Stewards at the Coronation of King George VI & Queen Elizabeth 1937

Found - a mimeographed 4 page typed set of instructions for stewards at the royal ceremony. It reveals the amount of detail and planning that goes into these occasions. It was found slipped into a book on George VI and must have belonged to a former steward. The mention at the end of fatigue and strain for this voluntary job is interesting. Stewards had to be at the stands at 5 a.m. wearing (in most cases) morning dress or uniform. Some were required even earlier. Still, refreshments came from Mecca Cafes Ltd (to be paid for by guests and stewards) and there were cigarettes, chocolates and sandwiches circulated by workers bearing trays. A phone service had also been specially installed...

The Coronation of Their Majesties King George VI.
and Queen Elizabeth.
Wednesday, 12th May, 1937

Instructions to Stewards.

1. Stand Stewards.

Each stand will be under the control of a Stand Steward, whose name will be indicated on the Steward’s pass. Stewards will report to the Stand Steward on arrival, will accept orders from him without reservation and will remain on duty until permission to leave is given by him.

2. Time of Attendance.

Stewards will be required to be at their stand, the number of which is indicated on the back of the pass, not later than 5 a.m. and should make themselves conversant with the general traffic facilities in order to ensure their attendance by this time. A certain number of Stewards on each stand may be required by the Stand Steward to be present at an earlier hour.

It is anticipated that in spite of the later hour of arrival which has been prescribed by the Police for seatholders, a large number will present themselves at the stands at a very early hour, and in order that congestion by seatholders and members of the public at the entrances to stands may be avoided it is considered necessary to arrange for Stewards to be present at that time indicated.

Continue reading

Brian Howard to the Duchess (on Rex Whistler)

Signed letter sold in 2010. Brian Howard poet, journalist, socialite, 'failure'. Found in a book from the Gilmour estate.

2pp. About 80 words to 'Dear Mollie' (ie  Mary ('Mollie') Montagu Douglas Scott, Duchess of Buccleuch) on her notepaper - Boughton House, Kettering dated May 1957. It is loosely inserted in a used copy of Laurence Whistler's book on his brother Rex Whistler (Art & Technics 1948) presented to her mother by her daughter Caroline (later Lady Caroline Gilmour.) The letter reads - 'Caroline might be faintly amused to know that when Laurence was compiling this book he wrote to me to for the complete text of my poem about Rex. In one's forgetful, selfish way, I didn't reply - so these weak little lines, this miserable quatrain is all that posterity will receive. The unhappy thing is that the complete (underlined) poem wasn't a bad literary portrait of Rex. Love, Brian.' BH has initialled the relevant 4 lines in the printed text.  LW does not name Howard in the text  but refers to him merely as 'a clever friend (who) drew his character in words...' The poem begins with the lines 'Laughter in the bedroom...' Letter sold with book which is sound but somewhat bumped. Brian Howard letters are seldom encountered.

When a copy of the Whistler book (not rare) shows up again we will post the missing lines.

21/7/13 Sure enough a copy has shown up and the lines read:

Laughter in the bedroom,
          in the bar-too,
          in the ballroom--
          But the laughter is an urn.

Not exactly The Waste Land but to his brother Laurence the lines catch Rex's character at about 21-- the way in which  he was 'subtly detached' from his 'great gaiety'. He writes 'Rex's smile was immensely amused, as only a thoughtful man's may be..'

Self portrait by Rex Whistler