Film ID: YFA 25 Video of YFA_25 Harrogate Coronation Celebrations HARROGATE CORONATION CELEBRATIONS 1937 Visitor TabsDescription This film was donated by Mr H.G. Sanders of Harrogate who was in the removal business in the 1930s. He was a driver in one of the decorative vehicles in this film which documents the Coronation celebrations in Harrogate, 1937. The film opens with a brass band marching down a Harrogate street which is festooned with banners and garlands. There are people in fancy dress as well as some in uniform (girl guides and boy scouts). Decorated cars, vans and horse-drawn carts process through the streets. It is a wet, cold day, and some of the crowds of people stand under umbrellas. The parade processes around a street corner near Taylor's shop. The film cuts to the fairground. There are numerous stalls and rides including merry-go-rounds and swing boats. There are some shots of the crowds and an outdoor stage. There is good footage of the fairgrounds and accompanying rides. Entertainers dressed as Cowboys and Indians perform in a knife-throwing show. Next are some acrobats and some men with performing Alsatians. Back to the parade; it is raining as clergymen and other officials are seen in procession. The Mayor is shown. "Britannia" and her train exit the Town Hall. They are gathered on the steps of the Town Hall under umbrellas. There are more shots of the crowds and the decorated vehicles. One of the cars is decorated as a pirate ship. A man riding in vehicle, dressed as a pirate, salutes the camera. There is more footage of the fair and a clown performing a comedy routine on a trampoline. Two more clowns perform an act on the stage, followed by more knife-throwing by the "cowboys." A clown brings some schoolboys on to the stage and whacks them with a paddle. There are more acrobats, who this time are dressed as the Marx Brothers. Following this is extensive footage of the parade. It includes bicycles covered in flowers and many vehicles with a patriotic or royal theme - crowns and Union Jacks. Dignitaries, the military and massed bands process past a monument and towards the Town Hall. Once back at the town Hall, "Britannia" is featured again, and the May Queen is crowned. She is shown with a group of children. Context The coronation of King George VI in 1937 provides a rare opportunity for everyone – maybe even republicans – to let their hair down, with the threat of war in the air. Here in Harrogate the opportunity is grabbed with both hands, as floats are fantastically decorated and people invent some amazing fancy dress costumes, while the acts in the entertainment include a knife-throwing cowboy and a bouncing clown. This film was donated by Mr H.G. Sanders of Harrogate who was in the removal business in the 1930s. He was a driver in one of the decorative vehicles in this film. After his brother Edward abdicated as king in December of the previous year, George succeeded as King George VI, with the coronation on 12 May 1937. This was the original date for the coronation of his brother, and it was intended then to have a ceremonial Delhi Durbar in India, as occurred for his father George V in 1911. However, a combination of cost, rising Indian nationalism and increased tensions with Germany led to this idea being scrapped.