Charity wants to hear Coronation memories


On June 2 the nation celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Did you visit London in 1953, or did you watch the event on TV? If so a heritage organisation would like to hear from you.

Sussex based charity Sound Architect is launching a new oral history project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), that explores the reign of Elizabeth and in particular, the coronation, the Silver or Golden jubilees or 1977 and 2002 or last year’s Diamond Jubilee.

‘Voices of Jubilation’ is a year-long project that aims to discover the stories associated with the celebrations of the Queen’s reign and how communities in East Sussex participated in them.

Involving volunteers, the project will focus on uncovering the experiences of ordinary people who lived, worked and participated in the celebrations.

It will also document and record the social changes experienced through the 60 years of the Queen’s reign from 1953 including customs, everyday habits, fashion, food, technology, celebratory games, work, political climate, community spirit, relations with the Commonwealth, migration and ethnicity, to name but a few.

Using archive footage/photographs and media coverage of celebrations - including Royal visits, street parties, bonfires and beacons - a film and booklet will be produced of the project’s findings and an exhibition will be held at venues throughout East Sussex.

Volunteers will be recruited to interview, research and record people’s stories about how they celebrated and if not, what their reasons were and what they did instead. These volunteer researchers will enjoy free research and oral history training from professional tutors, together with a visit to the Mass Observation unit at Sussex University.

Sound Architect would also like to hear from people who are willing to share their memories. Did you organise or take part in a street party, attend a royal visit or parade, go to a commemorative concert, have a family celebration at home, or did you avoid the celebrations?

Your memories will have a lasting place in history. If you enjoy history, research, investigating or reminiscing about the past and would like to know more, contact Ruth Maddison on: 07592 021590.