The Story of Heyford (Extra): Dear Diary – May 1953

May 1953

Dear Diary,

What an exciting year this promises to be. Two weddings and a Coronation and they will all be different.

The first wedding is to be this month when Keith Clarke marries Brenda at the Methodist Chapel in Church Street. They are to have a reception at the Foresters Arms, and a neighbour is making them a wedding cake. I expect they will live in Hillside Road when Brenda’s parents move out.

The second wedding is my auntie Beryl who is to marry Jack Gibbins in Heyford church in June. This is special to me because I am to be a bridesmaid. Three of us are having long dresses in lemon with purple bows around the bottom and bonnets to match. Mum is putting ringlets in my hair which probably means sleeping with rags in. They are to live with Jack’s mother in Furnace Lane until a Council house becomes available for them.

We have posies to carry and I am to hold my auntie’s bouquet while she says “I do”. This means I can’t hold the hymn book, so we are all gathered around Nan’s piano while mum plays and we learn the hymns by heart. All her family play an instrument.

She wanted me to have piano lessons but I refused to practice so she said she wouldn’t be wasting money on me learning and dad said I was to stop being an awkward young lady. “What else will you do on a Saturday evening when you’re older?” Maybe I’ll regret not learning, who knows.

Last but not least, our lovely Queen Elizabeth is to be crowned in June in London and it is to be shown on the television. We don’t have one so I have been asked to go to a neighbour’s house to watch it. The Queen’s mother will be there but her grandmother died in March so she’ll miss it and I bet she would have loved to see another Coronation. The school children from Bliss school are to plant Acacia and May trees along what is now to be called Coronation Row, the little road opposite the school which splits up the village green. Dad got us some flags to pin up above our front door, and everybody seems to have something to hang up on the big day.

More good news. At last they have taken the railings down from around the war memorial on the little green and it is to be the end of sweet rationing. Bring on the lolly pops.

Until all this happens I think I’ll get my head in a book and read another Famous Five story. Shall I chose “Go Off in a Caravan”, “Go To Kirren Island” or, as normal, “Get Into Trouble”, all exciting stories with my favourite characters. I might look at my School Friend comic as well. Mum says I should keep my comics “in case we run out of toilet paper”, I mean, can you imagine?


Letter published in The Prattler – May 2020


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