I am looking back at Coronation Year 1953 but although I still have a mug to commemorate the event my personal memories are very vague. Villagers celebrated the very special occasion with a floral display and dancing in the Square while special services were held in the churches and there was a programme of sports for children between the showers. All those under 5 and over 65 were entertained to tea and later at night a huge bonfire was lit.
A joint Coronation concert and pageant was put on by the Secondary Modern and Primary schools in the village. There were items by the School orchestra under Mr. W. Jackman, the well known conductor of the Bath Choral and Orchestral Society and a display of sword dancing. A pageant of 3 Queens was produced by Mr. Wynn Davies, the Director of Music at the Secondary School and amongst those taking part in the day were Roger Bird, Wayland Cox, Peter Edgell and Judy Blatchford.
1953 saw the deaths of several well known villagers. Mr. Clifford Ruddock had been Manager of the Timsbury Co-op for nearly 33 years, Chairman of Timsbury Parish Council for almost 30 years and a devoted organist and worker at South Road Methodist Church. He also sang in the Timsbury Male Voice Choir and was a J.P. Mr. Albert Moxham spent his working life in Timsbury as the village blacksmith, the fourth generation of the family to do the job ( earlier members of the Moxham dynasty had also been village dentists). Father of Jacob, Rhona and Brenda he had been captain of Timsbury bellringers. Meanwhile a former member of the village Mrs. Caroline Bridges died at Yeovil at the age of 88. Her son J.J. Bridges had made his name by playing cricket for Somerset. The widow of a former rector of the parish Rev. C.R. Meade-King passed away at Windsor.
It was a good year for Timsbury sport. The Football team reached the final of the Somerset Junior Cup only to lose 6-0 to Chilcompton in a replay after drawing the first game 1-1 while they also reached the final of the Bristol Suburban League cup final where they came second best to Almondsbury. Timsbury Utd. Churches team, however, won the Mendip Churches League and then beat Radstock Methodists in the League K.O. final to complete a famous double. Timsbury also had an up-and-coming boxer in 1953. Early in the year heavyweight Cliff Purnell boxed a draw with Stephen Coombe of St. Austell at the Colston Hall and then in August he went one better beating Morrie Bush of Harrow. According to the press report of the day “ the Timsbury lad, smaller built, moved like a tiger and punched with terrific power”. Clifff who turned professsional went on to meet such eminent boxers as Henry Cooper and Joe Erskine.
Many villagers will no doubt remember a serious fire at Kingwell Hall Hotel. Only the shell remained of this beautiful building which had some 30 rooms and was owned by Captain W.B. Scobell who lived in a bungalow nearby. The hotel was run by Mr. And Mrs. Frederick Gardener and amongst those who witnessed the scene was Mrs. Lear who resided at Tyning.
In February Mr. Arthur Moon was returned unopposed as the Timsbury representative on Clutton Rural Council, replacing the late Mr. Ruddock while in July P.C. Raymond Collins who had been stationed at Timsbury and played for the village cricket team announced he would be moving to the Bermuda Police. Mr. Gerald Dyer of Rectory Lane won the British Gladioli Society’s Amateur Championship trophy at the International Exhibition in London at his first attempt.