Godalming Museum, ref: 0838


This printed programme covers events held in Godalming to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth ll on 2nd June 1953. It was published by the' Coronation Executive Committee' for the town's celebrations... "ON THE OCCASION OF THE CORONATION OF HER MOST GRACIOUS MAJESTY QUEEN ELIZABETH II".

The first event listed is a service at Godalming Parish Church on the Sunday before the coronation. Coronation day itself began with, "Free Television Showings" at the Odeon Cinemas in Godalming and Farncombe and at various other public venues. Few people owned television sets in 1953, so it was likely that these were popular events. To attend the, "Large Screen Showings" at the two cinemas, tickets had to be applied-for and these were limited to "six per family", according to the programme. The Museum has two of the original tickets in its collection. Public broadcasts continued until 4.30pm and were followed by a carnival procession through the town.

Evening activities included; country dancing; a cycle speedway competition (put on by the Farncombe Falcons); a tug-of-war; the "Masque of Godalming'"(scenes of Godalming history performed in mime and set to music); performances by the Borough Band and community singing; and an exhibition by the Godalming and District Model Flying Club.

The day ended with a broadcast of Winston Churchill's (the Prime Minister's) speech and an address by the new Queen.

The programme is printed on low-quality paper, showing that the shortages of wartime continued well into the 1950s.



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