1902 Coronation Celebrations

Following the death of Queen Victoria, the next Monarch to rule was Edward VII. In August 1902, Britain celebrated the coronation of the new ruler and Blantyre took part with its own events and tributes.

On Saturday 9th August 1902, Blantyre had organised its own events to mark the occasion. These were generally in the form of church services and parades. Children assembled at their respective schools at 10am and after all receiving their Coronation medals, they marched to their churches.

Services were held at a uniform time in all churches as members of the “I” company of the V.B.S.R numbering 40 people mustered at Low Blantyre School ground. Led by Major Moore, Captain Jardine and Lieut Brown, they were joined by the High Blantyre Boys Brigade and thereafter all marched to the Parish Church at High Blantyre.

Representatives were present from several Friendly Societies and other lodges including Free Masons, United Order of Scottish Mechanics and High Blantyre Orange Lodge. After the church services, the whole crowd met at the top of Auchinraith Road, forming an organised procession.

Headed by Auchinraith Brass band the procession in order were the Volunteers, Boys Brigade, children of High Blantyre School, Salvation Army Band, Mechanic’s Lodge with their beautiful new banner, the children of Auchinraith School, two pipers, Livingstone Lodge of Free Masons, Bellsfield Lodge of Shepherds and the children of Low Blantyre School. In all about 800 people.

Marching down the Auchinraith Road, they crossed over to a field just off the Clay Road where buns and milk were freely handed out to all children. Then a presentation was made to the 6 Blantyre Volunteers who had recently come back from War (South African). Presentations were made by Mrs Moore of Greenhall. The six men had surnames Muir, Strang, Murdoch, Turbit, Brown and Hamilton.

Three hearty cheers for the New King rang out across the field, then a further three for Mrs Moore for her kindness and organisation. Then the children had a race day in the field, followed by some sports for the adults at 4pm. More people arrived to witness the sports which included a tug of war. There was much amusement as the Amateur Dramatic Club and the Amateur Sketch Club played out a comedic football match. The whole arrangements had been overseen by the Coronation Committee of which Mr John Cunningham was Secretary. Mr D McGlashan was secretary of the sports committee.

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  1. Always interested in the history of Blantyre/High Blantyre.
    I see Princess Anne is “OFFICIALLY OPENING” the Livingstone Museum on Thursday 9th of February at 11 AM.

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