Celebrations in Australia for the 1953 Coronation of Queen Elizabeth were on a scale it’s hard to imagine these days.

Every town and city in the nation strived to do the occasion justice. The Blue Mountains, where I now live, certainly stepped up.

At Katoomba there was a Coronation ball at which Mayoress Mrs Galwey went all out;

The Mayoress chose a gown of Royal ruby satin with an overdress of black French net embroidered with gold, with a black velvet strapless bodice held in place with a spray of handmade red roses, over which she wore a stole of black tulle encrusted with gold. sequins. Positively resplendent!

I just loved the menu for supper at the ball, which was be a special feature. The main course was so exotic….hot curry and rice. Well, it was mid winter. Then there were savoury sandwiches (what other kind are there… apart from jam?) and some old favourites; sausage rolls, cocktail sausages, cakes and a wine trifle for dessert.

The Mayor and Mrs Galwey also led the Coronation Day march up Katoomba Street.

I may be prejudiced, but I think my village of Blackheath topped that ball with their Coronation bonfire. It was built on the highest point of town…. I don’t really know where that would be. Anyway, when it was lit the glow could be seen from suburbs of Sydney such as Camden.

The bonfire was followed by procession at Blackheath, which was considered the best ever held in the Mountains. It was three quarters of a mile long and included 43 decorated floats plus countless bikes, scooters, horses, and participants on foot. It was led by the Lithgow Pipe Band, which still heads the Rhododendron parade every year.

I did love the topical addition of a replica of a circus elephant called Rill. The animal had created havoc days before, after a traffic accident while it was pulling a trailer of lions at Coffs Harbour (five lions were on the loose too.)


Further west the coal town of Lithgow lit beacons and set off rockets. As darkness fell above the Hermitage Colliery, fires spelled out the letters E.R. On the facade of the Small Arms Factory E II R and a crown were emblazoned.



Oh my word, how appropriate this 1953 prize winning cocktail would be for King Charles. Remember the infamous Cherry Brandy incident? Not to mention the name of the drink….hmmm 😍


One third Gin, one third White Rum, one third Cherry Brandy, two dashes of Absinthe, juice of half a lemon. Squeeze juice of lemon into the shaker and add other ingredients. Shake, pour into glasses and serve with a cherry. 🍒

Leave a Reply

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.