Your memories of how the district celebrated the Queen’s silver jubilee in 1977
Last updated Jun 3, 2022
The Queen at the Great Yorkshire Show in 1977.

As Harrogate celebrates the platinum jubilee, we asked for your memories of how you celebrated the Queen’s silver jubilee, which marked 25 years on the throne in 1977.

Back then, more than one million people lined the streets of London to watch the Royal Family in procession to St Paul’s cathedral, while millions more watched on TV and held street parties across the country.

In Harrogate there were street parties, galas and even a visit from the Queen herself, who attended the Great Yorkshire Show.

Great Yorkshire Show

Dave Smith said:

“I was working at Octavius Atkinsons at the time and we were given permission to go out onto Hookstone Chase to see her go past as she was leaving the Great Yorkshire Show.”

Nan Weeks said

“I Remember the Queen when she visited Harrogate, I was amazed how tiny she was. We were at the Great Yorkshire Show with a party from Killinghall School and it was Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh who came round where we were and chatted to some children.”

Claire H Beresford-Robinson and Marianne Hopkinson sent photographs of their Great Yorkshire Show visitor’s badges from 1977.
Claire H. Beresford-Robinson said:
“I was lucky to meet the Queen when she visited the Great Yorkshire Show Ground and our tent ‘ Growing up in North Yorkshire’.
“I attended Woodlands School at the time. It was our moment to shine. The Queen looked at the work I was doing and said “splendid work”.
I will never forget this moment!
“Our school was chosen to attend the same day the Queen was coming. I’ll never forget the fabulous feeling at age 11 to be told I was selected to meet the Queen.”

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Marianne Hopkinson said:

“I was in my last year at St. Peter’s primary school and we went to the Great Yorkshire Show. We were allowed to stand on the other side of the rope when she went past with Philip in a horse drawn carriage there. I also got a coin, which I still have, and a cup which got broken many years ago.”

Claire H. Beresford-Robinson also sent a photograph of the Queen looking at the work of Woodlands School pupils.

She said:

“Me and my friends at Woodlands School with headteacher, Mr Dunmore, in the background…”

Karen Wenham said:

“I remember when I was in my last year at Starbeck CP School and the Queen came to visit in 1977.  We all went up to the Great Yorkshire Showground and I took a posy of flowers for her. It always sticks in my mind.

“A couple of years ago I was invited to go to the palace, as I am an ambassador for a charity, and Sophie Wessex was lovely and we chatted.

“We were told the queen was in residence that night and not to be surprised if she came down with her corgis, as she likes to surprise people.

“I still have my silver jubilee coin in its case up in the loft.”


Rick Vai sent a photo of the Queen visiting Knaresborough, which sparked memories from other residents.

Karen Allan said:

“They passed along King James Road, fronting King James School. We were all lined up for her.”

Sarah Brown added:

“I remember this. I was one of those school children lined up outside King James School in Knaresborough.”

Street parties

There were also memories of street parties across the Harrogate district.

Sharon Hopkins said:

“We had a street party in Olive Walk, Harrogate. Tables were set out in the cul de sac, kids made jubilee hats, bunting and flags in all the houses. We had lots of food and drink followed by a magician.”

Gary King said:

“We had a massive street party on Lime Street and Lime Grove and loads of us kids went in fancy dress.”

Christine Hemming added:

“As I remember, there was a competition for the best hat between the kids and Stephen won! Lime Street and Lime Grove were closed to traffic. Tables lined the street and all the Mums mucked in to provide the food.”

Bilton Gala

The first Bilton Gala took place in 1977 to mark the Queen’s silver jubilee and readers remember it well.

Susan Myatt said:
“I remember being nine, my sister six-and-a-half. There was a fancy dress parade in Bilton. We were both dressed as crinoline ladies – red white and blue.”
Rachel Demain said:
“I remember being on a float at the Bilton Gala. Not as easy as it looked, trying to stay on our feet! Got really involved after that then went onto the Committee. Happy days.”
Heidi Orange sent some photographs of her as a baby at Bilton Gala.
She said:
“I was the baby (below) in the winning ‘best dressed pram’ competition for the Bilton 1977 jubilee celebrations.”

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