Queen Elizabeth II visiting the New Town in April 1959

By Simon Mortimer

Queen Elizabeth II visiting the New Town in April 1959
Stevenage Museum P3249

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This page was added on 07/01/2011.

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  • I remember the Queen in her car very slowly passing our house, we were all waving flags my mum was so excited, we lived on Brooke Drive, I also went to Longmeadow, Jill Booth née Turnbull

    By Jill Booth (14/09/2022)
  • I, too, was at Longmeadow School when the Queen visited in 1959.

    I had come to Stevenage in 1953, or thereabouts, when the Admiralty sent my father to work at Hawker Siddley on the design of the Blue Streak and Blue Water rockets before moving to English Electric to work on the English Electric Lightening.

    I had started school at Longmeadow in 1956, when I was five and, when the Queen came to Longmeadow, we were living in Vallansgate. I remember the Queen noticing my Mother near the entrance to the school and saying “Oh, hello Pamela, good to see you.”. It was this that prompted me to ask Mum, who told me that she and the Queen had got to know each other as children, when the young princess used to visit with her parents friends of theirs near my maternal grandfather’s place in Hampshire.

    That friendliness is something Her Majesty and other members of the Royal Family have demonstrated often throughout her reign.

    By Robert Atkins (30/01/2021)
  • Hi,
    I’m doing research about my great Uncle Wilf and his brother in law (Charles) Tony Murray during the period they ran the [Pied Piper? Ed.] pub. It’s a vague period in our family history and would appreciate any memories that can be shared. Information on Tony would be very useful to grow that part of my family tree. Many thanks

    By Steve (01/11/2020)
  • I remember being at Longmeadow school and going to see the queen. She wore a yellow outfit with a leopard print collar. We were given a flag to wave. My mum was upset that she was at work At English Electric and didnt see the queen.

    Comment added on behalf of Linda Reeve

    By Marion Hill (25/06/2020)
  • I was five at the time and I lined the street with the other children, waving my flag as the Queen’s car drove by. Most likely it was close to where we lived then (130 Marymead Drive, just over the road from Shephalbury Park). I remember being a little puzzled and disappointed after all the build-up — it seemed a lot of fuss to see a big black car drive by.

    Reading the comments made by other readers brings back a flood of early childhood memories. I went to Roebuck School at the time and no doubt some of your other contributors did too.

    By Andrew Spence (05/04/2020)
  • Well look at that! I finally found the photo that I remember seeing in the paper the day after I saw the Queen go by. That is me, the boy in the white shirt with only a stick for a flag. I had run all the way from Rudd Close to see the Queen and was a little disappointed that she was not wearing her crown! What a tremendous occasion it was for a 9 year old.

    By Frederick Thompson (now Stokes-Thompson) (09/02/2019)
  • I remember the Queen’s visit when she went to the English Electric Bragbury End site. I was about 7 and she walked right up to me, as I was waiving my Union Flag, and stopped to say something. What she said I do not know but the clip appeared on the BBC news that evening, and next day at Fairlands Junior School I was almost a celebrity! My five minutes of fame!

    By Alan Cherry (24/01/2019)
  • Remember this well. My mum and I saw her at the Roebuck. Then ran up the lane next to the park and saw her again at Longmeadow Pub, called The Pied Piper, which was ran by an ex England Footballer named Wilfe Manion. At weekends I would stay there with his son, also called Wilfe. In the evening we would go in the Dumb Waiter and crawl into the off licence and Nick some chocolates. On Saturday we had do the shopping for Mrs Manion and I always remember that she hated if she got a tin that was dented. She would make you go back and change it. Also remember the Newsagent ran by Mr & Mrs Nash. Hanged out with their son Brian Nash. What happy days they were.

    By Dave Allen (03/07/2018)
  • Like so many others I saw the Queen at Longmeadow shops, I believe she visited The Pied Piper public house.

    By Martin B (08/09/2017)
  • i was there the first time the queen came down.we were all lined up on the pathway from Oaks Cross shops and a little turning called Lismore which led to Sleaps Hyde.i went to longmeadow  school at the time,can any body remember that day.i often wonder who’s alive now,happy days.

    By terry hutt (02/05/2015)
  • I lived on Sleaps Hyde at the time (I was 8). My mum dressed my younger sister and me up in our best dresses and made us stand on the corner of Sleaps Hyde and Mandeville where there were less people. The Queen car was big and black and she waved to us. We were ecstatic!

    By Janet Johnston (Thomson) (09/08/2012)
  • Theres a picture somewhere of my sister and I standing by the clock in the new town as the queen passed.Dressed in mustard with what looked like leopard fur round the collar.

    By kathleen Bristow(my maiden name) (07/08/2012)
  • I always thought this was a false memory! I would have been about 4 and can recollect standing on a street corner and only seeing a big black car drive by! My Dad also worked at English Electric. Stanley Charles Saunders.

    By Terri Anderson (19/06/2012)
  • I remember the Queen naming Queensway, my brother & i stood for ages waiting for her to come to unveil the plaque on the clocktower. I stood near the tree near the clock.There was a false alarm, then as the signal for her approach was the unfurling of the royal standard on top of the tower. But it opend before she arrived so it was hastily taken down & refolded.

    By Jim O' Sullivan (19/04/2012)
  • I remember this day very well, I was chosen to represent Bedwell Junior School at the Bedwell Community Centre. I remember being very nervous, we were told if she spoke to us we must address her as “Ma’am”. I represented the boys and a girl called Brenda Smith (who had ginger hair) represented the girls.

    By Ivan Whitmore (03/04/2012)
  • I remember her coming to visit my Dad’s place of work – English Electric. I don’t think I actually saw the Queen, as I was far to interested in the lunch boxes we’d all been given !! Real ‘shop’ cakes and not home made one’s like my Mum made :~)

    By janet Cockshull (27/08/2011)
  • I was born the day before this visit and was named after the prince, the cavalcade went up Silam Road and my auntie Kit held me out of the window to show the Queen.

    By P (14/08/2011)
  • I was brought up in Stevenage and lived there from 1951(the “Pioneers”) till 1974. I was 7 when the Queen visited. I also managed to see her twice:first at the opening of the town centre and -after an almighty dash-at Bedwell Community centre,where she smiled at me.I too saw Harold as he was generally known !

    By Iain Moncrieff (01/06/2011)
  • I also got a glimpse of the queen that day as she travelled round the town in a “big” car, then later with my mother saw her again opening the town centre and naming Queensway I guess. Likewise I was there at Stevenage day on the towns 21st year as a new town when Harold Wilson opened the proceedings. My memories of that day was him talking to my farther Jack Airey at our scouts (5th Stevenage) stall, a wet sponge throwing event at a “volunteer”; although they knowing he would be there put up a poster of Ted Heath! And the Prime Minister throws the wet sponge in that direction!

    By John Airey (26/02/2011)
  • I saw the queen on the day she came down our street.I was near the front of the crowd that were all amazed to see the queen not only in our town,but also right near our family house.We were all really proud.I was five years old.I am really amazed to see the picture of the queen walking down our street in the paper again,I am really happy and proud of the picture because I was there that day,and inafect made history for being that stevenage was the very first new town.I was in one of the local papers in the 1970s going on a walk with loads of other people and leading was M.P.Shirley Williams.Another important person I met was prime minister at the time was Harold Wilson,he was doing a speach at King Georges playing fields.That must have been in the 1960s.I have lived in Stevenage since I was two years old,my mother and father moved from london.When we first moved to stevenage there was not many houses about or many shops,I have stevenage grow from a little acorn as it were to a huge oak.I used to walk all through the countryside to aston when I was child to go for picnics and explore we had lots of fun. The fields that I used to walk near and loved as a child has all been built on,and now a place I live.I loved where I explored then,and love it even more now.Home away from home.Now if I want to take our little dogs for a walk to Dane end or Aston instead of having to walk miles just to go to the counrtyside,all I have to do is walk down to Dane End bridge then we are in the countryside.

    By John Lingley (08/02/2011)