Echoes of the past: Town celebrates coronation

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On Friday, May 6 1910 King Edward VII died and the new monarch was King George V.

He wrote in his diary, “...I have lost my best friend and the best of fathers ... I never had a cross word with him in my life.

“I am heart-broken and overwhelmed with grief but God will help me in my responsibilities and darling May will be my comfort as she has always been. May God give me strength and guidance in the heavy task which has fallen on me...”

As soon as the passing of the King was announced in Brighouse flags were raised to half-mast on all public buildings, and all the main public events of the day were postponed.

All places of amusements closed their doors as a mark of respect for the late King.

On the following Tuesday (May 10) the ceremony of proclamation announcing the new King to the throne was observed in Brighouse town centre. It was 1pm in the afternoon when a large gathering assembled in the Borough Market.

From a hurriedly erected platform the Mayor (Alderman Robert Thornton JP) read the royal proclamation.

On the day of the King’s funeral, ( 20th May) numerous church services were held in and around Brighouse.

Factories and workshops were silent on that day.

Many shops were closed, clubs and public houses all paid tribute to the King.

Following the King’s funeral life in Brighouse carried on, everyone was waiting for the coronation of the new King George V and his Queen Mary.

The big day of celebration was on June 22 1911 with many local communities in and around Brighouse holding their own celebration events. There was a civic procession to St Martin’s Church.

On the same day new choir screens bearing a brass plaque with the following inscription - ‘To the honour and glory of God, and in memory of Sam Wood, who died May 7 1887 and Elizabeth Wood who died August 4 1908’.

These two screen were presented to the church by their sons and daughters on the day of the coronation of their Majesties King George V and Queen Mary, on June 22 1911.

Up at the recreation ground in Halifax Road was a large firework display and a huge bonfire.

There was an ox roasting in Rastrick and similar commemorations at Elland, Hipperholme, Clifton and many other places.This week’s featured photograph show the bonfire at the recreation ground being guarded by the men who stacked it and will be looking forward to lighting as soon darkness falls.