inside.

Title: Her Majesty arrives at Westminster Abbey

The Coronation Coach arrives at the annex and the Queen gets out and goes inside.

Inside Westminster Abbey, the queen and her entourage makes their way along up the aisle towards the throne. Sitting on the throne the Archbishop of Canterbury holds the Imperial State Crown over Elizabeth’s head.

Title: Elizabeth is crowned queen

The crown is lowered onto her head. The film cuts to show the royal procession making it’s way out of the abbey.

Outside a carriage drives past, its occupants wave at the crowd. Winston Churchill comes out of the Abbey and gives he famous ‘V’ sign before getting into his carriage.

Queen Elizabeth and her entourage come out of the Annex still wearing the crown and carrying the orb and sceptre and gets back into the Coronation Carriage. The film cuts to show the carriage travelling along Whitehall and other streets.

Title: The return to Buckingham Palace

The Coronation carriage turns into Buckingham Palace. There are views of the crowds standing outside and a march past of various commonwealth soliders. On the balcony a view of the new Queen and her family. The Queen points up followed by a brief shot of a RAF flypast.

The filmmaker's young son Tony Brown, wearing a red and white checked shirt, beret and rosette, sits beside Norton Pond flicking through a souvenir program of Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation.

He holds up the first title card to the camera.

Title: Coppelia Cinema presents

He turns the card over.

Title: Stockton Coronation Celebrations June 1953

Another card reads:

Credit: Colour Photography and Sound Recording Leslie Brown

Credit: Title Master Tony Brown

The boy points at the card to the word ‘Tony’.

Credit: Commentary by Ronald White Manager of Globe Theatre Stockton

The film opens with exterior general view of the Globe Theatre on Stockton-on-Tees High Street. Various royal images hang from the building and a large banner reads ‘Elizabeth is Queen’ and beneath it ‘Long May She Reign’. Below, beside two sets of double doors, another banner promotes ‘Rose Marie on Ice’.

[Black and white footage]

Inside the Globe theatre, a poster advertises ‘Tonight 8pm The Crowning of Stockton’s Coronation Queen by His Worship the Mayor and Mayoress’.

On stage, a compere dressed in a dinner jacket and bow-tie addresses the audience. Young women in evening gowns parade onto the stage, each holding a number. The compere speaks with a number of the women.

A young girl presents a bouquet to the Lady Mayoress who is wearing her chains of office. The girl curtsies and shakes hands with the Mayoress. The Mayor, Councillor Claude R Booth, also wearing his chains of office, picks up the girl. He puts her down and she walks off stage to applause.

Wrapped presents and bouquets are presented to each of the young women. One of the women shakes hands with the Mayoress.

Another man wearing a medallion speaks into the microphone, the Mayor standing to his left. The Mayor begins to applaud. He then makes a speech.

The Mayor places the ‘Queen of Stockton’ sash around the shoulders of one of the young women seated in the middle of the stage. The beauty queen is crowned. The Mayor kisses her on the cheek before helping her to her feet and presenting her to the audience. Everyone leaves the stage.

In a small room backstage, a crowd of people are served drinks. They raise their glasses to the Stockton Queen. The Mayoress leads guests in toasting the new Stockton beauty queen.

Close-up of a man's medallion, which reads ‘Stockton Thornaby Chamber of Trade’. Portrait shot of him smoking a cigarette.

A second young girl presents a bouquet to the Mayoress. Both she and the Mayor kiss the girl on her cheek. She turns and poses for the camera. General view of the crowd chatting and laughing.


The next section opens with exterior views of Stockton Town Hall on the High Street. Bunting hangs down from the roof and a banner underneath a large image of Queen Elizabeth reads ‘God Save The Queen’. There are displays of flowers around the Market Cross.

Various general views record the decorated shops and department stores around Stockton-on-Tees including Woodhouse and Sons, J. Wolsey and Sons Ltd ‘,English Empire and Foreign Fruits’, Garretts and Sons, Coats and Sidgewick Ltd. Union Jacks hang down outside the Marks and Spencer store. Photos of the Queen and Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh adorn the window of Thirwell’s Ltd. Banners and bunting hang from the Lit and Phil Institute. More general views show the shop window of Isaac Robson and Co. Ltd and Ideal Decorations Ltd who have installed a large ‘E.R’ design above their shop window. Across the awning outside the Empire Theatre a banner reads ‘From Stockton Boys Overseas. God Save the Queen’. An image of the Queen hangs down from the windows above. The film cuts to a view of the exterior of Stan Jones public house on the High Street, an image of the Queen on horseback, and bunting above the shop window of Leslie Brown ‘The Record Shop’. A large banner above reads ‘His Masters Voice’.

Next, the filmmaker shows the family home in Norton decked out with bunting and flags. Tony Brown attaches small Union Jack flags to the family car.

Another title card rests on a stool:

Title: Stockton Market Coronation Display 1953

Close-up of the image of Queen Elizabeth hanging from the town hall, followed by general views of various decorated market stalls, many adorned with bunting and photographs. A large crowd are out browsing the market.

At W. Edwards Expert Tripe Dressers, a man and woman wearing colourful rosettes sell their produce. Various colourful flowers are on display at the stall of J.E. Medd Flowers. The Mayor and Mayoress stand amongst the large crowds browsing the stalls. A stall holder weighs a bag of tomatoes for a customer on his stall.

Various stallholders stand behind their decorated stalls posing proudly for the camera. One woman stands behind a display of tinned goods while another comically holds up a pair of silk bloomers for the camera.

Another blank title card rests on a stool. Tony Brown walks past taking the card away revealing another title beneath.

Title: Ropner Park Coronation Gala June 1953

At Ropner Park the Coronation Gala parade takes place. Decorated vehicles and trade floats in the parade include ‘Hodgson’s Wine Seller’, a Morris Minor car decorated in flowers and bunting, a float carrying two small children dressed as Queen Elizabeth [Pauline McKenzie] and Prince Philip [JImmy Melville]. A banner hanging behind them reads ‘Long Live the Queen’. The model of a ship sits on the back of a horse drawn wagon, at the stern a sign reading ‘Royal Line Stockton-on-Tees’. The next float contains a display of sacks of flour from Clevo Flour, ‘Clevita – for ideal brown’. A number of Stockton Corporation floats are decorated with flowers and banners. The first float reads ‘Stockton 1953 Progress’ and images relating to the shipping industry past and future, are seen along the bottom. The banner on the next float reads ‘Stockton’s Link with History’ with images of the railway along the bottom. Additional images on display are Sheraton furniture, friction matches [invented by Stockton chemist John Walker], heavy industry, an open-air theatre and Preston Hall. A large crowd walk through the park near to Dodshon's Fountain past the parade of floats.

On a showground inside the park, a crowd watch as the Stockton Coronation Queen (Margaret Flynn) leads a procession of costumed children around a field. A little girl dressed as Queen Elizabeth, pinned with a First Prize award, is flanked by two boys dressed as beefeaters or yeoman warders and follows behind the Coronation Queen.  A procession of other children dressed in various costumes, mainly patriotic and coronation related, follow. A young girl rides a tricycle decorated in red, white and blue streamers. Costumed adults follow in the parade including a man dressed as a skeleton and another dressed in black carrying a sign around his neck that reads ‘Britain for Everest’. Another man sports mountaineering equipment, emulating Edmond Hilary. The First Prize winner dressed as Queen Elizabeth rides past on the back on a pony.

General views show the parade making it's way around the showground watched by the large crowd.  In the centre of the showground a number of acrobats perform on a high frame.

A crowd are examining a decorated vehicle, which has also won a ‘First Prize’. On the path beside the showground, a large crowd watch as sailors from the Royal Navy march past in dress uniforms, followed by a decorated float in the shape of an Elizabethan sailing ship. Around the bow is written ‘HMS Elizabeth’. On board, youngsters are dressed in historic sailor outfits. Following behind comes a float for the Women’s Voluntary Services and behind them an army lorry carrying soldiers in uniform. All the vehicles come to a stop along the pathway as large crowds gather around them.

Another title card on a stool is snatched away by Tony Brown.

Title: Stockton Mayor’s Sunday June 1953

Along Stockton High Street, a parade makes its way towards St Thomas’s Parish Church watched by locals. A military marching band leads the procession followed by a group of policemen, Royal Navy and Armed Forces platoons, the Royal Navy Comrades Association and another ex-servicemen’s association marching behind their banners, women in nurses uniforms, and the Boy’s Brigade. The mayor is at the rear flanked by two police officers, and behind him other civic dignitaries all wearing robes and chains of office.

The film cuts to show views of the exterior of Leslie Brown’s shop on the High Street.

After the church service, the procession back along the High Street is headed by the Mayor and civic dignitaries. A brief shot follows of Tony Brown standing on a railing pointing at the procession heading his way. On a small platform, the Mayor takes the salute from the various organisations who march past, including scouts and guides to the rear.

[Commercial film title]

The final section returns to the commercial footage showing Queen Elizabeth and her family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace following the Coronation. Still of the young queen underneath which is written ‘Long Live our Noble Queen’.

The closing title card rests on the stool:

End title: The end. A Coppelia Production.