Marple Local History Society

Marple, Marple Bridge, Mellor, Compstall, Strines, Hawk Green, Rose Hill, High Lane.

Three days of celebration marked the Coronation of King George V and Queen Mary. On Saturday, 22nd June 1911, the King and his consort were crowned at Westminster Abbey. Some 45,000 soldiers and sailors from across the Empire either participated in the procession or lined the route.

Coronation 1911
Coronation ceremony of George V, Westminster Abbey, London, 22 June, 1911. King George V and Queen Mary occupying their chairs of estate. On the left are the bearers of the four swords, and on either side of the king and queen, the supporting bishops. A photograph from the Illustrated London News

Ladies hatsAdults and children dressed in their Sunday best clothes, an array of beautiful hatsThe next day, the return procession was reconstituted for a further extended parade though the streets of London. It travelled along the Strand into the City of London, passing St Paul’s Cathedral, across the Thames by London Bridge, back over Westminster Bridge. Finally returning along The Mall to Buckingham Palace.

On the 24th June, the King and Queen attended the Coronation Review of the Fleet at Spithead. There were 167 Royal Navy warships together with 187 ships from foreign navies. The crowd of spectators ashore was estimated to number 250,000.

These events must have been spectacular. However, in towns and villages across the country, the King’s subjects also celebrated the Coronation in their own way. We are fortunate that a photograph album given to MLHS by our President, Ann Hearle, allows us to see how people in Mellor marked this special event 107 years ago.

The Bonfire on Cobden Edge7There are 47 photographs, which show the procession along Longhurst Lane to the sports club at Mellor, where races for both children and adults were held, followed by afternoon tea. The day ended with a spectacular bonfire on Cobden Edge…and we have a photograph of the blaze itself!

All 47 photographs will be displayed on the Virtual Tour in due course and a selection has been chosen to accompany this article. Horse riders and horse drawn vehicles outnumber the one motorcar in the procession although as you will see, the motorcar does have three most formidable looking ladies sitting in the back!

Adults and children were dressed in their Sunday best clothes and there is an array of beautiful hats. The bonfire is spectacular and I assume the men standing beside it helped build it, although I doubt that today’s ‘Health and Safety’ regime would be impressed with the man standing on the top!

The initials AJD are impressed in gold on the cover but we do not know who this was. Handwritten in copperplate on the flyleaf is “Coronation of H. M. King George V, Pictures of the Parish of Mellor Celebrations June 1911.” The captions that accompany the photos are copied from the album.

Hilary Atkinson, September 2018

A British Pathé video 'Coronation Of His Majesty King George V (1911)'