With all eyes on the Jubilee, these enchanting photographs give an insight into what life was like 60 years ago when our Queen came to the throne.
Discovered in a photographic agency’s archives, they show a world which moved at an entirely different pace. As L. P. Hartley wrote: ‘The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there.’ So true.
Crime levels were a tenth of today’s. There were only 2.5 million cars on the road, as opposed to 25 million now. Few homes had phones and only a tenth owned fridges. But storing food wasn’t a problem as rationing did not end until July 1954. Shopping was a daily trail around the butcher’s, the baker’s and the greengrocer’s.
Televisions were rare — there was only one channel — but sales rocketed before June 1953, so the nation could tune into the Coronation.
Your Hovis, madam: Like a scene from the nostalgic TV advert, a baker¿s boy delivers in a quiet Suffolk street. There¿s not a yellow line - or car - in sight
What¿s your tip for the big race? A woman chats to a kennel lad exercising half a dozen racing greyhounds in a quiet Worcestershire lane. Let¿s hope the dogs don¿t catch sight of a real live hare
Perfect fit: A Hereford farrier¿s young apprentice learns how to shoe a horse
Home on the range: The fire¿s glowing, the kettle¿s on - and baby¿s cot is in the warmest place in the house
Pedal power: A family go for a 1953 picnic in the Cotswolds by bicycle. A Thermos of tea for Mum and Dad and pop for the kids
Please, sir: Schoolboys chat with a master at King's College School, London
All by hand: Artists creating flags and banners for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II at Edgington's factory in Sidcup, London
The capital at a standstill: An aerial view of the Queen's coronation procession through London, with streets lined with well-wishers
Beating heart of London: Traffic and pedestrians bustle in Piccadilly Circus, which has only grown more hectic since
What's in that basket? Giraffes peer over a fence at a young zoo visitor
Crowd pleaser: A woman on a window seat reads to children listening intently in Billericay, Essex
Home brew: A woman holds up a tea cosy shaped like a miniature thatched cottage in Stratford-upon-Avon
Slower pace of life: Wives of bargemen rest and talk on decks of barges tied up in a canal in Warwickshire
Sign of the times: Children in London lean out of a window to hang a message for their newly crowned queen
Hear ye! Men in Hastings, East Sussex, compete in a town criers' contest
Time and tide: Boats stranded by low waters sit below St Botolph's Church, known locally as the Boston Stump, in Lincolnshire
Quaint: Morris dancers perform on a village street as spectators watch in Maidstone, Kent
Hideaway: Tourists in Nottinghamshire stand inside a decaying part of an ancient tree called Major Oak
Hello sailor: A young couple lingers to talk in municipal park in Hampshire
Service with a smile: A woman stands behind a bar loaded with sandwiches at a 17th-century inn in London
Thatcher's Britain: An apprentice learns to trim new straw on a cottage roof in Hereford
Dressed to impress: Two young textile workers inspect colorful striped silks modelled by an older colleague
Fresh wounds: Four girls in Hampshire read a memorial for the Allied forces who fought on D-Day
Idyllic: Women pet a shy sheep on a hillside overlooking a green valley in Denbighshire, Wales
Sands of time: People watch a sculptor build a miniature cathedral on Weymouth beach, Dorset
Crossroads: Women on a weekend cycling trip through Lincolnshire pose beside a road sign near a meadow
The modern game: Boys at the very same school in Wimbledon, London, get stuck in during rugby practice
Old meets new: Much of Suffolk, such as this street in Bury St Edmunds, has hung on to its traditional look, but gradually it is moving away from the scenes pictured above
To the dogs: Greyhound racing was still hugely popular when the kennel lad shown above was in business, but in 2008 changing tastes saw this stadium in Walthamstow, London, shut due to falling profits and poor attendance