Published: June 1, 2012
Video and photos: Remembering the Queen's 1958 visit to Highbridge

As the nation celebrates the Queen's Diamond Jubilee this week, Burnham-On-Sea.com looks back at the Queen's visit to Burnham and Highbridge on December 5th, 1958.

Her Majesty arrived by train at Highbridge Railway Station, pictured right, and then travelled by car to the radio signals station where she was given a tour of the facilities, met staff, and signed the visitors' book, as pictured below.

Among the local residents who clearly remembers the visit is Pat Pusill, whose mother was Chairman of Highbridge Burnham Urban District Council at the time. She had the important job of greeting the Queen on her arrival in the towns.

"There was weeks of preparation for a visit that lasted just an hour. We arrived at the station early to see the Queen arrive and large crowds were there to see her," Pat told Burnham-On-Sea.com.

"I had a great view of the Queen near the front because my mother welcomed the Queen when she got off the train. A young girl presented the Queen with a bouquet of flowers as she got into her official car. She's the one in the photo, and I'd love to know who she was."

"The Queen's arrival went very smoothly, except for when the Lord Lieutenant nearly fell out of his car after his ceremonial sword got stuck in the door!"

"The Royal car then travelled from the station through Highbridge and along Burnham Road to Worston Road, past Holts Brewery, on its way to the radio station."

"I can clearly remember the large crowds of residents waving flags all along the route with bunting lining the roads."

At the radio station, she was greeted by the Postmaster General, Ernest Marples, and introduced to members of the Radio Station and the local MP Sir Gerald Wills. There followed a tour of the Radio Station to demonstrate how messages were received and transmitted to shipping in all parts of the world.

The Queen then travelled by car back to Highbridge Railway Station for a journey to Bristol.

Pat, who was 18 at the time, added: "It was a great day for Burnham and Highbridge - a really memorable occasion."

 


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