Victory rolls and Victoria sponge: Bradeley Village resident re-lives 1953 coronation ahead of next week

Date: 28/04/2023

Bradeley resident shares what it was like to witness Queen Elizabeth’s coronation 70 years ago.

89-year-old Doreen Peach was 18 when Queen Elizabeth took to the throne in 1953.

In light of King Charles’ Coronation on 6 May Doreen says she’s excited to see two of the once-in-a-lifetime events.

“I can remember the Queen’s coronation like it was yesterday”, said Doreen.

“There were street parties and bunting on nearly every street. The celebration gave a lot of people hope for the future.

“World War II had just ended so although we were still rationing people made do with what they had.

“Before being crowned, Elizabeth joined the military and chipped in during the war.

“Our community appreciated her support to get through a tough time as a nation. I think it’s one of the reasons there was such a great turnout for her coronation.

Doreen shares how she and her family crowded around her mother’s TV to watch the special occasion.

“My parents bought a TV, especially for the day”, added Doreen.

“I remember feeling fancy as at the time you only had a TV if you were posh.

“We all got dressed in our best clothes and did our hair. My mum made me a dress for the day and I remember feeling that it was such an occasion.

“I helped my mum to put on a spread for everyone, making fish paste sandwiches and a Victoria sponge cake.

“When it came on, we all crowded around our small 10-inch TV. We sat in awe as we watched Elizabeth come out in her golden carriage.

“I remember looking at what everyone wore, and it all looked so luxurious.

“Heads of state attended and people came from far and wide to celebrate. I have a vivid picture of what Queen Salote of Tonga wore. She looked amazing in her bright colours and traditional dress.”

On top of seeing the once-in-a-lifetime event Doreen remembers the day for another special reason.

“Once the coronation ended there was a great atmosphere in the house and in our street too”, explained Doreen.

“My boyfriend at the time came to the party. Together we celebrated and later that night he proposed too!

“I of course said yes. A couple of years later we married and were together for over 13 years.”

Doreen lives at Bradeley Village a Staffs Housing over 55s independent living village.

To celebrate the King's Coronation, they'll be a screening event with tea and cake. Doreen says she’s excited to be able to do it all over again.

“I’ll definitely watch the new coronation. It will be nice to share that moment with residents here and the local community.”

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