Big Lunch laid out in Shadwell for Queen’s Coronation—60 years on

Brenda Mattocks, 66 (left), and sister Lynda James, 68

Brenda Mattocks, 66 (left), and sister Lynda James, 68 - Credit: Archant

Families in London’s East End are getting ready for a cockney knees-up and a right royal Big Lunch—after 60 years.

The tenants on Shadwell’s Glamis estate are among communities across the UK celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of the Queen’s 1953 Coronation with street parties.

Kids from the 1950s—now in their 60s and 70s—have fond memories of the East End back then.

Lynda James and her sister Brenda Mattocks were eight and six at the time, living in Newling Street before Bethnal Green borough council’s slum clearance programme in the late 1950s.

“It was a close-knit community and we all looked out for one another,” Lynda recalled. “We still meet up every week—the East End spirit will always be here.”

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The Carr sisters, as they were known then, are pictured in their Union Jack pinafores, with all the kids in the street, getting ready for the party the day after the Coronation.

Their parents began a street tradition 60 years ago that is being revived at Shadwell on Sunday, when mums and dads bring food to share with each other.

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Live entertainment includes a Peruvian panpipe group, Bengali music and dancers, Rabbie the children’s entertainer and an Elvis Presley sound-alike impersonator, as well as children’s races, games and fancy dress—just like the kids had back in 1953.

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