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Birmingham City Council

Sutton Coldfield Celebrates Royal Occasions

Swarming a pole, Sack Racing and Collar Grinning: Sutton Coldfield Celebrates Royal Occasions

June 2012 sees the celebration of 60 years on the throne for Queen Elizabeth II.

Sutton Coldfield Reference Library has a large collection of photographs and ephemera. We have put together a collection of recently digitised material to illustrate how Sutton Coldfield has celebrated Royal events in times past.

In 1952, the Proclamation of the Accession was made from a balcony of the Council Office by the then Mayor, Alfred Owen, watched by a large crowd.

Mayor Alfred Owen watched by large crowd

See larger version of Mayor Alfred Owen addressing a large crowd

Sutton Coldfield has a fine tradition of celebrating Royal occasions. A souvenir brochure produced for the Coronation of the present Queen’s grandfather, George V, recorded the Town’s celebrations for Queen Victoria’s Coronation in 1838. A general collection was agreed, and celebrations included a procession, a public dinner, sports in the park and fireworks. 500 medals were provided, at a halfpenny a piece, for the children. £23. 6. 8 was spent on meat for 800 people, and £50. 0. 0 on ale, to be split between dinner on 20 tables in Coleshill St., and the festivities in the Sutton Park. £5. 0. 0 was to be spent on tea drinking, and a committee was appointed to manage it!

The sports, amongst which we find pole swarming and collar grinning, included prizes of waistcoat pieces and smock frocks.

Celebrations for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, pictured here, included Maypole Dancing and Tree Planting in Sutton Park. Larger versions of Diamond Jubilee celebrations

Maypole Dancing and Tree Planting in Sutton Park

This programme from Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation reveals that sports, tea parties and fireworks were still popular 125 years later. Larger version of Coronation Programme

Coronation Handbook 1953

Sutton Coldfield’s celebration of the Coronation of our Queen’s father, George VI is well documented in the Local History Library. See larger versions of Sutton Coldfield Coronation Celebrations ephemera.

Coronation George VI ephemera

The Silver Jubilee celebration was in 1977. Street Parties were popular, and remained so for subsequent Royal Weddings in the 1980s. Sutton Coldfield was no exception. Do you recognise anyone from these pictures?

Silver Jubilee Celebrations 1977