new Queen and
Prince Philip ride through London having returned from South Africa
after hearing about the news of the King's death.
King George the Sixth died peacefully in his sleep at Sandringham
to usher in the new Elizabethan age and the start of an era which
was to change the face of the monarchy forever.
In the West Midlands there was a protracted period of mourning
for a much-loved sovereign.
He had been reluctantly and surprisingly thrust into the kingly
spotlight by the abdication of his brother King Edward the Eighth
just over 15 years earlier.
People in towns and villages across the region were plunged into
grief and a special edition of the Express & Star was produced.
"As the news spread quickly magesterial benches interrupted court
proceedings to stand in sorrowful tribute and places of entertainment
were closed," it reported.
Wolverhampton's head postmaster Mr W C Forsyth said that, unless
instructed otherwise, the Post Office would remain open and communications
would not be interrupted.
The concert that was to have been given that night by the London
Philharmonic Orchestra at Wolverhampton Civic Hall was cancelled.
A telegram was sent to the new queen by the mayor of Wolverhampton
Councillor James Beattie.
Flags on buildings throughout the town flew at half mast.
Messages expressing sympathy with the Queen were also sent by
the chairmen of Cannock, Rugeley and Brownhills Urban Councils and
Cannock Rural Councils The late king had visited the West Midlands
area many time both before and during his reign beginning in 1922
when as Duke of York he presented prizes at the annual festival
of the Royal Orphanage (now the Royal Wolverhampton school) and
attended children's sports at Molineux.
Powell marries: Wolverhampton South-West MP Enoch Powell married
Miss Pamela Wilson at Christ Church, Lancaster Gate, London.
In an age when it was thought only women should write of such
things the by-line on the Express & Star's article on the nuptials
said "by a Woman Reporter"
The woman reporter - we have not been able to establish her identity
- went on to reveal that the reception was attended by around 100
guests at a nearby hotel.
The piece went on to reveal that the new Mrs Powell had worn a
gown of oyster satin with pearl finish and a veil of Brussels lace.
For their honeymoon the couple would motor through France and
Spain to Barcelona after which their plans were unclear.
Crown Pub at The Wergs near Wolverhampton has undergone many
changes since this 1952 picture of the passing of the Albrighton
Absent - 351 times over: An attendance officer told Tettenhall
magistrates that a 14-year-old boy had been absent from school 351
times in the last school year.
Excuses made by his mother and stepfather were that he was ill,
had no shoes and could not be made to go to school.
Yet clothing had been distributed between the family's five children
and free school meals were provided for the boy, the court was told.
Asked if she had anything to say the mother said: "I don't think
my past should be brought up. My husband knocks me about over it."
' Prejudice' at Willenhall: Willenhall Baths found itself
in hot water following allegations of colour prejudice against Jamaicans
at its Saturday night dances.
But the clerk to the local council said that, despite a recent
stabbing incident, no colour bar was being put up at weekends.
His comments were not believed and four Jamaicans made the following
statement to the Express & Star.
"We were made to understand that because we are Jamaicans or coloured
men we are barred. Is this fair to us as British subjects to be
treated like this because of another man's action. We are protesting
against this discrimination."
Avarice of Tong's snowdrop pickers:
The lovely photo in the Express & Star of two little girls sharing
a bunch of snowdrops lured many folk to Tong on Sunday.
We were passing through and were amazed to see over 50 cars parked
along the roadside.
Some grown-ups were climbing a hedge and others, having already
plundered, were climbing back again. I saw one person with a parcel
of loam and bulbs.
Perhaps some of the visitors had gone to Tong just to look upon
the loveliness but it is a shame that there are always some flagrantly
avaricious folk who cannot look without avidity.
Mrs J W, Penn.