LOOKING BACK - July 4, 2019 edition

The Queen Mother leaving the Town Hall buildings in 1961
The Queen Mother leaving the Town Hall buildings in 1961

Queen Mother's 1961 visit to Rugby - 58 years ago this week

It was 58 years ago tomorrow – on July 5, 1961 – that Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother visited Rugby.
So, I thought it would be the perfect time to bring you these two pictures from John Groucott’s parents Monica and Jim’s collection.
The colour balance isn’t perfect, but do remember they’re taken from the old slides, which was a popular form of photography then.
The black and white picture is one former Advertiser driver Bernard Williams gave us of the crowds listening to her speech. So many people!
That day her visit included opening the Town Hall and Benn Hall.
I remember from when we’ve previously mentioned the occasion, that the Queen Mother had hurt her ankle a few days before, and if you look closely you can actually see the bandages on her left foot as she walks down the Town Hall steps.
She insisted on keeping to the original schedule, although did need a wheelchair at times.
She was presented with a rugby ball by the makers James Gilbert and apparently declared her intention to give the ball to Prince Charles, then aged 13, although she was sorry to say that her grandson was more interested in soccer.

On the Town Hall steps - you might just be able to see the bandaging on her left ankle

On the Town Hall steps - you might just be able to see the bandaging on her left ankle

An original Advertiser picture of crowds gathered to listen to the Queen Mother's speech on the Town Hall steps

An original Advertiser picture of crowds gathered to listen to the Queen Mother's speech on the Town Hall steps

By the buildings in the background looks like it was taken at BTH / English Electric

By the buildings in the background looks like it was taken at BTH / English Electric

You can just see a huge crowd of workers in the background, who turned out to see the Queen Mother on her visit to Rugby

You can just see a huge crowd of workers in the background, who turned out to see the Queen Mother on her visit to Rugby