Coronation Pageant

Other names

  • Widnes Schools' Pageant
  • A Pageant of English History

Pageant type


On the front cover of the programme for this pageant, the event is simply called a 'Coronation Pageant'. On the facing page, it is called ' Widnes Schools Pageant', and the first sentence of the foreword describes it as a 'Pageant of English History'.

Jump to Summary


Place: Wade Deacon Grammar School (Widnes) (Widnes, Lancashire, England)

Year: 1953

Indoors/outdoors: Unknown

Number of performances: 4


15–21 May 1953

  • 15 and 19 May at 2.30 pm
  • 20 and 21 May at 7.00 pm.

Matinee performances were for schoolchildren.

Given the numbers taking part in this pageant, it is likely it took place out of doors in the grounds of the school. Although Widnes Grammar was a large school in the early 1950s (with separate accommodation for girls and boys), it is doubtful it would have had a stage large enough to accommodate this number of performers

Name of pageant master and other named staff

Names of executive committee or equivalent

Pageant Committee

  • Chairman: Frank Barton


Acknowledgements made in the pageant programme are signed by the 'committee chairman'.1 No other names of committee members have been recovered.

Names of script-writer(s) and other credited author(s)

  • Shakespeare, William


Names of composers

  • Parry, Hubert
  • Elgar, Edward
  • Warlock, Peter
  • Arne, Thomas
  • Purcell, Henry

See 'Musical production' for details.

Numbers of performers


The figure of 2200 is an estimate. Around 500 children sang in the choir. Approximately 1500 school pupils from infant to senior grades took acting parts; and around 120 members of youth organisations took part in the final scene.

Financial information

Object of any funds raised


Linked occasion

Coronation of Elizabeth II.

Audience information

  • Grandstand: Not Known
  • Grandstand capacity: n/a
  • Total audience: n/a


Information about audiences has not been recovered.

Prices of admission and seats: highest–lowest


Associated events


Pageant outline

Singing of a 'Round': 'Summer is a' coming in'

The choir performed this traditional folk song.

Scene I, Introduction: The Past Brought to Life

Recorded music of a 'Shepherds' Dance' was played. Children performing came from the following eight infant schools: Ditton St Michael's RC; Fairfield; Farmworth; Simms Cross; St Marie's RC; St Patrick's RC Warrington Road and Westbank. The programme provides the following description:

The First scene prepares the spectator for what is to follow. The magic of the occasion spreads over the English countryside, bringing the Past to life. As the little ones enter as grass and flowers, in simple dance, a procession of history comes stiffly on the upper stage—a succession of mere figures, dull and lifeless. But the magic is at work. The fairies wave their wands over flowers and grass: the figures of the Past come to life and move off until only the Romans remain.3

Scene II: The English and Christianity

Psalm 114 was performed as a processional chant. Students from Appleton RC, Ditton St, St Michael's RC and St Marie's RC took part in this episode. The pageant programme provides the following description:

Our survey of history begins with the reluctant departure of the Romans from Britain over fifteen hundred years ago. The Ancient Britons, fearful of the future, plead with them to stay—but in vain.

Their fears are justified, for marauding bands of Angles and Saxons soon come, and eventually the greater part of the country is overcome. The civilisation established by Rome gives way to Anglo-Saxon barbarism, from which we are rescued by the spread of Christianity. In this scene, Saint Augustine, sent by Pope Gregory, is shown working the conversion of King Ethelbert and his pious wife Bertha. As was the custom of the time, the conversion of the monarch involved the conversion of his subjects.

Scene III: The Coronation of William I

Pupils from two Church of England schools (Ditton and Halebank) performed in this episode. The pageant programme provides the following description:

With the settlement of the Anglo-Saxons England had not finished with invasion from overseas. Torn by the inroads of the Norsemen, she was subjected to one great and decisive invasion from their equally warlike relations, the Normans. William the Conqueror became king, and was crowned on Christmas Day of that remarkable year 1066. It was a bad day for the English, for they became servants where they had formerly ruled—but all the same in this scene, which shows his coronation, the Normans managed to "coax" a cheer out of them for their new king.

No details of any musical accompaniment are given.

Scene IV: The Spirit of the Middle Ages

Two schools were involved with this episode; these were Central Modern School and Simms Cross School. Music played was traditional and included the round 'Summer is a-coming in', and the hymn a 'Coventry Carol' which accompanies the performance of the nativity. The description provided in the pageant programme is as follows:

William brought order to the country by means of his Feudal System, which left its mark so unmistakeably on the Middle Ages. For a long time there were no dramatic changes in the face of England, though sometimes war and rebellion rent the land. The period is full of romance for us to-day, though times were undoubtedly hard for the ordinary man.

In this scene some of the more colourful features, drawn from the long period of the Middle Ages, are depicted as passing before the eyes of a company of nobles assembled on the upper stage. A band of Crusaders marches in, followed by an excited and curious crowd. Then comes the ancestor of the Modern Theatre—a cart (or ‘Pageant’ as it was then called) used as a moving stage on which Miracle Plays were performed. This time it is the Nativity Play, and the people throng round to enjoy the performance.

The ‘Pageant’ moves off, and gives place in popular interest to a Tournament, a rich man's sport which the children copy on their hobbyhorses. Then lastly, the hero of the Middle Ages, Robin Hood, with his band of merry men sung of in a hundred ballads, comes along—and, of course, the Sheriff too.

Scene V: Farnworth Fair

Students from Farnworth Church of England School performed in this episode. A recording of the folk tune 'Gathering Peascods' was played. Extracts from the description given in the pageant programme are as follows:

A typical feature of the Middle Ages was the Annual Fair, a time of merrymaking for old and young, which still survives in some places. For hundreds of years, right up to the last century, the Fair was a great event in the life of Farnworth Village, and so we now see Farnworth Church Street on one of the Fair Days in 1507. That year was notable for the foundation of the Grammar School, and so we imagine the business of the fair, with its stalls and entertainers, interrupted for a few moments while Bishop Smythe appears and establishes a Free school in the church. We take liberties with history here for the sake of convenience of representation... After this interlude the fair resumes, the arrival of the Performing Bear, to the delight of all, is heralded from the church tower...

Scene VI: The Elizabethan Age

Students from Fairfield Modern School and Simms Cross Girls' School acted in this episode. The choir performed several songs and recorded music was also used. Extracts from the description provided in the pageant programme are as follows:

Queen Elizabeth is now on the throne, surrounded by those fabulous figures whose names are too well-known to need mention. Amid her courtiers she knights her darling sea-dog, the venturesome but hardly tactful Drake. The Queen herself greatly loved dancing... we see her watching her subjects dance: first her courtiers in a stately Pavanne; then more lowly people around the traditional Maypole... Shakespeare appears, quietly, unobtrusively witnessing... We see him writing as he takes in the spectacle of the Elizabethan Age and even the great Queen herself is forgotten as his words are heard:- first from the Choir, his matchless description of his own land; and then, appropriately, over the microphone, his comparison of life to a pageant.

The scene thus concludes with singing of Parry's patriotic hymn England, the words of which are adapted from Shakespeare's Henry II (John of Gaunt's monologue from Act II, Scene I); this is followed by Prospero's speech from The Tempest (Act IV, Scene I).

Scene VII: The Stuarts

This scene involved children from Warrington Road School. It appears to have been performed over three seperate tableaux: the first of these is described in the programme as follows:

A group of Cavaliers, gay and carefree, pledge loyalty to Charles I in the song 'Here's a Health unto his Majesty'. That these are not idle words is quickly shown by the sudden need to defend themselves against the Roundheads. The upper stage is 'converted' into a castle for the occasion: but the seige cannot be withstood, and the Parliamentarians gain the upper hand. This is meant to symbolise the ultimate defeat and death of Charles, whom we see hustled off by his victorious foes.

The second tableau is accompanied by singing of a 'Puritan hymn' and described in the programme as follows

Public merrymaking was forbidden, and a change came over the whole country. Typical of this was the general removal of the village Maypole, a task here performed by Parliamentary troops.

The third part is accompanied by singing of a 'Restoration Song' and proceeds as follows:

The scene ends on a happier note. With the death of Cromwell the coast was clear for the return of the Monarchy. Charles II comes back from France, to the contentment of the average Englishman. But the Maypole remains down, and has done ever since. Something has gone from English life never to return.

Scene VIII: Greater Britain

Students from two schools took part in this scene; these were Wade Deacon Boys Grammar School and More-Fisher Secondary Modern. The pageant programme provides the following description of a series of tableaux beginning with background activity which is performed by children in the roles of sailors. They commence the scene and having assembled on the stage, dance to the tune of 'Rule! Britannia':

The triumph of Parliament in the Civil War marked the beginning of the era of Middle Class ascendancy. It paved the way for the Constitutional Monarchy that we celebrate to-day. From now on the Domestic History of England is a record of the steady growth of liberty and justice.

During the next two centuries, however, we witness the development of something equally important in the history of the world—the British Empire. This is again due to the restless and tireless energies of the Middle Classes. Adventurers and heroes no longer robbed the Spaniards' treasure-ships—they went trading all over the world, thus bringing to the home country wealth and influence that eclipsed the sunniest days of the Spanish Empire, and made the Roman Empire look provincial in comparison.

The Empire depended on British Naval Power, which grew throughout the eighteenth century. For that reason we have depicted sailors as providing the background for the whole of the ensuing scene... they dance a hornpipe, and line the back of the stage.

Further tableaux consist of the following:

Some of the great figures of our Empire-building days now appear... they advance from the left of the stage and join those they subdued, who ascend from the right. Thus Clive and his Officers come and confront a group of Indians, who make a token of submission. Then accompanied by two of his own men and two of the opposite group, Clive ascends to the upper stage... The same procedure is followed with General Wolfe and Captain Cook

Now the pattern changes. On the outcome of the Napoleonic wars rested the future of our Empire, and any account of our expansion would be incomplete without the great names of Nelson and Wellington. Bonaparte, supreme in Europe, takes his stand on the stage, together with his Officers. Nelson ascends and confronts them. The French Naval staff leave their chief, submit to Nelson, and accompany him aloft. The final defeat of Napoleon by Wellington is suggested the same way.

The last place is now occupied by some of those who opened up Africa to British influence-Livingstone, Gordon and Rhodes.

The scene is now set for the entry of the one person who epitomises the British Empire, Queen Victoria. Her son wheels her on in a bath chair, for it is the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee of 1897 and she is a very old lady... England's power and influence were perhaps never greater. The Empress surveys from her lofty seat the representatives of her dominions who come to do her homage... all join in singing ‘Land of Hope and Glory’.

This scene ends with Victoria being wheeled off followed by all of the others while the choir sings Kipling's 'Recessional' hymn.

Scene IX: Widnes Made a Borough

Students from Central Modern School, St Patrick's RC School, West Bank School and Widnes Church of England School performed in this scene. Extracts from the description given in the pageant programme are as follows:

Britian's imperial power and wealth depended primarily on the rapid growth of her industry. England led the world. Dirt and smoke and the toil of multitudes made her what she was. Pleasant countryside gave place to ugly factory towns... farm workers left the land and entered industry. Towns grew up where only a few cottages had been before. Such a town was Widnes... Children enter dressed to represent the river in its former wooded beauty. They perform a river dance, as country folk saunter along the banks... Widnes becomes a hive of industry, drawing workers from near and far. The time comes in 1891, when it is so far advanced in prosperity as to be made a borough. This is symbolised by the representation of the building-up of the Borough Coat of Arms.

The dance performed was accompanied by 'River Music'.

Scene X: The Present

In this, representatives of the schools and of youth organisations enter in groups and each is engaged in 'typical outdoor activities'. The pageant programme states that they 'are here to pledge the future. They join with their Young Queen in self-dedication'. A flag is raised and the national anthem is sung.

Key historical figures mentioned

  • Augustine [St Augustine] (d. 604) missionary and archbishop of Canterbury
  • Æthelberht I (d. 616?) king of Kent
  • Bertha (b. c.565, d. in or after 601) queen in Kent, consort of Æthelberht
  • William I [known as William the Conqueror] (1027/8–1087) king of England and duke of Normandy
  • Hood, Robin (supp. fl. late 12th–13th cent.) legendary outlaw hero
  • Smith [Smyth], William (d. 1514) bishop of Lincoln and a founder of Brasenose College, Oxford
  • Elizabeth I (1533–1603) queen of England and Ireland
  • Drake, Sir Francis (1540–1596) pirate, sea captain, and explorer
  • Shakespeare, William (1564–1616) playwright and poet
  • Charles I (1600–1649) king of England, Scotland, and Ireland
  • Charles II (1630–1685) king of England, Scotland, and Ireland
  • Clive, Robert, first Baron Clive of Plassey (1725–1774) army officer in the East India Company and administrator in India [also known as Clive of India]
  • Wolfe, James (1727–1759) army officer
  • Cook, James (1728–1779) explorer
  • Nelson, Horatio, Viscount Nelson (1758–1805) naval officer
  • Wellesley [formerly Wesley], Arthur, first duke of Wellington (1769–1852) army officer and prime minister
  • Napoléon Bonaparte (1769-1821) French military and political leader
  • Livingstone, David (1813–1873) explorer and missionary
  • Gordon, Charles George (1833–1885) army officer
  • Rhodes, Cecil John (1853–1902) imperialist, colonial politician, and mining entrepreneur
  • Victoria (1819–1901) queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and empress of India
  • Edward VII (1841–1910) king of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and the British dominions beyond the seas, and emperor of India

Musical production

A choir performed live; some musical accompaniment was recorded.

The pageant opened with singing of a traditional round entitled 'Summer is a' coming in' and this song was performed again in Episode IV.

  • Recorded music of a 'Shepherds' Dance' (Scene I)
  • Processional chant: Psalm 114 (Scene II)
  • Traditional song: 'Summer is a-coming in' (Scene IV)
  • Hymn: 'Coventry Carol' (Scene IV)
  • Traditional tune: 'Gathering Peascods' (Scene V)
  • Traditional song: 'Greensleeves' (Scene VI)
  • Traditional song: 'It Was a Lover and His Lass' (Scene VI)
  • Song: 'England [Composer, Hubert Parry] (Scene VI)
  • Recorded but unspecified music for a maypole dance (Scene VI)
  • Recorded music of a Morris dance 'Blue-eyed Stranger' (Scene VI)
  • Recorded music of a pavanne 'Capriol Suite' [composer, Peter Warlock] (Scene VI)
  • Cavalier song: 'Here's a Health' (Scene VII)
  • Puritan hymn: 'He Who Would Valiant Be' (Scene VII)
  • Restoration song: 'Nymphs and Shepherds' (Scene VII)
  • Sailors' Song: 'Rule Britannia' [sic] [words by James Thomson, music by Thomas Arne] (Scene VIII)
  • Song: 'Land of Hope and Glory' [words by A.C. Benson, music by Edward Elgar] (Scene VIII)
  • Hymn: 'Recessional' [words by Rudyard Kipling] (Scene VIII)
  • Recorded music 'River Music' (Scene IX)
  • Recorded music and song: 'Britons Sing' [attributed in the programme to Henry Purcell] (Scene X)
  • The National Anthem (conclusion of Scene X)

Newspaper coverage of pageant

Book of words


A book of words was not produced.

Other primary published materials

  • Coronation Pageant Programme, 1953. No publication details.

References in secondary literature


Archival holdings connected to pageant

  • Cheshire Record Office and Archives holds 1 copy of the pageant programme, ref: 209881

Sources used in preparation of pageant

  • In Scene VI, Prospero's speech from William Shakespeare's The Tempest (Act IV, Scene I) forms part of the script of the pageant

This famous speech consists of the following lines:

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits, and Are melted into air, into thin air; And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve; And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep. (IV.i.148–158)


Press coverage for this pageant has not been consulted; but it seems likely that it was an event that only attracted attention in the immediate locality. Given the number of celebrations, including pageants, which accompanied the Queen's coronation in 1953, and took place all across the UK, it is understandable that it received no wider press acknowledgement. Even so, it was quite a big performance for a town of Widnes' size; in the early 1950s this settlement had a population of around 49,000.4 Like many post-war pageants, the focus was placed on youth, who were deemed the 'gateway to the future'.5 In this way, the past provided a means to inculcate patriotism in young performers and historical spectacle was a clear means of providing education as well as community involvement.

The pageant was presented as a series of tableaux with voiceover commentary rather than any dialogue, while music was employed to enhance the stories being told. In addition to the playing of recorded music, a 500-strong choir delivered atmospheric and patriotic musical accompaniment. It is certain that amplification was involved as the use of microphones is mentioned. Schoolteachers probably undertook the bulk of the work done to organize this pageant, though the programme gives little recognition of this beyond brief acknowledgements to 'parents, teachers, scholars, friends, advertisers and those firms who have so generously lent equipment'.6

Ten scenes took the history of England from Roman times through to the present day. In these, the intention was to provide episodes that were 'representative of the much larger picture of our national life'. But the organizers were also keen to highlight the interplay of local and national historical events, stating that these scenes served 'to identify this particular spot with the whole of England, whose tide of history seems for the most part to have rolled around us rather than to have washed over us'.7 In this manner, the Widnes Schools' pageant presents something of a classic of the genre. It is both intensely nationalistic in tone but provincially focused just the same.

Each scene included a composite of tableaux. In these, the stories that unfolded were chronological and connected to one another only in so far as they told a tale of unstoppable progress. Moreover, by the end, it is made clear that such progress would not be halted in the future – this was England as inexorably ascendant. Also in line with its classical approach to pageantry is the inclusion of Christianity as a guiding force in making Britain great. It is significant that, in this pageant, the nomenclature of England and Britain may well be used in an interchangeable fashion. Scene II is called 'The English and Christianity', and in this, following the departure of the Romans, the English are rescued from the path towards barbarity by the arrival of Christian mission, seen here in the person of St Augustine. From here, the chronological absorption of invaders and their effects on improving national vigour is explored. In Scene III, the Normans are centre stage and William the Conqueror is depicted as an unwelcome usurper; nevertheless, he gets a grudging cheer from the British onlookers at his coronation. This narrative tactic had a meaning, which was that the British were no fools and knew when to roll over and accept that though they had been beaten, this development was all in the name of progress. Such a message, coming so soon after World War Two, when Britain had emerged battered but victorious, served to underline the bigger truth that the pageant wished to convey, which was that no matter what had happened in the past, given time, Britannia still stole the march on any foreign antagonist.

The Middle Ages are swept through in Scenes IV and V without reference to a monarch. However, a point of interest in Scene IV is the inclusion of one of pageantry's forebears in the shape of a mystery play which is directly referred to as an 'ancestor of our Modern Theatre'.8 Scene V, similarly, depicts a late medieval fair in the district of Farnworth (this area was the site of a 12th century church and developed to be a part of Widnes) and includes a 'mummers' play' and all the 'simple merriment' regularly depicted in pageantry's largely nostalgic take on the Middle Ages.9 Of note however, is the remark made in the pageant programme that we should not allow ourselves to be too swept away on a tide of wistfulness, for in these times life 'was hard for the ordinary man'.10 The return of a monarchical figure comes in scene VI when, predictably, Elizabeth and her court make an appearance, but the stage is not solely given over to her; for most of the drama once again centres on the common people who entertain with displays of folk traditions popularly associated with the Elizabethan fair. As an educational initiative, Shakespeare too was an inevitable part of this scene. Once again the pageant trope is subject to further narrative playfulness for the piece used is Prospero's speech from The Tempest, which describes life as an 'insubstantial pageant'.

In Scene VII, the Maypole is taken down 'never to return' signalling the austere age wrought by the civil wars. This idea being presented during the course of the scene was that, from the time of Cromwell, there was a gradual development towards the system of constitutional monarchy. The notion that Britain was saved by the return of the monarchy, which ends the scene—when Charles II returns from exile—is part of the narrative of this pageant, which, after all, was held in celebration of the latest coronation of a British ruler. This running theme of hope being invested in the person of the monarch was, of course, part of the zeitgeist of the time but the pageant aimed to show it had a long history.

The ascendancy of 'liberty and justice' is more fully developed in scene VIII wherein British values are depicted as fuelling the spread of a benign empire. This scene is quite an astounding exhibition of confidence in the future of 'Greater Britain'. The enormousness of the British Empire, which is described as making that of the Romans 'look provincial', is displayed through a parade of imperial leaders—from the martial to the missionary—with players in the guise of those they 'subdued' separated and led off to a different part of the stage.11 It makes for somewhat uncomfortable reading: for on the page at least, there is no hint given in the programme description that the British Empire was approaching its nadir, let alone any indication that such subjugation might be a cause for apology. Nonetheless, this may be a case, where the enactment itself held a symbolic message that indicated a slightly more sensitive interpretation of the past. As is often the case in pageants, the written record provides only partial clues to the narrative intentions of the piece: for more in depth understanding we have to look to the performance itself. In this, Queen Victoria embodies the empire at its most mature. At the end of the scene, she is shown frail, aging, and consigned to a bath chair that is wheeled onto centre-stage by her son, the future Edward VII. The significance here would seem to be that she was the final embodiment of this great empire, the legacy of which would persist into the next age, but whose glory days were soon to be gone. Scene VIII was undoubtedly the most extravagant episode in the pageant, and the one which was most laden with allegory in terms of the effects of the past on the future.

In many pageants in the north, nineteenth century industrialisation formed part of many pageants. This is unsurprising, as it was in this part of England that this historical development was felt most profoundly. The penultimate episode, deals with this transformation, splitting the drama into two. The first part is a bucolic celebration of the landscape in pre-industrial times in which young children represent the river and wooded glades of the district; however, what came after was treated rather more ambivalently. The reason for this is obvious in the case of Widnes: for during the nineteenth century it had obtained the reputation of being one of the filthiest places to live in England due to its chemical industries. One author in 1907 thought it would be difficult to conceive of a town 'more lacking in attractive natural features' and among other assaults on its desirability described Widnes as a place where 'choking fumes assail the nose' and 'trees and other green things refuse to grow'.12 The granting of borough status that was made in 1891 was therefore used to represent the 'hive of industry' and 'prosperity' that grew up over the course of the Victorian era while sidestepping any graphic depiction of the horror of real life for most of Widnes' residents.13

Scene X brings the story of the town and of the nation full circle. Rather than having a simple march past of all the performers, as was often the case in such pageants, representatives from the schools taking part and from a variety of youth groups presented tableaux of healthy outdoor activities. It seems likely that this was done in a choreographed fashion. The programme is unclear, but thereafter, the individual groups are described as merging together for they 'have heard the call of duty' and 'join with their Young Queen in self-dedication'.14 The young people assembled around a flagpole and as 'the flag' (not specified but presumably either the Union Jack or the flag of St George) was raised, during which they sang the national anthem.

This was a set-piece pageant in many ways, and typical of the genre in the urban north: Widnes had little documented history to speak of prior to the arrival of industry in the nineteenth century, but it managed to make national events locally relevant, and local events nationally relevant. Still, it is a curious example of pageantry. Despite its flag-flying patriotism and grandiose evocation of empire, absolutely no mention is made, in descriptions of the scenes, of the other nations within the United Kingdom, though people who originated from these must have been highly visible in Widnes. Indeed, the large presence of Roman Catholic schools whose pupils were fully involved with the pageant, suggests this.

This marginalisation of other UK nations is quite unusual. Even if, as was often the case, other parts of the country were only represented by marauding Scots, generally the composite nature of Britain was acknowledged somehow in pageants held in the north of England. Similarly, in Cheshire pageants especially, the historical relationship of this part of England with Wales generally found a place in the drama. Indeed, the description for Scene IX makes clear that Widnes had expanded directly through immigration, with workers coming 'from far and near'.15 Mostly these workers came from other parts of the British Isles, notably Wales and Ireland; some also emigrated from the continent and found themselves employed in Widnes. In the programme for the 'Pageant of English History', the final remark made is in respect of the upcoming coronation. Here it states that the new queen is the continuing embodiment of 'our history and our tradition' [italics added].16 Such use of language may of course be simply a classic example of 'England' being made to represent all of the United Kingdom, a habit which greatly irritated many people in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and indeed was set to become a political issue for some in this period. Yet it is not feasible to overlook the possibility that this pageant with its strident English patriotism may have been something of a reaction to a fragmented local identity. Speculatively, a brand of English nationalism rather than British nationalism may have seemed necessary in order to bring this particular community together through pageantry.


  1. ^ 'Acknowledgements', Coronation Pageant Programme, 1953, np.
  2. ^ Names of all who participated are listed in Coronation Pageant Programme, 1953.
  3. ^ All information in the episodes' synopses comes from Coronation Pageant Programme, 1953.
  4. ^ For population statistics for Widnes see A Vision of Britain Through Time, website consulted 21 September 2016 at:
  5. ^ 'Foreword', Coronation Pageant Programme, 1953.
  6. ^ 'Acknowledgements', ibid.
  7. ^ 'Foreword', ibid.
  8. ^ 'Scene IV', ibid.
  9. ^ 'Scene V', ibid.
  10. ^ 'Scene IV', ibid.
  11. ^ 'Scene VIII', ibid.; all of the other episodes carry a brief description on a single page of the programme, but scene VIII's description runs to two full pages of text.
  12. ^ 'Townships: Widnes', in William Farrer and J Brownbill, eds., A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, (London, 1907), 386-92.
  13. ^ 'Scene IX', Coronation Pageant Programme, 1953.
  14. ^ 'Scene X', ibid.
  15. ^ 'Scene IX', ibid.
  16. ^ 'Scene X', ibid.

How to cite this entry

Angela Bartie, Linda Fleming, Mark Freeman, Tom Hulme, Alex Hutton, Paul Readman, ‘Coronation Pageant’, The Redress of the Past,