1937 Coronation Celebrations In Bristol

Bristol local history; vintage film and old photos of Bristol

Street Party In Bristol, 1930’s – Film 18616″ from YouTube Channel HuntleyFilmArchives

Thanks to a rare home movie made in Bristol in 1937, we can see how the city celebrated the coronation of King George VI.

This is an amateur home movie made in Bristol in 1937, which is now part of the Huntley Film Archives.

Streets Decorated With Bunting And Flowers

In the opening shot, we see a flag sporting images of the new King George VI and his wife Queen Elizabeth, who later in widowhood became known as The Queen Mother.  A lot of bunting and decoration adorns the street.

A smartly dressed young boy smiles at the camera. Then another boy steps forward, before the scene rests on a smartly presented shop. 

Now there’s a banner telling us we are outside the West Of England College of Art, which is sporting beautiful floral displays. From its foundation in 1853 until the previous year, it was known as the Bristol School of Practical Art. The new title West Of England College of Art was held until 1969. Then it became part of Stroud and South Gloucestershire College (SGS).

The film moves on to the fountains at the Victoria Rooms, Cotham Hill, the Triangle, and Park Street. Each location is bedecked with floral displays and bunting. In contrast, people and traffic bustle about their business.

Carriages At Clifton Suspension Bridge

At the Clifton Suspension Bridge, a small group waits. They stand watching two horse drawn carriages driven and attended by people in livery. Unfortunately, the screen is too dark to see who sits inside. In addition, several policemen ride on horseback as part of the procession.

Coronation Street Party

Towards the end is a float driven through a crowd lined street, full of adults and children dressed up. 

Finally, there’s a fantastic street party scene. Lots and lots of tables sit in a line, covered in tablecloths and food. While the children sit at the tables, adults stand and walk about, many of them in fancy dress. With all the bunting and balloons it looks very jolly.

This is a really good street party celebrating the coronation of King George VI in 1937.

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