A right royal celebration: Memories and pictures of the 1977 Jubilee in Brownhills

I do like Anita Chicken Pox. There’s a story there, I’m sure. Image Kindly supplied by Dawn Hayton.

In order to mark the royal weekend, I continue to share the remarkable photos donated by old pal of the blog and community whizz Dawn Hayton, who’s been digging in her mother’s collection and found this selection of images from the 1977 Queen’s Silver Jubilee.

See, I don’t just throw this stuff together – well, not all the time…

As many of you will know, I’m not a royalist, but the 1977 event was possibly the last such celebration where there were mass street parties, and it was a really notable thing. I don’t think there was quite such a fuss over the Golden Jubilee in 2002, which I found interesting, and a sign perhaps of changing times.

This is a remarkable set that are really a great time capsule of the period – and I thank Dawn and her mum for their wonderful generosity and the great scans. Wonderful stuff.

Dawn wrote the following wonderful piece about the set, and her memories of the celebration in the Freeth and Middleton road area, this really is superb:

Middleton and Freeth Road Silver Jubilee Street Party

The Queen’s Silver Jubilee Party 1977 became a huge community event in Middleton and Freeth Roads. From memory mostly inspired by my lovely nutty mother Mary Hayton, full of inspirational barmy ideas.

What started off with a small group of similarly minded community neighbours Sandra Cox, Doreen Brogan and Jean Jolly (and yes she was incredibly jolly) turned into a hugely successful event with help from two streets worth of families.

The pram, the mixture of chairs. The tartan trousers! Image Kindly supplied by Dawn Hayton.

Preparations started well in advance to raise funds and a small amount of money was collected regularly from each family to cover costs for their children to attend, alongside many fundraisers.

I recall many jumble sales, very fashionable at the time and held in the Methodist Church, Weekly flower arranging classes by Irene Mayher the local Cub Leader in the day We filled her house weekly with all monies added to the street party fund.  Both my sister and I are not too bad at flower arranging as a result and I volunteered as a Cub Leader alongside the amazing Sue Wright who is still in scouting.  All a result of getting to know the neighbours.

Love the wee truck/pedal car. Image Kindly supplied by Dawn Hayton.

Other events included a pancake party held by Doreen Brogan with every filling you could imagine and a shoe party held by Jolly Jean who also made a 10 foot cake for the day.

Items begged stolen and borrowed included a huge amount of very ugly red/white/blue wallpaper which organised by Doreen Brogan was cut into triangles, glued together and then sewn onto tape by a whole team of Moms to finally become amazing bunting and finally all hung from the lampposts by Bill Woolley. I’m sure they covered the whole of the two streets!  Mum and Betty Ashmore managed to scrounge enormous  4’ x 6’ polystyrene coats of arms decorations from Rackhams which were hung around the streets.

Can anyone read the sign on the grass? Image Kindly supplied by Dawn Hayton.

We chose the actual day which was brilliant sunshine unlike most parties who opted for the weekend. Neighbours brought out their kiddie swings, slides, sea-saws and little bikes onto the green to occupy the toddlers. Tables and chairs were set out around the turning circle and food was plentiful but haven’t a clue by who or how this was prepared.  A massive job, who did it?  I guessing those Magical Mommy Fairies.

What a terrific image – the car, the clothes, the 70s in a nutshell. Image Kindly supplied by Dawn Hayton.

The roads were shut off for the day and pretty much every house was decorated for a competition…. so much crepe paper!

Our next door neighbour Iris Gee had ice-cream in her garage as she had a spare freezer, Pat (Collins I think) who went on to run The Chase Inn for a short time had a house full of balloons, apparently to the extent where they couldn’t open the front door and all the kids wore in fancy dress.  Some amazing outfits shown in the pictures and yes I am in the embarrassing Charleston Girl outfit.   Mother’s favourite old dress and probably her shoes looking at them as it suspect my style at the time was monkey boots….

Love the guy in the bowler. Image Kindly supplied by Dawn Hayton.

AND The Wombles of Wimbledon attended, such a catch in the day but the local papers didn’t, we couldn’t believe it! They missed out on some good photographs.

Fundraising was so successful that all kids had a huge goodie bag with commemorative coins, mugs, spoons, a pencil box to name but a few.  There was so much money in the end and it had to be spent.

In the 70s, Womble tribute acts were common – I particularly remember the Pelsall Wombles. More Pelsall Common than Wimbledon Common. Image Kindly supplied by Dawn Hayton.

What a day, what memories and all sorted by many adults/parents when I was probably the grumpy teenager hanging out at Barnetts most nights, the Memo Disco on a Friday and The Galleon after.

Thank you Middleton and Freeth Roads. Parents are cool when your old enough to appreciate them.

Wonder who these Wombles actually were? Image Kindly supplied by Dawn Hayton.

Just a few families I recall:

Hornsby, Pritchard, Taylors, Smiths, Barnes, Woolley, Clements, Collins, Ashmore, Clarke, Hayton, Gee, Bryan, Brogan, Cox, Jolly, Wright, Mayher, Taylor, Morgan, Little, Crane, Dance, Smith, Mayer and many many more.

Of the whole donation from Dawn and her mum, there are three distinct sets – the one of Brownhills Carnival in the 1970s I shared last week here, a set of Ogley Hay May Day photos and this set. I’ll post the May Day ones in a few days.

If you see anyone you recognise, or have anything to add, please do.

Comment here or mail me: Brownhillsbob at Googlemail dot com.

The clothes, the happy faces. Gorgeous. Image Kindly supplied by Dawn Hayton.

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