Rockets were launched off Largs to mark the Queen’s coronation


Rockets were launched from a destroyer as fireworks lit up the night sky to mark the Queen’s coronation day at Largs in 1953 – while a dramatic bomb scare also took place in the room of the city council.

There was a week of celebrations across the Largs and district with sporting events, street parties and ballroom dancing events to capture the mood.

On the day of the coronation itself, the destroyer Crispin was based in the bay, adorned with flags and streamers and lit up as fireworks twinkled overhead.

The ‘News’ reported: “Bus travelers danced in Gallowgate Square, and crowds flocked to Broomfields and a festive air developed as the red, white and blue colored pylons were lit across the seafront sea, and the destroyer Crispin unleashed a display of rockets that lit up the night sky.’

However, there was also drama on the day as there was a ‘bomb scare’ in Moorburn council chambers.

The News reported that while Provost Montgomery was attending the broadcast of the coronation ceremonies at his home, he received a phone call from a man who said he was a member of the Scottish Republican Army.

“The decorations of the municipal chambers have been damaged and more damage will be caused,” the man said grimly.

The provost tried to engage the caller, but hung up.

Police carried out inquiries, but it was found that the digits II of the Queen’s cipher had been cut from a banner hanging on the wall of the council chamber.

Ballroom dancing was proving to be the main form of Saturday night entertainment, so much so that the owners of The Moorings were asking to increase their capacity.

The Marine Hotel offered a Grand Coronation Night, featuring a dinner dance with midnight buffet. Tickets were 17/6 (75p)

The Moorings Ballroom at Largs Pier offered a “Grand Double Session” for the Coronation Ball on Tuesday June 2.

The first session was from 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. and the second session was from 11:15 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Free transport to Greenock, Saltcoats and Paisley was provided at 2.30am

On Coronation week, all the towns and villages in the region staged a cavalcade of events, with a parade in Millport and the planting of two trees at Copeland Crescent which was to be named “Coronation Plot”.

Millport staged their celebrations for a week and held a Coronation Eve Ball in the Garrison Ballroom, while a bonfire was lit by Provost Kerr, with entertainment from the Millport Pipe Band. Fairlie held a costume parade, sports day and carnival dance at the village hall.

A Highland Society Ball was held at the Skelmorlie Hydro Hotel from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Television was an exciting new medium with new sets being sold by retailer James Henderson who also held a special screening in Masonic Hall on Coronation Day.

The “News” reports: “In order that as many people as possible can see the ceremonies, it was decided to organize the show in three sessions, in the morning, in the afternoon (when the actual ceremonies are to be televised) and the third show in the evening will be the ceremonial TV movie of the day.”


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