Old Ledbury - Celebrations

Ledbury Celebrations





Victory celebrations in Ledbury on Saturday 8th June and Monday last 10th June were marred and curtailed by unfavourable weather. The programme of sports had to be postponed until Whit-Monday, but persistent rain during the morning caused a second postponement. The children, however, were well catered for and they should long remember Victory Day.

A merry peal on the parish church bells in the morning commenced the day's proceedings on Saturday and the children of the town were given a free cinema show in the Drill Hall, the operator being Mr. Bancroft, of Hereford. Cowboy film, Mickey Mouse and other sound pictures, which delighted the young audience for two hours, included some popular songs in which the children heartily joined.

The carnival procession assembled at Newbury Park at 1.45 p.m. and precisely at that time rain commenced to fall but the programme was partly carried out. On a lorry beautifully decorated with flowers and streamers sat the Victory Carnival Queen, Miss Josephine Cale, beautifully attired and holding a bouquet of roses. She had been chosen by popular vote and with her two attendants, Miss May Pedlingham and Miss Ada Mayo, also carrying bouquets and becomingly dressed, made a charming spectacle. Addressing the assembled crowd. Mr. W. G. Warren, chairman of the Celebrations Committee, after congratulating the "Queen" and her attendants, placed a crown on the "Queen's" head amid the cheers of the spectators. Followed by a contingent of individuals on foot in various kinds of fancy dresses and costumes, the procession pro-ceeded slowly down the Homend to the Market Square where a short halt was made. The citizens lined the route and a particularly large crowd assembled in the market place but the announced processional parade had to be abandoned and the sports and novelty events postponed.

[Victory Celebrations 1946]
Mr W G WARREN ( Chairman of ledbury Victory Celebrations Committee ) with Mr T M RYAN crowning the Ledbury Victory Queen ( Josephne CALE )

[Victory Celebrations 1946]

[Victory Celebrations 1946]
Children in the fancy dress parade

The procession proceeded to the Drill Hall where the fancy dresses Were judged by Dr. and Mrs. Groves, whose awards were: Girls (Costume) Barbara Hembling 1. Joan Pedlingham 2; Boys (Costume) Keith Edwards and friend 1, John Holloway 2; Cycle Master Clarke; Pram Mrs. J. Reynolds; Ladies Mrs H. Groves 1. Mrs. Fortey 2; Messrs Morris (lorry). The total entries were 76 and there were 73 competitors. The were distributed by the Victory Queen (Miss Josephine Cale).


It had been intended to give the children tea in High-street, and all preparations had been made. This, however, proved impossible, as rain was still falling, and the event was transferred to St. Katherine's Hospital, the long corridors of which were filled by about 800 children and including some old age pensioners on the groud and first floors, giving them shelter. The food depot at the Town Hall was managed by many women helpers who carried the food across to St. Katherine's and the children had a truly wonderful spread, including cakes, jellies, trifles and many other dainties with tea kept hot in containers. The many willing helpers saw to it that the children had a splendid tea and cer-tainly this was a highly successfull undertaking carried out under considerable difficulty due to the weather. The space underneath the Town Hall was also used for tea for the children and here again all went off successfully. The Ledbury Town Band played selections in High-street during tea which added considerably to the enjoyment of all. This grand meal for such a huge family was largely made possible by the generosity of many local donors of food and delicacies. Medals commemorating the day were also distributed to the children.


An interesting event was the baby show held in the Church Room for which there were over 30 entries. The judges were a lady doctor, Mrs. E. A. Davies (Paunceford Court) and Mrs. Blandford, Huntleys, Much Marcle. The attractive prizes were given by a number of manu-facturers of Baby foods and also by local firms including Mr. F. L. Born, Boot's Ltd. and Alex Robb and Co. Ltd. The prizes were presented by Mrs. Hiscox as follows - Champion baby, Peter Holder. who with his twin won the twin's class and Peter also won the class for under six months old. Christine Stephens was second. The class for 6-12 months old was won by Gilian R. Davies with Paul Anthony Webber second. Other winners were Roger Underhill and Rosemary Eaton. Baby with sweetest smile, Victor John Taylor; bluest eyes, June Patricia Wilkins; curliest hair, Shirley Turner. The Victory Carnival Queen and her attendants visited the show and were welcomed by the audience, being introduced by Mr. T. M. Ryan. In the evening a popular dance was held in the Drill Hall.


On Whit-Sunday evening a special service of thanksgiving was held at the Parish Church which was attended by representative bodies and a large congregation which almost filled the entire church. The parade assembled in the Southend headed by members of the British Legion with their Standard, Air Training Corps, St. John. Ambulance Brigade. Red Cross Voluntary Aid Detachment, Women's Voluntary Services, Girl Guides and Rangers with their Colours, and the Youth Club. The Chairman of the Urban Council (Mr. W. A. Maddox) and several councillors were also present. It was an inspiring service commencing with the National Anthem and "Now thank we all our God." The special prayers included remembrance of the fallen and bereaved and thanksgiving for victory. The Rector (Preb. W. G. Moeran) preached an appropriate sermon in the course of which he ex-pressed satisfaction that the Celebrations Committee of their own accord had asked for that special service and although he lad heard it said that victory celebrations were out of place under present conditions he fully agreed that thanksgiving at this time was entirely right and proper. The service concluded with a procession and the blessing. Mr. H .C. Hooper at the organ, played appropriate music before and after the service.


A variety concert organised by Mr. and Mrs. Simm on behalf the Celebrations Committee, held at the Drill Hall on Monday evening, proved a great success. Admission was free and a silver collection was made to defray the expenses. Local artistes taking part kept the large audience interested throughout and everyone obviously enjoyed the show. Com pered by Leslie Edwards and Eric Williams, with George Bosley and Gilbert Griffiths at the piano, the programme included an accordion solo by Percy Goodchap, songs by Barbara Hooper, Violet Higginbotham and Danny McCoshan, tap dancing by Cynthia Preece violin solos by John Suddes, the popular saw solo by C. Warner, duets by Betty Simm and Danny McCoshan, a first-rate magical act by the inimitable Eric Williams with Leslie Edwards, "Lady Godiva," an amusing duologue by Betty and Phil Simm, and a humorous turn by Pol.-Cons. Rees.


An unusual and very attractive feature of the show was a dress display of ladies' fashions including evening gowns, beach suits, period dresses and a very effective wedding scene in which nearly a score of young ladies appeared in various bridal attires. The audience applauded heartily as each performer walked on to the stage showing her style to mus-cal accompaniment. It was something Ledbury had perhaps never witnessed before and was effectively staged and carried through with much credit to the young ladies concerned. The dresses were extraordinarily beautiful and bouquets of flowers, carried by some of the performers, to match their dresses, added to the beauty of the scene. The climax was reached when the Victory Carnival Queen appeared in her robes and wearing her crown with her two attendants. Those taking part in the dress parade which was organised by Mrs. Simm, were Barbara Hooper, Rose Osborne, Deidre Bailey, Eileen Price, Joan Banks, Betty Simm, Cynthia Preece, Violet Higginbotham, Peggy Shakesheff, Margery Pitt, Stella Heaton, Doreen Wetson, Myrtle Drinkwater, Heather Mercer, Winifred Moyle and Pippin Finnigan, with the 'Carnival Victory Queen and her two attendants.


At this moment Mr. W. G. Warren, Chairman of the Celebrations Committee, addressed "Her Majesty" and congratulated her and her attendants on the admirable manner in which they had carried out their duties. He referred to the part Ledbury had played during the war years and of the sacrifices made by Ledbury men and women which would never be forgotten. Finally on behalf of the committee he made a presentation to the "Queen" and her attendants amidst applause and the "Queen" made a graceful reply.

At the conclusion the players and audience joined together in singing "Auld Lang Syne" and cheers were given for Mr. and Mrs. Simm for the strenuous efforts they had made in organising this highly successful and interesting event, and for all who cooperated and helped in their various ways.

The Celebrations Committee were Mr. W. G. Warren (Chairman), Mr. H. J. Chapman (hon. treasurer), Mr. F. Hawcutt (hon. secretary), Miss C. Morris, Mrs. May, Mrs. Cater, Messrs. H. J. Bryon, W. A. Maddox, F. Shinn. P. C. Simm and T. M. Ryan with street parties representatives.



On the 2nd June 1953, Ledbury celebrated the Coronation by holding an Ox Roast, Best Decorated Street Competition, Tea Parties, A Parade and a Fancy Dress Competition


[1953 Ox Roast]
Photo courtesy of Daniel HERBERT, his grandfather is on the left, building the fire in the High St
Photo - Robert BARNES Collection RB1

[1953 Ox Roast]
Right hand side wheel, top, 2nd and 3rd looking back towards the Almshouses, is Granny Wyn CAUSIER with Grandad Fred
Left hand side wheel, top, Marion DAVIS looking away from camera talking to her mother Mrs DAVIS, Brenda DAVIS looking at them and cousin James SANDFORD looking at them. Possibly Elsie holding James
Behind the oil drum the lady in a head scarf and girl by her side is Mrs DAY and her daughter Pam, they lived in the Bridge Street
Photo - Liza Emily PHILLIPS Collection LEP1

[1953 Ox Roast]
Photo - Fiona PENWARNE Collection FP1

[1953 Ox Roast]
Photo - Fiona PENWARNE Collection FP2

[1953 Ox Roast]
Photo taken by Andy's father Jack
Photo - Andy TAYLOR Collection AT12

[1953 Ox Roast]
Photo taken by Andy's father Jack
Photo - Andy TAYLOR Collection AT13

[1953 Ox Roast]
Mr KINGTON basting the Ox
Photo - Robert BARNES Collection RB2

[1953 Ox Roast]
Photo - Kath CREW Collection KC3

[1953 Ox Roast]
Photo - Robert BARNES Collection RB9

[1953 Ox Roast]
Photo - Mike PAUL Collection MP13

[1953 Ox Roast]
Photo - Hilary JONES ( Williams ) Collection HW18

[Ox Head]
Rear of Churchills Yard the Ox's Head
Dennis CUMMINGS, George DAVIS, Tom DAVIS ( Butcher at Churchill's with the Ox Head ), Dennis EDGE, Audrey EDGE ( Davis ), Baby Denise EDGE
Photo Audrey EDGE ( Davis )Collection AE4

[Ox Head]
Jose CUMMINGS ( Davis ), George DAVIS, Tom DAVIS ( Butcher at Churchill's with the Ox Head ), Dennis EDGE, Audrey EDGE ( Davis ), Baby Denise EDGE
Photo Audrey EDGE ( Davis )Collection AE5

[Ox Head]
Churchills Butchers with the Ox
Audrey EDGE ( Davis ), George DAVIS, Dennis EDGE, Dennis CUMMINGS
Photo Audrey EDGE ( Davis )Collection AE6


Click on the photo to watch an excellent video of the Ox Roast - a super 26 mins and 37 secs - If you spot any relatives let us know at what time it is on the video and we will get the name added here.

[Ox Roast]


[1953 Coronation Party]
Church Street - Grandad, William BARNES, Cousin Betty, Gran Emily BARNES, nee PHILLIPS and big brother John
Photo - Robert BARNES Collection RB3

[1953 Coronation Party]
Church Street - decorations all hand made
Photo - Robert BARNES Collection RB4

[1953 Coronation Party]
Church Street - Unknown milkman on his rounds
Photo - Robert BARNES Collection RB5

[1953 Coronation Party]
Church Street - The winning decorations - on the left the Old Sgts House, The Prince Pub and British Legion Club
Photo - Robert BARNES Collection RB6

[1953 Coronation Party]
Church Street - Group Photo
Front row - Mrs BELCHER, Mrs STURGE, Mrs Phylis STURGE, Mrs SMITH ( cake shop )
Photo - Robert BARNES Collection RB7

[1953 Coronation Party]
Church Street - Mrs WILLIAMS fruit and veg shop - Grand daughter Fiona PENWARNE remembers the coat of arms was made of very stiff cardboard
Photo - Robert BARNES Collection RB8

[1953 Coronation Party]
Church Street
Photo - Chip Andrew BRYON Collection CAB2

[1953 Coronation Party]
Church Street - Group photo
Front row - unknown, Gertie STURGE, Pat BAKER, Gwen TAYLOR, Dos BAKER, Phylis STURGE, UNKNOWN, Mrs SMITH (cake shop ) Mrs BELCHER, children and dog no names
Photo - Wayne Sharper DAVIS Collection WSD1


[1953 Church Street Tea Party]
Church Street - Police Station / Court Room Tea Party for the under 5's
From the left Mrs HICKEY with Patrick on her knee, Mrs BRACE (basher)
UNKNOWN, Mrs Gert STURGE ( Diane's mum ), Dos BAKER, UNKNOWN, Mrs FLETCHER, UNKNOWN, Gwen TAYLOR (bending over) with Pauline in front, Mrs NASH, Mrs WINDMILL, UNKNOWN
Back Row - UNKNOWN, Mrs Phylis STURGE ( Davids mum ), UNKNOWN
Photo - Pat HICKEY Collection PH5

[1953 Homend Crescent Childrens Tea Party]
Homend Crescent - Childrens Tea Party
Cutting Ledbury Reporter Newspaper Friday June 19 1953

[1953 Street Party Long Acres]
Long Acres - Childrens Tea Party
Cutting Ledbury Reporter Newspaper Friday June 19 1953

[1953 Street Party Long Acres]
Front Row - Ivy JONES, Dylis JONES, Kathy EVANS, Marion FLETCHER, UNKNOWN, Kath WATERS, Sue SMITH, Dorothy RAPIER, Lorna JONES, Robin DAVIS, Colin DAVIS, John GURNEY, John MORRIS, Peter MORRIS, Raymond WOOD, John WATERS, Jimmy HABBITTS, Robin MORRIS, Miriam EVANS, Janet PEDLINGHAM
Photo Wayne Sharper DAVIS Collection WSD2

[1953 Street Party Long Acres]
Photo Janet BETTISON ( Drew ) Collection JD1

[1953 Street Party Long Acres]
Photo Janet BETTISON ( Drew ) Collection JD2

[1953 Coronation Party Parkway]

Children enjoying the tea provided for them on Saturday at Parkway Hall by the Parkway Coronation Committee, after the children of school age had been treated to an excursion by coach to Malvern Festival Theatre to see the Technicolour film ' A Queen is Crowned ' Mr H W G HAWKES was chairman of the committee
Clipping - Ledbury Reporter Friday June 26 1953

[Coronation Ball HELLENS Much Marcle]

Coronation Ball HELLENS, Much Marcle
Floodlighted Masque And Cider From Fountain
Cutting Ledbury Reporter Newspaper June 19 1953


[1953 Ox Roast The Parade]
Pirate Ship - Eric WILLIAMS ( butcher with Churchill's for many years ) 3rd from right
Photo - Hilary JONES ( Williams ) Collection HW19

[1953 Ox Roast The Parade]
The Homend - Pirate Ship
Photo - Chip Andrew BRYON Collection CAB3

[1953 Ox Roast The Parade]
The Parade Ground- Opposite the Train station
Photo - Chip Andrew BRYON Collection CAB4

[1953 Ox Roast The Parade]
The Parade Ground - The BRYON family Pam, Jeff and Mandy in her pram
Photo - Chip Andrew BRYON Collection CAB5

[1953 Dr Crock and his Crackpots]
Woolworths Staff - Dr Crock and his Crackpots
Cutting Ledbury Reporter Newspaper Friday June 12 1953

[1953 Coronation St Michaels Girls Club]
Ledbury St Michaels Girls Club - A Midsummer Nights Dream
Elaine MOSS, Wendy DANIELS, Jackie ASHWIN, Janet DAVIES ( Co-op in The Homend ), Joyce CALE ( disguised ), Margaret GOODWIN, Janet PEDLINGHAM
Cutting Ledbury Reporter Friday June 12 Newspaper 1953

[1953 D GITTINGS carrying Mrs Frequently Misfire]
D GITTINGS carrying Mrs Frequently Misfire, Mr Sprockett and Mr Walker in silk hat
Cutting Ledbury Reporter Newspaper Friday June 12 1953

[1953 The Parade The Homend
Photo Pugsy POWELL Collection PP5

[1953 The Happiest Days Of Our Lives- Ledbury Preserves Ltd]
The Happiest Days Of Our Lives- Ledbury Preserves Ltd
Cutting Ledbury Reporter Newspaper Friday June 12 1953

[1953 The Archers - Customers of the Brewery Inn]
The Archers - Customers of the Brewery Inn
Mr DREW as Jack Archer 1st left, Bunty JAMES with dog centre ( Daughter of landlady Ella )
Cutting Ledbury Reporter Newspaper Friday June 12 1953

[1953 Mr DREW as Jack Arthur]
Mr DREW as Jack Archer
Photo Janet BETTISON ( Drew ) Collection JD4

[1953 The Archers - Customers of the Brewery Inn]
The Archers - Customers of the Brewery Inn
'The Bull' One of Bertie STEPHEN's photo's
Photo Jean MATTHEWS ( Stephens ) Collection JM1

[1953 Fancy Dress Competition]
Childrens fancy dress walking down the Homend towards the town
Behind the man in the front is Brenda's mum holding her hand, you can just see Brenda's leg
On the pavement to the left can you see a tall man with trilby holding hands with a little boy dressed as cowboy. That is my Uncle Fred SANDFORD and my cousin James. James should have been in Parade but he wouldn't do it. Never mind I made use of it in 1954 and dressed as cowboy then I made front page of Ledbury Reporter.
Also on the photo is Mrs PALMER Pats mum with headscarf on Mrs GREY with Angela
Photo Brenda HILL ( Davis ) Collection BRH15

[1953 Fancy Dress Competition]
Brenda HILL ( Davis ) and her big sister Marion. Brenda came third in the under 5's class and won 3/- ( 15p )
Photo Brenda HILL ( Davis ) Collection BRH6

[1953 Ox Roast The Parade]
Liz PAUL dressed for the Parade
Photo Elizabeth BRACE ( Paul ) Collection LB4

1977 Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II

On the -- June 1977, Ledbury celebrated the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II by holding street parties and ... on the recration ground

Street Parties

Long Acres

Held on the green at the top of Longacres for Longacres, Queensway, Margaret Road and Barnetts Avenue

Recreation Ground

1981 Charles and Diana's Wedding

Street Parties

Oatleys Crescent

Photographs are credited to the owners
Comments are from members of the Old Ledbury Facebook Group
Cuttings from Ledbury Reporter Newspapers