Celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee 2012 - 1952-1962
29th May 2012
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Celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee 2012


With just a few days left to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend celebrations we thought that it would be fun to bring you some interesting facts from the six decades spanning from her accession in 1952 to her Diamond Jubilee milestone this June 2012. The six decades of the Queen’s reign have seen incredible changes in the way we live, work and communicate – we found it fascinating as we looked back – we hope you do too!  


Let’s start with the years 1952-1962


At the start of this first decade of the Queen’s reign, the world was still recovering from World War 2; by its end, the Cold War was reaching its height. 


Food rationing was finally abolished, and hire-purchase restrictions loosened, leading to a boom in sales of food, radios, televisions and refrigerators. 


Some iconic cars made their first appearance – the Mini and the Ford Cortina.


We also saw Britain's first supermarket, commercial TV channel (and adverts!), passenger jet and motorway. 


Decolonisation in Africa, Asia and the West Indies began, and many immigrants arrived from the West Indies to bolster Britain’s workforce.  Meanwhile the ‘ten pound poms’ scheme encouraged many British people to try their luck in emigrating to Australia


The term ‘teenager’ began to be used for the first time and music was transformed by the arrival of rock 'n' roll and Elvis from the US.


As the decade drew to its close, the birth control pill appeared for the first time, signalling big changes for women to come. 


.Year By Year 1952-1962



- Princess Elizabeth became Queen following the death of her father, King George VI, on Feb 6th

- The De Havilland Comet becomes the world’s first jet airliner

- Sooty first appears on BBC TV



- The Queen's Coronation takes place on June 2nd, prompting many people to acquire a TV for the first time

- The North Sea Flood kills hundreds of people on the east coast

- Tommy Taylor, a 21-year-old centre forward, becomes Britain’s most expensive footballer in a £29,999 transfer from Barnsley to Man Utd. 



- Roger Bannister becomes the first person to break the 4-minute mile

- JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings is first published

- Fourteen years of rationing comes to an end



- Ruth Ellis becomes the last woman to be hanged in the UK

- ITV begins broadcasting – the first advert is for Gibbs SR toothpaste



- The TAT-1 transatlantic telephone cable between the UK and North America is inaugurated

- The Suez crisis occurs when British & French forces seize control

- Tesco opens its first self service stores in St Albans & Maldon



- The first Premium Bond winners are selected by the computer ERNIE

- The Treaty of Rome establishes the European Common Market – precursor of the EU

- An 83kg satellite named Sputnik is launched by the Soviet Union, heralding the start of the ‘space race’



- The first plastic Coke bottle appears

- Manchester United’s promising young team were devastated by the Munich Air Disaster

- Cliff Richard’s first single, Move It, is released, reaching number 2 in the charts



- Postcodes are introduced into the UK

- The first Mini goest on sale

- The first section of the M1 is opened between Watford and Rugby



- Another son for the Queen & Prince Philip - Andrew, Duke of York was born, a whole decade after their last child, Princess Anne. 

- Bill Griggs of Northampton first markets the Dr Marten’s AirWair style boots 

- The first episode of Coronation Street is aired on ITV, featuring Ken Barlow as one of the characters

- National Service ends on December 31st, as the last conscript is called up



- The Beatles performed at the Cavern Club in Liverpool for the first time

- Spurs become the first team in the 20th century to win the League & FA Cup ‘double’

- Birth control pills become available on the NHS



- Dr No, the first James Bond film, is released, with 32-year-old Sean Connery in the lead role

- Ford launches the Cortina, costing £573

- Golden Wonder introduce flavoured crisps to the UK market – Cheese & Onion



Recipe of the Decade

Coronation Chicken

Invented by Constance Spry and served at the Queen’s coronation lunch in 1953

21/2 kg chicken, skinned and off the bone

For the sauce

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 tbsp curry paste

1 tbsp tomato puree

100ml red wine

1 bay leaf

1 small lemon, juiced

2 apricots, halved, pureed in blender

300ml mayonnaise

100ml whipping cream



Cut the chicken into small pieces and grill it until cooked.


Heat the oil in a small saucepan and sauté the onion for about three minutes, until softened. Add the curry paste, tomato puree, wine, bay leaf and lemon juice. Simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes until well reduced. Stir occasionally. Strain and leave to cool.


Combine the puréed apricots with the mayonnaise and the cooled sauce. Whip the cream to stiff peaks and fold into the mixture.


1950’s Cocktail

Many new cocktails were introduced and consumed during this decade!


The Classic Champagne Cocktail

 Just drop a sugar cube into a champagne flute, add 2-3 dashes of Angostura Bitters, and fill the flute with champagne!


Look out for the next instalment about the decade 1963-1972! 

About the Author

Carol M

Member since: 10th July 2012

Shy retiring (!) red-head, working hard to showcase everything great about our town and villages. Loves her son, her man & Bruce Springsteen (but not always in that order!)

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