What with all the events surrounding the 60th anniversary of The Queen’s accession to the throne, here’s a walking picture to mark the occasion as closely as we can.
The Walking Picture firm of Wrates, based in Skegness, decided to mark the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. When you purchased a Wrates walkie (the cards cost 1/- at the time), it was sold in a card wallet which acted as “your cash receipt”. The walkies they took in 1953 were sold in special pink and blue Coronation wallets (with the famous Jolly Skegness Fisherman holding up the pennant) and helped remind people of their holiday during one of the biggest post-War events up to that time. London was the centre of the celebrations, but most towns and cities held their own special events to mark the occasion. Skegness for example decided to stage their own illuminations for the Coronation, and have continued the tradition ever since.
The walkie here has remained inside the Coronation wallet for nearly sixty years, though it was found at a market stall so I don’t know who the two couples in the photograph are. The Wrate’s ‘beat’ covered several busy spots in the town but their head office was on Lumley Road, which lead down from the railway station to the famous Skegness clock tower, beyond which were the seaside attractions. This walkie was taken – like thousands of others by the firm – on the corner of Lumley Road and Rutland Road. The long established shoe shop of G. Blackbourn – which sold beach shoes to tourists amongst other things – can be seen in the background (it closed only recently and is now a branch of Subway, just what the world needs). The two blokes are very sun-tanned indeed, but still managing to wear the full suit, shirt and tie ensemble despite the sunshine! Note too the mechanical camera reference number in the bottom right. The back of the wallet carries details of how to order more copies.