The Past in Colour . . . . . . . .

Evergreen - - Contents Summer 2015 -

This pho­to­graph was taken in the sum­mer of 1953 and it’s not hard to guess where, when or why.

The green car on the left is a Hill­man Minx, in front of which is a ubiq­ui­tous black Ford Anglia, pre­ceded by a soft top Mor­ris Mi­nor, then an Austin, Rover and var­i­ous other cars — all painted black!

Near­est the cam­era on the right is an Austin A40 fol­lowed by an older model, pos­si­bly an Austin 16, from which three young­sters have their heads pop­ping out of the sun­roof, wav­ing small Union Jacks. Be­hind them is a an open- top Amer­i­can car, in a dar­ing shade of what looks like beige or yel­low.

Be­hind that is a Mor­ris taxi and a give­away red Lon­don Bus, an AEC Re­gent RT model, pre­de­ces­sor to the Routemas­ter, with its age in­di­cated by the raised num­ber board on the roof.

On the im­me­di­ate left is a fa­mous depart­ment store but which one? Next door is Pen­berthy’s Glove House, founded in 1881, and the large build­ing be­yond is Swears and Wells, a posh ladies fash­ion shop which sold furs and also dated back to the Vic­to­rian pe­riod. Both have long since dis­ap­peared but what is the scaf­fold­ing in be­tween?

On the im­me­di­ate right is Horne Broth­ers menswear and next door is the Dis­trict Bank, orig­i­nally the Manch­ester and Liver­pool Dis­trict Bank which was taken over by what even­tu­ally be­came the Nat West.

Got it yet? Of course! It’s Ox­ford Street in Lon­don, suit­ably dec­o­rated for the Coro­na­tion. On the left is the end of the ex­quis­ite colon­naded Sel­fridges and the scaf­fold­ing next door is a tem­po­rary stand, dozens of which were erected along the route of the re­gal pro­ces­sion.

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