The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II was the first big event to lighten the gloomy post war years. Everybody got very excited about it and streets organized themselves with displays of bunting, street parties and other events.
Remembrance Sunday 2008 will be an incidental activity for most residents of this county; in 1958 it was central. Every adult remembered the war and those of us who were born during the war knew about the austerity that followed it. Our grandparents carried memories of the earlier Great War. Most men in their 30s had seen military service and the military way of doing things influenced many areas of life. Businesses would talk of “military efficiency” as an ideal to strive for. Men’s haircuts were still short and the long hair of the 1960s was a reaction against that. Organizations like TocH, founded during the first world war, still had a presence in the town. Ex-army officers tended to carry their rank into civilian life and were known as Captain or Major or Colonel so-and-so. Even Lord Hesketh, one of the local grandees, preferred to be known as Major Hesketh.
Detailed views below
I entered the Grammar School in September 1953. At that age you assume that everything has always been there and it was not until much later that I discovered that it had only become a Grammar School after the Education Act of 1944. Fees were abolished and admission was based upon selection – the notorious 11+. This also meant that everything you needed (apart from a pen) was supplied – exercise books, file paper, drawing pencils (coloured green as I recall), protractor and compass. All this was administered by Mrs Burley, the school secretary, from the Stock Cupboard every Monday.