Coronation Day 1953

And my childhood memories of Benfleet

New Testament - presented by Benfleet Urban District Coronation Committee
Annie Scott
Souvenir Programme front page - 2nd June 1953
Details of the presentations - within the souvenir programme
Tarpots Corner - date unknown

I treasure my New Testament

I am still working my way through the really interesting webpage that I found this week.  I did notice somewhere that there was an article about the Coronation, hopefully this collage of my New Testament, given to the children of Benfleet, is suitable for your web site. I treasure my New Testament, I used to take it to Sunday School then church services, admiring the coloured pictures throughout the pages.

Two pages from the Souvenir Programme are shown right. To see the full Programme  click here.

The Floods of 1953

I was at Thundersley Primary School when the flood victims from Canvey Island were evacuated there. I am still so proud of my father who was with the Fire Brigade and was one of hundreds of rescuers at that extremely difficult time.  I thought the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret came to talk to many, yet I saw a picture of Princess Elizabeth at Benfleet – perhaps they all came down to Benfleet?  I cannot find the picture of Dad talking to Princess Margaret, all safely packed away in our attic.

After devastating floods here in Queensland in 2008 which ruined more than 4000 homes and business areas, I rang my Mum and asked why I couldn’t remember the same devastation in Benfleet.  She answered that we were up a hill and stayed dry. The council house was brand new when we moved in, around about 1952.

Happy adults wearing funny hats

In the High Street or High Road there was a pub with a huge cauldron on top somewhere on its roof or a parapet nearby along the road. (The Tar Pot can be seen on the corner of the building in the picture right).

I recall vividly the happy adults wearing funny hats on their way to or from Southend. They would leave their bus for a drink, I guess, but they’d always wave to we children and make us feel special. Maybe that was the Hoy and Helmet although I always thought it was called the Tarpots Hotel.

I also recall watching with pure adoration the beautiful brides and bridesmaids at a church across the road, maybe it was St Mary’s Church, and the huge poppy field next door to the church that we were forbidden to enter and never to touch the flowers if anyone else went in there. It is about times such as this that I would so much like to talk to my parents, I was so happy there and maybe my memories aren’t quite correct.

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