THESE children were taking part in a ceremony which has happened only once in the past 60 years.

They were waiting to hear the Proclamation of the date for Elizabeth II’s Coronation as our new Queen.

The children were pupils of the long-demolished Bury Street School in Abingdon.

Hundreds of people had gathered in the town centre in July 1952 to hear the official announcement.

According to our sister paper, the North Berks Herald (now the Abingdon Herald), children were given pride of place at the front, alongside contingents from the Armed Forces and the band of the Abingdon School Combined Cadet Force.

The paper reported: “A fanfare of trumpeters from Oxford opened the proceedings, after which the Junior Sergeant of Mace advanced to the microphone and prayed for silence for his Worshipful the Mayor.

“Councillor HG Mullard’s reading of the statutory notice of accession was followed by another fanfare and finally, the troops presented arms as the band played God Save the Queen.

“The civic procession then re-formed and returned to the council chamber where, at the invitation of the mayor and mayoress, the health of the newly-proclaimed Queen was drunk.

“The borough flag on top of County Hall had been hoisted from half to full mast during the ceremony and remained so for six hours when it was lowered to half mast again.”

The country was still in mourning over the death of King George VI in February that year.

The picture is from John Brucker, of Yarnton Road, Kidlington, who taught at the Bury Street School.

It includes Allan Stockford, Michael Alder, John Sherwood, Ronald Stone, John Braendale, Peter Russell, Philip Burson, Tom Eales, Michael Green, Joan Cogdell, Amy Colton, Margaret Mullis, George McIntyre, Avril Foster, Rosemary Brind, Julia Ferris, Kay Taylor, Jean Hartwell, Margaret King, Pauline Matthews, Gwynneth Harvey, Carol Gibson, Susan Hamblin, Pat Wisbey, Richard Prior and John Watkins.

Where are they all now?