This Week in 1935: 5th – 11th May

5th-11th May:

This was the week in which King George V celebrated his silver jubilee (May 6). Here are some extracts from The Times describing the festivities that surrounded the event:

‘London became a playground at the week-end. The bedecked streets and illuminated buildings, the golden sunshine and warm May nights, above all, the vast crowds that these magnetic influences drew forth, invested the workaday City with a happy excitement. They made the gayest of preludes to to-day’s common act of thanksgiving for 25 completed years of King George’s reign…It is doubtful if Oxford Street had ever before been so packed to bursting as on Saturday night. The combined traffic of roadway and pavement was so prodigious in quantity that in terms of movement it may be said to have cancelled it out…’

Oxford Street:

Oxford Street May 1935

‘In Piccadilly-Circus the basin of the Eros fountain was rimmed with people sitting shoulder to shoulder, and the steps were similarly used as seats by the weary but cheerful. They rested in hundreds on the steps of the Nelson Column and round the fountains in Trafalgar Square. Regent Street, Piccadilly, the Strand, and Fleet Street, and the space before Buckingham Palace all had their droves of sightseers. They sat in families on the grass beside the Mall picnicking on sandwiches. Wherever a building was floodlit, there stood a gazing multitude…’


Fleet Street:

Fleet Street May 1935

Buckingham Palace:

Buckingham Palace May 1935

‘The carnival spirit was abroad among them [the crowds]. Red, white, and blue caps were worn. Union Jacks were waved, and patriotic favours were everywhere, in lapels and on the bonnets of motor-cars, throwing back from the pavements small echoes of the decorations overhead. Creeping taxicabs were filled with standing and vocal groups; some sat on the roofs. Outside restaurants and cafes waited patient queues. Not till the small hours of Sunday did the massed formations dwindle to manageable size.’

A Street in Shoreditch:

Shoreditch May 1935






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