Friday, February 12, 2021


Brigg is already looking ahead to next year and the Queen's 70th anniversary as reigning monarch.
By then a tall metal beacon, to be lit, will have been erected on the earth mound at Brigg Town Council's Millennium Green, off Elwes Street, while flags and bunting will be evident across the town centre, as they were to mark Her Majesty's Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilees.
Our archive picture above was taken in February 1952 (69 years ago) and shows Coun Edward Dodd, as chairman of Brigg Urban District Council, reading the official proclamation to confirm to the public that Queen Elizabeth had become Head of State.
By law, this centuries-only pronouncement must be performed by communities across the country for each new monarch.
On the right of the picture is Brigg Town Clerk Joseph J. Magrath who would have arranged this ceremony. Joe served the UDC from the 1930s through to the early 1970s and then became the first administrative head of the newly-created Brigg Town Council. He retired in the 1980s and is remembered today through the Magrath Award for public voluntary service. The latest winner of the trophy, for 2020, was chosen recently - lay reader Keith Simpson.
Joe was a frequent visitor to the Lincolnshire Times newspaper office at 57 Wrawby Street while he was Town Clerk and after his retirement. He had many a chat over a cuppa with Edward Dodd, of St Helens Road, senior reporter and later news editor. Originally employed by the rival Scunthorpe Star, Ted was still working casual shifts and contributing on a freelance basis to the Times when it closed in 1985. By then he was in his late 70s.
King George VI, the Queen's father, died on February 6, 1952. She was proclaimed monarch two days later - allowing us to date this picture accurately.
The official proclamation - read at ceremonies held across the nation - ended with shouts of "Good save the Queen!"
We can't find any reference to a volley of shots. So perhaps the young cadets, pictured at the ceremony in Brigg Market Place, were not required to fire their rifles. Can anyone confirm this?
Sanding in front of Barclays Bank, other members of Brigg UDC can be seen behind the official party.
The entrance to Cary Lane (top left) was widened later in 1952 to create a better access/exit for buses and lorries.
This involved the demolition of a building on the western side of the entrance, then occupied by the Lincs Times which then relocated to Wrawby Street. Ted was still on the staff of the Star in 1952 - joining the Times full-time five years later.
Traffic on the busy A18 - then still running through the town centre - would have been halted by local police so the proclamation ceremony could proceed.
Although the Queen became monarch in February 1952, her Platinum Jubilee will not be marked until JUNE 2022. This seems strange but the decision is probably weather-related.
The May Bank Holiday Weekend will be moved to Thursday, June 2 and an additional Bank Holiday on Friday, June 3 will create a four-day weekend to mark the milestone.
Brigg's commemorations will be planned nearer the time, but in 2012 there were lunch-time events in the Market Place, an afternoon gala at the Recreation Ground and an evening dance/social in the Angel Suite - enjoyed by many residents.
A special jubilee medal will be created next year and awarded to "public services workers" - to be defined nearer the time. People from the Brigg area serving in the Forces will definitely be among the recipients, judging from the award of previous jubilee medals. Perhaps police, fire and ambulance employees will also be included.
During her Silver Jubilee in 1977, the Queen (accompanied by her husband, The Duke of Edinburgh) made an official visit to Brigg - watching a pageant on the Recreation Ground. Among those presented to her was Joseph J. Magrath who had arranged the proclamation ceremony all those years earlier.