Elizabeth’s first visit as Queen – and Brian had to work

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There was something rather special about the Queen’s visit to Crawley in 1958.

She had visited the new town before, as Princess Elizabeth, but this was her first visit since her Coronation.

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The streets were packed with new towners and old, all keen to show off how Crawley had developed.

All except Brian Mitchell.

Poor old Brian, a member of TS Cossack, had not long started life as a working man and was unable to get time 
off to welcome the Royal visitor.

Brian, now 73 and the longest serving member of TS Cossack, provided this map of the Queen’s route through town as well as the picture of the cadets.

Picture: Jenny Ramsay SUS-150925-095138001

Picture: Jenny Ramsay SUS-150925-095138001

Among the team who met the Queen were officers SidWotton and Flo Moon and cadets Jenny Judd, Lesley Wrigley, Julie Leemy and Nora Hart.

During her visit, the Queen was taken to the newly opened Crawley College where she me students in the welding shop.

She then strolled along Queensway into Queens Square where she inspected a Guard of Honour from the men of Q Battery 257 (County of Sussex) Field Regiment RA (TA) before planting a tree to commemorate the official opening of the square.

Than it was on to the Broad Walk where she met a group of shopkeepers and shop assistants, including Miss Jackson from Boots, Mrs Cross from Tilgate Pharmacy and Mr Perkins of HG Kingham & Co.

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After lunch at The George, she was taken through West Green and Ifield to see some of the new houses and then on to Langley Green to meet volunteers from the social, sports and youth sectors.

Northgate was next, with a visit to the Territorial Army Centre, in Kilnmead.

Do you remember the Queen’s visit in 1958?

Were you one of the people who was presented to her?

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Queen Elizabeth II, Queens Square, Crawley. The Queen and Prince Phillip with local dignitaries admire the new fountain at the opening of Queens Square 09/06/1958. The premises in view are Manfield and Fogdens and people are hanging out of the windows above the shops to catch a glimpse of Royalty. Original image donated by Ken Bourne. Roger Bastable Project.  'ImageDate 09/06/1958 ENGSNL00120110405144015

Queen Elizabeth II, Queens Square, Crawley. The Queen and Prince Phillip with local dignitaries admire the new fountain at the opening of Queens Square 09/06/1958. The premises in view are Manfield and Fogdens and people are hanging out of the windows above the shops to catch a glimpse of Royalty. Original image donated by Ken Bourne. Roger Bastable Project. 'ImageDate 09/06/1958 ENGSNL00120110405144015

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