Cosgrove Coronation Celebrations

The old King, George VI, died on 6 February 1952. Princess Elizabeth was travelling in Africa and returned to take up her duties as Queen.

By August of that year the residents of Cosgrove had realised that her Coronation would take place the following year and held a meeting in the Victory Hall to discuss the matter.

Friday 8 August 1952

At a public meeting in the Victory Hall, Cosgrove, called by the Parish Council on the above date at 8pm.

Chairman Mrs M Jelley

Clerk to the Parish Council Mr Tack

It was decided by vote to select from members present a committee to represent the village for the forthcoming celebrations to be held in June next. The following members were proposed, seconded and carried for the above:

Mr F Hillyer Chairman Mrs A Tompkins Vice Chairman
Mrs S Hebson Secretary Mr A Rickaby Treasurer
Mrs M Jelley Mrs J Johnson Mrs J Brockway
Mr H Ratcliffe Mr H Cummings Mrs G Loughrey
Mr J Johnson Mrs D Lavington Mrs S Hebson
Mr G Hickford Miss B Tompkins Mr A Tack
With powers to co-ot

It was proposed by Mrs Hebson (Sec) and Mr Higgins that the committee be elected en bloc. It was proposed and carried that expenses should be raised by voluntary subscription and a weekly house to house collection be made. The sum of 3d per person over 15 and under 65 being suggested. After a few minor suggestions the Chairman after asking the committee to meet on Wednesday August 13 closed the meeting.

S Hebson (Sec)     F Hillyer.

13th August 1952

The Chairman opened the meeting by asking the Secretary to read the minutes. It was proposed by Mrs Lavington and Mr Tompkins that they be passed as read.

The Secretary then read a letter received from Mrs A Rickaby to the Chairman repeating his inability to be present at committee meetings for family reasons. In the circumstances she asked the committee to accept her resignation. This was accepted respectfully. Mrs Jelley proposed that a reply be sent to Mrs Rickaby to that effect. It was proposed and carried that the following be asked to join the present committee:

Captain and Mrs PY Atkinson                   Mrs E Brown                            Mr and Mrs Betts

Mrs W Castle                                          K Longman

The Secretary was asked to write to these individually.

It was proposed by Mrs Jelley that the ladies on the committee combined with the Women’s Institute be placed in charge of Refreshments. This was carried unanimously. Also we should hire the New School for the purpose of meals for residents in the top half of the village.

It was proposed by Mrs Hebson (Sec) and Mr Rickaby that the following committee be elected for the purpose of Entertainments:

G Hickford                                             A Tompkins                             H Ratcliffe

J Johnson                                               R Brown                                  H Cummings

With powers to co-opt all help required,

The weekly collection was decided as follows:

New Buildings including shop – Mrs Lavington                  Aqueduct to Bridge Row – Mrs Johnson

Bridge Road – Miss B Tompkins and Miss C Loughrey      Yardley Road and Priory Lane – Mrs Hebson

Cross Roads to Dogs Mouth – Mrs Brockway

Money collected to be handed to Secretary each Monday evening.

This concluded the business for the evening. The Chairman declared the meeting closed.

S Hebson (Sec)     F Hillyer

26 September 1952

The Chairman opened the meeting and asked the Secretary to read the minutes of the meeting of 13th August. It was proposed by G Hickford and seconded by A Tompkins that these be passed as read. Mr Rickaby as Treasurer after checking the collection books informed the committee that the sum of £46 4s 9d had already been collected.

The Secretary suggested that certain foodstuffs be bought and stored but this was left over until the Catering committee could ascertain the quantities required. The collectors were asked to have a census of all adults on their books and let the committee know at the next meeting.

It was proposed by Mr Hickford and Mr Tompkins that the Secretary should write to Captain PY Atkinson asking for the loan of the field adjoining the [Victory] Hall for the purpose of Sports etc. The committee were in agreement.

After a short discussion the Chairman declared the meeting ended.

S Hebson (Sec)    F Hillyer

Friday 16 January 1953

The minutes of the previous meeting were read and passed. Collection books were left over owing to the absence of Mr Rickaby, Treasurer. The Secretary informed the meeting that the amount in hand was approximately £95.

The next item on the agenda was the forthcoming Dance to be held on 30 January for the Coronation Fund. The following Stewards volunteered to help:

Door    8-9 pm             Mrs Castle and Miss B Tompkins

            9-10 pm            Mrs Hebson and Mrs Longman

            10-12pm           Mr A Tompkins Sec

Mrs Johnson and Mrs Lavington were in charge of Refreshments.

It was proposed that a parcel of groceries be collected from among members for the Raffle. Mrs Ebbs Band had been engaged and Mr F Gibbs was to be asked to MC. It was decided to advertise the Dance for one week in the Wolverton Express. Admission 2/-.

No more business was discussed. The next meeting was fixed for Friday 27 February at 7.30pm in the Hall. The Chairman then declared the meeting closed.

S Hebson Hon Sec

Tuesday 10 March

The Chairman opened the meeting by asking the Secretary to read the minutes. It was proposed by Mrs Jelley and seconded by Mrs Johnson that they should be passed as read.

A letter from Mrs Fiel was read. This contained a number of suggestions for the spending of money collected. The Secretary was asked to reply stating that the committee would review the points mentioned at a later date.

The Social arranged for Saturday 21 March was cancelled but it was proposed by Mr Tompkins and seconded by Miss Loughrey that a dance be held on Saturday 18 April with the Night Riders Band. This was carried. Mr Rickaby promised a bottle of whisky for the raffle.

Mr Hickford had been able to arrange subject to alteration a list of prizes for the Sports. £20 was to cover the cost. This was to include the prizes for the Fancy Dress and Best Decorated House.

Mrs Jelley agreed to visit Captain and Mrs PY Atkinson regarding the children’s tea, while Mrs Hebson and Mrs Brockway were to visit Mrs Fermor-Hesketh to ask for help with foodstuffs. The result of the visit of the Secretary Mr Tompkins and Mr Hickford to Major John Fermor-Hesketh [at Cosgrove Hall] was a gift of 72 gallons of beer to be supplied by Abingdon Brewery Co. Mr Rickaby was handed Major John’s letter anticipating same.

It was decided to send a report to the local paper as soon as possible.

The ladies were to arrange meetings to arrive at the approximate amount of food required for the catering and if possible give the committee some idea of the cost.

The next full committee meeting was arranged for Monday 23 March at 7.30pm. The Chairman then declared the meeting closed.

S Hebson (Hon Sec)    F R Hillyer

[No minutes in the book for Monday 23 March]

Sunday 6 April

The Chairman opened the meeting by asking the Secretary to read the minutes. It was proposed by Mr Tompkins and seconded by Mr Cummings that they be passed as read.

Arising from the minutes the following were proposed and carried:

Mrs Jelley to purchase [Coronation] mugs for the children – allowance £10 from funds (raised by the Youth Club)

The Sports programme together with other events decided upon at the special meeting for men was passed and it was proposed by Mr Cummings and seconded by the Secretary Mr Hickford that we purchase 500 copies to be distributed in the village.

The additional item on the programme was to be a display for the older children under the supervision of Mrs Betts. It was proposed by Mr Betts and seconded by Mrs Hebson that the sum of £20 be set aside for the purchase of fireworks, This was carried.

Mr Rickaby informed the committee that the amount in hand up to and including 6 April was £143 5s 9d. Our commitments did not leave much money for speculation and he thought it necessary to be careful with expenditure.

The Dance for 18 April was next on the agenda. The following details were arranged:

Admission 2/-  One advert in the Wolverton Express.

Door Stewards 8-9 Mrs Hebson and Mrs Longman. 9-10 Mrs Brockway.

Raffle tickets for the whisky to be 2d cash.

After the next meeting had been arranged for 20 April at 7.15 pm the meeting closed.

S Hebson (Hon Sec)    F R Hillyer

[No further committee meeting minutes appear. The final entry is the Men’s Meeting below]

Coronation Men’s’ Meeting

22 May 1953

Final arrangements for June 2nd was the purpose of the meeting. The following points were discussed and decided upon:

Beer should be on tap from 9 am. Two casks should be placed in the Sports field and supervised.

Mr Hickford was to arrange for steps etc.

Mr Betts kindly offered to supply ropes and stakes.

A temporary light was to be fixed over the steps at the rear of the hall.

Grass was to be cut and the running pitch mowed.

It was decided to start the bonfire and fireworks at 9.45pm. Fireworks to the value of £17.10.0 had been purchased.

The British Legion were to lend the committee 143 glasses on condition all breakages were paid for.

The following were to be asked for the loan of forms and tables: Mss Bushell. Eglesfield, Mr Burroughs and Mr G Williams.

The Secretary promised to ring the Waterways for permission to use the greasy pole across the canal.

Mr Betts and the Secretary were to try to borrow 200 yards of flex for the amplifier.

Working parties were wanted for every night until Coronation Day.

The British Legion were to bring all tables and forms on Sunday morning May 31st.

Mr Hickford was to supervise final details for the display of fireworks.

S Hebson              F R Hillyer

Cosgrove Coronation Celebration 1953

Half the village were invited to the Priory for tea and half went to the Village Hall. So there are two group photos. The two halves came together at night. Jack Hebson was in charge of the fireworks but they all went off together – it was a great display but short.

There was a greasy pole competition across the canal. Trevor Tustain won £1 and Phil Tustain won 10s.

Eyewitness memories – Trevor Tustain

At the Coronation Phil and I went in for the greasy pole competition – it was on the north side of the bridge over the canal, and the pole was higher one side than the other, so we had to climb uphill. I won the first prize (£1) and Phil was second and got 10s.

Celebrating the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in Cosgrove Victory Hall, 2 June 1953.

Back row, left to right: Dick Longman, Myrtle Hillyer. Rose Cummings, Ethel Barby, Harry Cummings, Fred Barby, Albert Tompkins, Don Chown.

Second row: Rob
Brown, Mrs Malcolm Jelley, Mrs Rickaby, Mrs Castle, Olive Eglesfield, Lil Longman, Annie Tompkins, Cynthia Tompkins,
Mrs Sid Ratledge, Edie Barby -?-, Ena Lavington,
Fred Tustain, Brenda Goodridge, Sylvia Whickham, Floss Lawson, Agnes Spence. Mrs George Noble.

Third row: 'Adgie', Rarcliffe, Wyn Harris. Doll Hebson. Doris Smith,
Doll Tustain, Clara Williams. Fourth row: Mrs Alf Smith (standing), Alf Smith, Charlie Hill, Dora Feil, Joan Eglesfield, Carol Prater, Vince Lovesey, Dick Clark, Fred Williams, Mrs Dick Clark, Arthur Noble.

Front row: Mona Hickford, Mim Eglesfield. Sue Eglesfield (baby). Gladys Loughrey. Mabel Castle, Beryl Tompkins, Audrey Smith, Ada Eglesfield, Dot Cadd, Doll Williams, Pearl Lawson, David Betts.

Children; John Fitzgibbon, Roy Giles, Jimmy Pack, Tony Hefford, Billy Pack, Douglas Hillyer, Roger Kightley, Janet Eglesfield, Marlene Noble.

The village was divided that day for photos - this is the second half, recently supplied by the Tustains and Lavingtons. Names are being recorded - if you can help, please contact us.

Back row L-R: Mr Rickaby, Doris Hill, Tubbin Brown, ? ,?

Joan Brockway, Kath Jones, Bob Jones, John Shervington, Rod Hickford, Les Lyman, Pete Brown, Mick Maycock, Mr Brewer

Sid Bushell, Tom Kightley, Dick Lavington, Dolly Williams, Mrs Brewer, Mrs Burrows

Vera Stewart, ?, Pauline Bushell, Jack Hebson, Alice Bushell, Dorrie Freestone, Irene Beasley (baby), Marion Beasley, Millie Wickham.

Mr Gascoigne, Barbara West, June Smith, Gerald Freestone, Gill Tustain, Madeleine Ratledge, Sheila Brown, Pat Bushell, Jo Hebson, Rosemary Hebson, Gill Hebson, Fred Tustain,

Nellie Whittaker, Else Ratcliffe, Mrs Gascoigne, Mrs Brown, Lizzie Stewart, Diane Stewart (child on lap), Phyl Loughrey, Elsie Tack, Stella Brown, Elsie Chown, Mrs Warwick, Mrs Hillyer, ?

Wendy Jones, ?, ?, Les Waite, Hazel Lavington, ?, Anna Rickaby, Michael Gascoigne, John Meakins, Colin Bushell, Pat Hickford,

Front row L-R: Gillian Markham, Carol Prater, Angela Markham, Sue Tustain, Bridget Cummings, Clifford Brewer, Julie Longman, James Horace Ray, Sam Hickford,
Tony Lavington, Alan Tustain,

Lying left :- Arthur Loughrey, lying right: Jack Johnson, bottom left : Roger Kightley






to celebrate the



Her Gracious Majesty

Queen Elizabeth II

Programme of Events
Slow Bicycle Race, 50 yds. (Open)
Potato Race (Open)
Three-legged Race, 80 yds. (Open)
Tug-of-War, Teams of 8 (Open)
(Winners to hold Tug-of War Cup)
Present Holders (Barge Inn) Cosgrove
Obstacle Race, 80 yds.
21 Men over 40 years, 100 yds. flat
22 Three-legged Race, 80 yds.
Wheelbarrow Race, 80 yds.
Ladies over 60 years., 60 yds.
Men over 60 years., 60 yds
Girls under 14 yrs, Best Dressed Cycle
Boys ,, ,, ,, ,, ,, ,, ,, ,,
Ladies Dressed Cycle
Gents ,, ,, ,, ,, ,, ,, ,, ,,
30 Girls, under 14 yrs., Fancy Dress
31 Boys ,, ,, ,, ,, ,, ,, ,, ,,
32 Ladies Fancy Dress
33 Gents ,, ,, ,, ,, ,, ,, ,, ,,
34 Climbing Greasy Pole (Open)
Best Decorated Houses
Bonfire and Fireworks in Hall Field at dusk
DANCING and Social Activities in the Victory Hall

Entries for all Sports to be made on filed.
Enttries for Cycle, Fancy Dress, must assemble at the Old School
before 1 p.m.
Judges for House Decorations and fancy Dress will be
Mr. and Mrs. W. Betts, Mr. and Mrs. Rickaby, Mr. and Mrs. C. Dunkley,
Miss wake, Mrs. P. Y. Atkinson, Mrs. Heap, Mr. F. W. Hurry

Judges for Sports:
Capt. and Mrs. P. Y. Atkinson, Mr. W. Betts, Mr. Rickaby, Mr. Dunkley,
Mr. F. W. Hurry
Starters and Handicappers:
Messrs. A. Tompkins, R. Brown, H. Cummings, J. Johnson.

All winners must report to the Sec., J. Hebson,
immediately after each event.

SERVICE IN PARISH CHURCH (Rev. J. Benson) 8-8.30 a.m.

Judging Decorated House between 9-11 a.m.


Interval between 11 a.m. - 12.45 p.m.
for Television or Wireless Programme


Cycle & Fancy Dress Parade. Assemble Old School 1 p.m.
Judging 1.15. p.m
After parade all will proceed to Capt. P. Y. Atkinson's Field
where following events will take place:-

Commencing 2 p.m
Girls under 8 yrs., 40 yds. flat
Boys under 8 yrs., 40 yds. flat
Egg & Spoon Race (Open)
Skipping Race, Girls under 8 yrs., 80 yds.
Three-legged Race, over 8 yrs., 80 yds.
Novelty Race
Three-legged Race, Boys over 8 yrs., 80 yds.
Sack Race, Boys over 8 yrs., 80 yds.,
Obstacle Race ,, ,, ,, 120 yds. (Open)
TEA for Children under 11 years at The Priory (Capt. P. Y. Atkinson)
at 4 p.m
TEA for Children, 11 years and over, at The Lodge (W. Betts, Esq.)
at 4 p.m
TEA for Parishioners in The Victory Hall at 4 p.m.

Two sittings - Times will be issued on tickets.
Will everyone please bring their own knife , fork and spoons

ADULT SPORTS & Square Dancing
commencing 5.30 p.m.
Ladies, Single
Thread the Needle Race, 80 yds.
Egg & Spoon Race, 80 yds.
Novelty Race, 80 yds.

Ladies, Married
Thread the Needle Race, 80 yds.
Egg & Spoon Race, 80 yds.
Novelty Race, 80 yds.

Ladies sack race
Left to right: Alice Fitzgibbon (standing) , Vera (Joan) Kightley, Lou Castle

The Wolverton Express June 5th 1953

The sports and the bonfire were postponed at Cosgrove,
but the 400 residents had two sittings for their tea in the Victory Hall.

Cosgrove Have Celebrations Still to Come

Cosgrove decided to postpone their sports programme. bon­fire. and fireworks until Saturday.

A service in the Parish Church, conducted by the Rector (the Rev. J. S. Benson), commenced the day. Judges of the best decorated houses and fancy dress were Mr. and Mrs. W. Betts. Mr. and Mrs. A. Rickaby, Mr. and Mrs. C. Dunkley, and Mr. F. W. Hurry.

They awarded first prize in the houses competition to Mrs. Gallop, of 2 Bridge Road, 2 Mrs. Lavingdon. 30 Main Street, and 3 Mrs. Fred Williams, 22 Bridge Road.

Fancy dress results were: under 8, 1 Wendy Markham, 2 Susan Coles, 3 Raymond Wilson; under 14 (girls), 1 Pat Bushell. 2 Gillian Markham; boys, 1 John Fitzgibbon, 2 (equal) Colin Busheil, Ivor Hickford, Tony Lavingdon, Tony Flack; ladies. 1 Mrs. Loughrey, 2 Miss M Hitchcock, 3 Miss B. Goodridge; gentlemen, 1 Mr. Hickford. 2 Mr. J. Loughrey; cycles (girls), 1 Julia Longman, 2 Gillian Hebson; (boys), 1 Dennis Wilson, 2 Maurice Castle; (adults). 1 Mrs. Johnson, 2 Cynthia Tomkins, 3 Bob Jones.

About 300 parishioners had tea in the Victory Hall in two sittings, and children under 11 were entertained at The Priory by Capt. and Mrs. P. Y. Atkinson, and those 11 and over by Mr. and Mrs. W. Betts, at the Lodge.

Later there was square dancing in the hall, with Mrs. W. Betts as leader, and a dance and social.

Mr. F. Hillier was chairman of the village committee, with Mr. J. Hebson as secretary and Mr. A. Rickaby treasurer. About £190 had been raised by collections, etc.

Hazel Lavington, Tony Lavington
Parties were held all over the village, as here at the New Buildings and in Suet Alley, for the Coronation 1953.

A Coronation Play was put on in the Rectory garden. Each child holds a letter spelling out "God Save the Queen."

Each child was given a souvenir book, a Coronation mug and a plate.