Coronations of Yesteryears: How they were celebrated in Spurgeon’s boys homes

A photo of King Charles and Queen Camilla, to commemorate the Coronation

Coronations of yesteryears: how they were celebrated in Spurgeon’s boys homes

Are you planning a relaxed King’s Coronation bank holiday weekend? Perhaps enjoying a barbecue or a few drinks?

It’s easy to forget how fortunate many of us are in our modern lives. At the time of previous coronations, many children were separated from their families due to poverty or other difficulties, and those children were brought up in children’s homes.

Many years ago, before Fegans charity became part of Spurgeons, it took care of many young boys in Fegans children’s homes. Elsewhere in England, the orphanages that Charles Haddon Spurgeon founded were also caring for children.

Fegans archivist David Waller and some of the Spurgeon’s ‘Old Scholars’ (children’s home alumni) have carefully preserved some of the history of those years. By delving into the archives, we can take an incredible look back at the celebrations of previous coronations at the boys’ homes.

Queen Elizabeth’s coronation at Spurgeon’s boy’s home in 1953

For Queen Elizabeth’s coronation the boys enjoyed tea parties, while wearing paper crown hats. As we can see thanks to Martin Farley’s careful preservation of this picture.

An old photograph of Spurgeons Scholars enjoying tea and wearing paper crowns, during Queen Elisabeth's Coronation in 1953

King George’s coronation, 1937

The boys who eventually left Fegans’ care and returned home refer to each other as ‘Old Boys’, and some still keep in touch all these years later.

In 1937 the boys celebrated King George’s coronation by listening in to the service via radio, then took part in sports activities and evening fun.

A group photo of Spurgeons Old Scholars in 1937, to celebrate the Coronation of King George

The Quarterly Record reported that ‘short public services were held in the orphanage and training farm chapels on Coronation Day, after which the boys listened to the broadcast from Westminster Abbey. Sports and evening celebrations helped to mark the day in spite of rather inclement weather.’

An old photo showing the gates of Fegan's home decorated with the letters G.R., in celebration of the 1937 coronation

At Fegan’s Boys home, Stony Stratford, the boys decorated the main gates with flags and the letters G. R. to commemorate the Coronation of King George VI in 1937.

Present day

Buttons Preschools are celebrating King Charles’ coronation today with parties.

A group photo of children at Buttons pre-school celebrating the coronation of King Charles, at an afternoon tea event
A teaching assistant helping out at Buttons pre-school, during an event to celebrate the coronation of King Charles

How to get in touch if you are a ‘Spurgeons Old Scholar’ or ‘Fegans Old Boy.'

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