Coronation Street Party

My family and I lived in Whitehawk from 1947 until 1958 when we emigrated to Australia. We lived in Wiston Close; a cul-de-sac of prefabs, now demolished. I remember many happy times living there.

Coronation party
One of those times was when my Mum and Dad. George and Joan Cook, were involved in organizing a street party for Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953. It was a warm sunny day in early June, with just about all the residents of Wiston Close and Wiston Lane turning out for the event. A committee of the all the residents of the street raised funds for the event with bingo nights, card nights and various other fundraisers. It was a real collaborative affair.

A great day
It was a great day; they decorated the houses and the street with home-made decorations and pictures of the Queen. There were cakes, ice cream, jellies, sweets, and paper hats. They even had a beautiful cake specially made for the occasion. We were entertained with a Punch and Judy Show and there was children’s fancy dress competition, which was judged by the local Vicar. The costumes were all made by the children and their parents. There were some very clever and creative outfits; everyone put a lot of effort in.

I was a sugar cube!
I actually won the under 12 contest dressed as a “Tate and Lyle” sugar cube. I forget what the prize was, but we sent a picture to “Tate and Lyle” and they sent me a book about sugar. I’ll never forget it.

Comments about this page

  • I loved this. Are you able to put names to anyone? It looks so friendly and the homes look great. Makes me nostalgic for a time when we had a nicer society.

    By Jennifer Tonks (30/10/2008)
  • Hi Jennifer, the only names I know are my mum and dad ,George and Joan Cook, (I’ve pointed them out in couple of the photos), my grandmother Alice Pattenden and I think the blond girl with the magazine costume is Christine Evans. Plus there was a family named Hale. I would love to hear from any one else who recognizes anyone in the photos.
    For me it was a wonderfully friendly and safe place to grow up.

    By Eric Cook (03/11/2008)
  • My husband Rod can’t remember much about the day but he is the one dressed as a Hulo Hulo girl with his brother Charlie next to him in one of the photos not in fancy dress. He can also name quite a few of the other people. His mum and dad were Charlie and Flo Constable they are also in the photographs.

    By Rodney Constable (28/09/2009)
  • In this photo standing at the rear with something on his head is my father Bert Tennant.To the right of him is Charlie Constable.

    By Dave Tennant (09/06/2011)
  • I am the boy sitting on the bench in the stripped jumper, waving. My name is Dave Tennant, my younger brother Paul is in the pram. We lived at no.8 opposite Eric Cooke. To the left of us was Mr & Mrs Evans and to the right Mrs Downard. Happy days.

    By Dave Tennant (09/06/2011)
  • Great to see these photos. We lived at number 6 Wiston Path and my brothers and I are in picture number five in the middle of the first row. You may just be able to see the sailing yachts on our jumpers. We are also in one or two of the other snaps. Great memories and thanks to Eric for putting them on line.

    By Les Knight (04/03/2013)
  • My family and I lived in 14 Wiston Close, Brighton. I grew up with Eric Cook amd his brother, his father drove a BR lorry and at times gave us lifts home from Whitehawk School. We emigrated to Oz in 1959 and unbelievably bumped into the Cook family in Adelaide, mum couldn’t take the heat so we came home. Mum is the lady sitting right at end of front row.
    Eric and I also grew up with John Shill and I believe it was his father who made the cake, he was an ex navy chef. My name is Pat Guile and my brother is Eddie, happy days.

    By Pat Guile (20/07/2020)
  • Brother of Pat, she went as Britannia and I went as Father Neptune,I am not in the pictures as my costume was so hot I had to get out if it quickly.
    The prefab in the party photo taken in the cul-de-sac end was where the Shill family lived with son John and daughter Barbara. we lived in the one to it’s right and from our backdoor we could see the winning post of the racecourse.Opposite us was a family called Woodcock, daughter Anne and another girl who was adopted. in photo five my sister Pat is the first girl front row extreme left, I am at the very back with a small boy on my lap. if I am right, the boy standing is John Shill. Comming from a two up two down and one out the back, oh the luxury of an indoor loo.

    By eddie (ted) guile (20/07/2020)
  • Picture 8,
    the lady on the left hand side of the group in the dark dress standing behind the hula person and the boy in the dark outfit is Mrs Maskell and she lived in the first prefab on the lane (Wiston path?) that ran parallel to Wiston close.

    in the picture of the end house and the food, the front row of adults at the centre are three people. the lady on the right in the party hat is Mrs shill and the man on the left is Mr shill, his nickname was bunny! don’t ask me why.

    in picture number 6, the tall lady on the extreme right in the light coloured dress, is Mrs. woodcock who had a daughter named Ann and an adopted one who I think was called Pauline.
    I hope Eric and Tony are still with us.

    When we moved in to our prefab, it was only held up on a few bricks on each corner and the base had to be completed while we were in it.
    I remember that Italian prisoners of war were building them ,and in the winter my mother heated up the food that they had and also gave them hot water for their beverages.

    By ted guile (03/05/2021)

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