1911: Haywards Heath celebrates King George V coronation in style

Updated: Oct 18, 2020


“CORONATING.”— Haywards Heath had an echo of the Coronation festivities on Wednesday evening, with torchlight procession and illuminations. The procession, which formed at Sussex Square about 7.30, consisted of the teams of comic cricketers, “Warblers” and “Stickybacks,” whose match provided fun on the Recreation Ground on Coronation Day, the butchers’ “marrow-bone and cleaver” band, the Brotherhood Brass Band, conducted by Mr. F. J. Simmonds. and a number of youths in grotesque attire, including clowns, Boy Scouts, Red Indians and many other strange beings. We heard of one who, on being asked what he was dressed to represent, replied “I dunno!”.


Several were busy with collecting boxes for the Cottage Hospital. To the music of the Band the procession

marched to the Recreation Ground, where a large crowd listened to the music. Torches being obtained, the merry-makers paraded the town, finishing at Sussex Square at 10.30. Several places of residence were illuminated, and were generally admired. Oakfield (Mr. G. Willson) looked very pretty, and the Liberal Club was also effectively ornamented with bucket lamps, evergreens, bunting, etc. The chief place of interest, however, was Orchard Way, Hazelgrove Road, where Mrs. Archibald Mackirdy, well known for her social work amongst women and girls, resides. An elaborate scheme of illumination had been well carried out by Mr. Walder, of Sussex Square, in which some 1,400 bucket lamps had been used.

The house and windows were outlined with white lights; on the chimney and wall glowed ruby red stars; “God Save the King,” in alternate blue and white, shone from the roof: over the gateway was suspended a red crown; the rustic fence, stretching many yards down the side walk, looking pretty indeed in different colours : and on trees and shrubs, and from the flower beds, twinkled the lights of many fairy lamps. The house and grounds were a picture indeed, and it was generally admitted that the beauty of the scene exceeded anything else in the neighbourhood.


On the lawn Mrs. Mackirdy entertained some of her friends with a display of fireworks, and when she appeared outside she received an ovation from the crowd in the roadway. Wednesday evening was one of those balmy June nights when the call of the open air seems irresistible, and nearly all of Haywards Heath must have spent the evening out. One and all appeared to thoroughly enjoy their after-taste of the recent Coronation festival.


Many thanks to Charles Tucker for Orchardway image