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Region was enthusiastic about the coronation

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By Fiona Reid
Nostalgia
Region was enthusiastic about the coronation

‘LIVELY street parties’, ‘patriotic fervour’ and ‘spontaneous enthusiasm’ were all used to describe the reaction of Annandale and Eskdale’s residents to the Queen’s coronation in 1953.

As the region prepares for another crowning this weekend, we look back on what took place locally 70 years ago.

Our papers reported that most towns and villages were ‘gaily decorated’ for the coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on Tuesday June 2.

Every church in the area seemed to hold a service of thanksgiving for the new Queen, including some now shut such as Annan’s Erskine Church and there were outdoor services in some places too.

And every community organised some kinds of celebration for the royal occasion, with street parties, church services, dances, bonfires and firework displays all popular choices.

In Gretna, there was a fancy dress parade, carnival dance, football match, a tree planting, art competition and a series of shows. Souvenirs were presented to the youngest and oldest and there were gifts for the coronation day babies too.

Frithbie at Annan hosted a garden party, while in the town there was a window dressing contest, kids’ sports, open air dancing, a torchlight procession, fireworks and a dance.

Mossknowe Gardens were opened to the public at Kirkpatrick Fleming; Kirtle and Creca put on a parade and dance; and the residents of Cummertrees attended a tea and dance on the lawn at Kinmount House before going to a bonfire on Repentance Hill.

A TV was set up in the village hall at Eaglesfield, along with a sports day, dance and fireworks; Rigg did similar; Ruthwell School held a concert; and Canonbie had a seniors’ party, a procession of costumes, decorated vehicles and bikes, music from Annan Ladies Pipe Band, sports, teas, a dance and bonfire.

It was said that ‘Ecclefechan made merry’, with free ice cream, concerts, a dance, bonfire and fireworks and three new oak seats were placed around the village.

Individual streets in Lockerbie had their own parties, pictured above, with church services held in the town too, as did Moffat.

Lockerbie and Lochmaben

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