Podcast brings East Midlanders’ memories of last century’s coronations to life

East Midlanders talking about their experiences of last century’s royal coronations feature in a new podcast from the University of Leicester.

Spoken accounts of the crowning of King George V, in 1911, and Queen Elizabeth II, in 1953, form part of the treasure trove of clips held in the East Midlands Oral History Archive, which is based at the University.

The Coronation Memories Podcast features interviews with Sileby resident, Madeline Sleath, and Edith Bancroft, who was living in Shropshire at the time of King George V’s coronation. Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, meanwhile, was the catalyst for many Brits to buy a television to watch the ceremony on, as Olive Freestone from Leicester explains.

“Through the first half of the 20th century most people remember parades and parties, but in 1953 the memories are usually of early television and amazement that such events could be seen in living rooms across the country,” said podcast presenter, Colin Hyde, who is Project Manager for Sounds for the Future.

“Our archive holds many memories of events connected with royalty and we are delighted to be able to share some of them through the podcast.”

The clips from the podcast are included in the Sounds For The Future project, which is funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund. The project aims to preserve the archive’s future, by digitising its content and bringing its cataloguing up to date.