Putting the flags out in Luton for Coronation

LAST week’s Yesteryear photo took readers back to 1953 and showed a bunting-adorned George Street, which had been decorated to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 3rd June 2012, 11:27 am

As promised, this week we feature two more town centre streets in which Luton Council had put the flags out for the big event.

The shops in Wellington Street, above left (do you remember tobacconists Lewis and Saxone shoes?) may be different, but there have been relatively few changes in the street scene compared to Park Square, above right.

Buildings like those occupied at the time by Hannibal Bond’s, Benefit and John Hawkins & Son are long gone, replaced by the Arndale (now The Mall Luton) shopping centre in the early 1970s.

Luton’s streets were decorated in red, white and blue in the weeks before the Queen was crowned at Westminster Abbey in London. After the coronation, the town staged a spectacular carnival procession and next week Yesteryear will feature pictures (like the one on the right) of the parade.

At stately home Luton Hoo (far right) rehearsals were being held for a celebratory pageant, called Merrie England, which would be attended by film star Douglas Fairbanks Jr. More of that later, too.