Here’s a great article kindly written and provided by reader, Archie Simm.
“On June 2nd , 1953 as part of the Queen Elizabeth 2nd, Coronation, throughout the UK there were neighbourhood and community celebrations big and small.
Beech Place (a small cul-de-sac off Auchinraith Road between Elm Street and Logan Street) held their own neighbourhood celebration from morning to night. Daytime was focused on kids activities. A day of play, games, music, lunch and gifts was provided for all 12 resident families. Families living close by on Auchinraith Road were also welcomed.
On a glorious sunshine day at almost 6 years old, I remember taking part in games for the kids, the packed lunches and holograms of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip being handed out by “Sanny” Frew who sat on the wee brick wall toward the end of the cul-de-sac close, to the lamp post. I wonder if anyone still has one of those holograms. His pal “Sanny” Graham handed out prizes to winners of games for kids in their relative age groups.
Sanny Frew had one leg, on crutches and spent each day sitting on the wee stone wall at the entrance to Beech Place where he lived in the close on Auchinraith Road. He was joined daily by “Sanny” Graham of 2 Beech Place who got around with the aid of two walking sticks but stood, never sitting. They always had an hello or nod head and a chat, if anyone was so inclined. They knew more than anyone about neighbourhood gossip!
That sunny day seemed to go on forever. Josh Wilson (emigrated to Australia) was a baker and he made a fantastic cake on display in the Wilson front garden at 3 Beech Place.
Brother Charlie Johnstone had rigged up a radio and record player on a table in our front garden at 4 Beech Place and was in charge of sound for the day. I remember the wires he fed through the open front window. Music was played from morning to night.
A late afternoon football game was arranged for the adults….men versus women. Us kids were confined to watching from our living room windows or porches at the closes. I vividly remember the women’s team key player, or “ringer”…..it was MISTER Kelly who ran from the close at number 3 wearing a pair of large pink bloomers, rigged up boobs, wig and make up. He was running around with the ball down his knickers with some of the men chasing him. A fitba’ game did ensue. I’m sure the ladies won.
After more fun and food, a small bonfire was lit around dusk. A fancy dress party and dance for the adults was arranged, the music still playing from our front garden. I remember our Dad Andrew Simm, with a huge feather headdress and striped blanket over his shoulders as chief Running Bull.
My last memory of that day was watching all the adults waltzing around the fire……”pure dead brilliant”!
With memory help from my sister Alice and brother Hugh, we were able to recall the resident families of that day, with the exception of one at 5 Beech Place, upstairs. A few years after the Coronation that house was occupied by the Trussler family.
No 1…..Gray down and Hawkins up.
No 2…..Graham and Reynolds down, MacDade and Sneddon up.
No 3…..Wilson and McGill down, Phillips and Kelly up.
No 4…..Simm and Hampsey down, McCallum and Allen up.
No 5…..Rodgers down, Breens Up.
Of course we are open to be corrected! This is a picture of the Beech Place kids on Coronation Day taken outside the Wilsons front garden at No. 3.
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