Queen Elizabeth accession celebrated at Brierley Hill

Outside Brierley Hill Town Hall (where the library stands today) in 1952
Outside Brierley Hill Town Hall (where the library stands today) in 1952

Our Queen Elizabeth 2nd acceded to the throne on 6 February 1952 on the death of her father whilst she was in Kenya with her husband, Prince Phillip.

The photograph that has been loaned to me by Vera Wright (nee Dunn) shows a group of schoolchildren congregated in front of the old Town Hall in High Street. The children are from Brierley Hill Grammar School then located in nearby Mill Street. They are wearing coats so it may well have been within a short time after the accession. Note also the berets that were part of the school uniform.

With the aid of a magnifying glass the notice pinned in the front of the Civic Restaurant sign includes the words “accession” and “Queen”. One can only presume that this was the occasion of the official proclamation. As the official looking party on the platform seem to be exiting into the Town Hall and the children have their backs to the building it would appear that the proceedings have been concluded.

Second from left in the official party I recognise as Eric Gibbons who represented Kingswinford as a Councillor for many years. on the Brierley Hill Urban District Council.

Of the “children”, who would be about fourteen years of age at the time, apart from Vera the only other person I recognise is Brian Marshall who is the tallest lad in the crowd. Brian became a well-respected sports journalist.

It would be good if readers could confirm the date and also provide names to the faces.

Terry church


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