Sunday, 2 June 2013

Coronation Knits

Today is the 60th anniversary of the Queen's Coronation.  In 1953, several spinners issued Coronation pattern leaflets to mark the occasion - I have been collecting them, as I have been sorting the pattern leaflets at Lee Mills. 

Copley 1953

My favourite is Copley's leaflet number 1953. It has an appropriately royal theme - a white jumper with an all-over design of small red and blue crowns.   And it even has the right number!   As far as I can tell, it wasn't issued out of sequence - it just happened that leaflet 1953 was due to be issued during 1953.  Copley's must have been delighted, and reserved 1953 for a Coronation pattern. 

 Sirdar issued several leaflets in its Coronation Series, though they mostly don't seem to have been designed with a Coronation theme.  

Sirdar 1441

Sirdar 515

They are typical 1950s designs, including the little girl's outfit of a knitted skirt with pleats and knitted braces - I had one like it in dark brown.  

Just one pattern in the Sirdar series had a Coronation theme - a jumper with a design of crowns and Tudor roses (?) around a square neckline. But I have only seen the pattern advertised - we don't have it in the collection at Lee Mills.  It was disappointing when we got to sorting that batch of leaflets to find that that one was missing. 

  
Ad for Sirdar 1440
   
Marriner 186
Marriner's issued about five Coronation leaflets.  The one I have shown has a gold label on the front saying that it is one of Marriner's Coronation Series, but others that I have seen don't have the label. There is a child's cardigan in the series, illustrated on the back of one of the other leaflets, with a design of soldiers in dress uniform and the Coronation coach, but otherwise it is not obvious that the designs in the series have anything to do with the Coronation, especially without the label on the front.    

I imagine women knitting these designs to wear on June 2nd - at a street party, or while watching the Coronation on the tiny black-and-white TV screens of 1953.    I know that I went with my mother to watch it on a neighbour's TV,  though I don't remember much about it - I mainly remember that my sister, who was younger than me, was left outside to sleep in her pram in the rain.   My husband remembers going to the Coronation rehearsal in London and having a new coat.  (It rained on the rehearsal day, too.)  He was not yet 4 at the time, so it is one of his earliest memories.    A long time ago.       

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