17/07/2013 How the Gazette reported the Queen’s visit 57 years ago (from 1956)
THOUSANDS SAW QUEEN THREE TIMES
AS befitted Kendal’s greatest occasion in the lifetime of the present generation, the town was more profusely decorated than ever before, and a feature of the colourful scene was the beauty added by the use of natural flowers.
The scene was well set and, after two days of glorious weather, the deluge which greeted the great day on Saturday m0rning left the streets of the town virtually deserted until 11.30am.
Small crowds had assembled. A night duty policeman reported that two girls had taken up their places at 2am while at 6am ‘the gathering’ had grown to six.
The town hall did not attract any all night enthusiasts, but there was a gathering of 5o people taking up positions of advantage by 9.30am.
It was not until the rain finished at about 11.30am that the streets became really ‘alive’ and by this time the main roads had been closed.
One motor coach from Accrington on a day tour of the Lakes arrived in the centre of town and the party told the policeman they had booked lunch in Kendal at 12:30.
When told they would not be able to leave the town until the roads were open again until 3pm, their first reaction of dismay soon changed and they decided to stay and see the royal visitors before continuing their tour on a restricted scale.
There was no crowding at any point, due to the fact that there must have been a thousand people in house and shop windows, while lorries parked at the ends of yards were used as grandstands.
Then came the great moment when the Royal car passed through the triumphal arch on Windermere Road and the cheering and waving rippled along the route down into town and swelled to a pitch of local enthusiasm as the crowds increased all the way to the town hall.
The thousands of people who chose their vantage points between the County Hall and Town Hall were more fortunate than those outside this area, as they saw the Queen and the Duke three times, thought many of these moved away during the luncheon interval and the streets had their quota of cheering people all the way to the southern boundary of Milnthorpe Road.
First published in The Westmorland Gazette – 18th August 1956
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