Good afternoon everyone and welcome to our Big Jubilee Lunch. On behalf of the Welshampton Bonfire Committee, we’re here to entertain you for a little while with memories and songs spanning the length of the Queen’s reign. For each decade, you’ll hear edited highlights of the key events occurring nationally, as well as right here in our neck of the woods – and then a song which we feel represents the music scene at that time. We’re lucky to have professional musician Trixi here to lead us; the rest of us are enthusiastic amateurs so we’re counting on you to join in and sing along! Here we go then…
RICHARD: It’s the start of the 1950s and Queen Elizabeth the Second’s reign begins. She has become the longest reigning monarch in our country’s history.
Meanwhile, on the science frontier, James Watson and Francis Crick discovered the structure of DNA in 1953.
We were all brought closer together with the opening of the M6 in 1958 – the first motorway route – and the launch of the iconic Mini in 1959.
The decade closed as four talented young men formed a new group called The Beatles in Liverpool and the rest is history.
HEATHER: Here in Welshampton, the village football team wore black arm bands to mark the death of King George VI and saw in the coronation of the young Queen Elizabeth II with a fancy dress celebration and dinner at the parish hall. Gladys Thomas remembers “As the Coronation was on a week day, we had the day off school and I remember watching the coronation on the television along with members of the family and lots of other friends. Our living room was full as we were one of only three or four other families in the village with a television. I was given a coronation mug along with a New Testament. Later in the afternoon, I remember the village celebrations with most of the houses hanging flags and bunting from the windows. Also a huge garden fete with games and tea or squash and cakes and queuing with other children to get a cone of ice cream which Mrs. Stanley Egerton had made from goats milk and I remember as delicious and a real treat as, at that time, freezers were rare.The most memorable part of the day for me was being on the float. Mrs. Hughes, Mrs. Rees and Mrs. Bright along with others decorated my father’s lorry as ‘A Day Out at the Seaside.’ The bottom was covered with sand and deck chairs which the adults sat on, all dressed up, and children playing and making sandcastles.There was lots of bunting along with a large stuffed donkey which I sat on as my dad drove the float all through the village, down the Balmer to Hampton Bank, Rowe Lane and back to the village. Happy days!”
The decade also saw the retirement of the village’s long-standing postmaster Mr. Havers and the induction of new vicar, Reverend Roberts. On the music scene, Bill Haley and the Comets introduced a revolutionary new sound…
ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK
The Swinging Sixties were a time of cultural revolution in the UK. Music changed forever while cinema and literature created some of pop culture’s most iconic characters.
In the film world we were introduced to the nation’s favourite spy in the 1962 premiere of Dr No – the first Bond film. Just a year later another famous doctor – Dr Who – came to our black and white screens.
But the nation saved its most fervent celebrations for 1966 when England won the World Cup. This monumental moment in English sport made legends out of the players and is still celebrated today – 56 years later.
HEATHER: Locally, Welshampton Station was closed and replaced with a bus service. In 1966, a private flight from Sleap airfield crashed at high speed into a hillock at Oakleigh Farm, while 1967 saw Foot and Mouth disease breaking out and affecting most farms in the area. At the end of the decade, a new shop and garage were built in Welshampton. In the charts, this classic by The Kinks made its mark…
DEDICATED FOLLOWER OF FASHION