School Celebrations – Coronations 1902 – 1953

In this week of the Royal Wedding, our blog post for the Year of Young People this week is looking at how other Royal events were celebrated in local schools.

School log books give details of the special occasions that the school chose to celebrate from annual events such as Christmas to national ones like the coronation of a new King or Queen.

The Coronation of King Edward VII was originally scheduled for the 26th of June 1902. However, famously, the King became extremely ill with appendicitis and had to have emergency surgery so the coronation was cancelled at short notice. This log book from Doune Primary School records that ‘instead of expected Coronation Holidays and rejoicings, School work was resumed as usual this morning’. The school then held a service for the King to pray for his health and received their medals and the bag of treats that had been prepared for them, and had the afternoon off as planned. The coronation was eventually rescheduled for 9th August 1902, when the school was closed for the summer holidays.

The Head Teacher of St Ninians Primary School, Weaver Row took the opportunity of the celebrations for George V’s coronation to take a formal picture of the whole school in their best clothes.

The log book gives full details of the preparations for the event and of what was planned for the day itself. Unfortunately, the careful planning was stymied by bad weather on the day with the planned procession of all the children of the Burgh schools to the King’s Park being rained off. The children still received their chocolates, and lemonade or milk and buns and were given the afternoon off.

Croftamie Primary School log book for June 1911 records that the children were given a week’s holiday for the coronation and this not long after the school being closed for a day for the Drymen Cattle show!

Royal funerals were marked too. George V died in 1936 and Stirling County Council decided that all school pupils should have the day of his funeral as a holiday, as shown in this log book of Muirlands Primary School. The Coronation of his eventual successor (the immediate heir having abdicated in 1936 to marry an American divorcee) George VI was also celebrated in local schools in May 1937. Pupils at Ardeonaig Primary School were given a week’s holiday on this occasion.

By the time of the coronation of our current Queen, Elizabeth, the whole ceremony was shown on television and many people bought their first set to be able to witness the spectacle. Stirling schoolchildren were treated to a film show at the local Regal Cinema to see a film of highlights of the ceremony entitled ‘Elizabeth, Our Queen’. This is recorded in the log books of both Stirling Allan’s School and Raploch Primary.

At Raploch, there was a short service for the coronation on the 29th of May, after which all the children were given souvenir mugs from the Education Committee and sweets from the Town Council.

The same gifts were handed out to the students at Allan’s School class by class between the 25th and the 28th of May 1953. Both schools had a three day holiday from the 1st to the 3rd of June 1953.