1959 - 1950
The 1950s saw the Coronation of a new Queen, the extension of National Service and the escalation of the Cold War.  Rationing eventually came to an end, starting with petrol in 1950 and sweets in 1953.  Equal pay for women was introduced into teaching and the Civil Service.  The successful launch of the Russian Sputnik satellite in 1957 heralded the start of the Space Race.  

Back on earth, Rock 'n Roll arrived with a bang and Elvis Presley caused a stir with his hips.  Teddy Boys appeared on the streets of Britain.   Roger Bannister broke the four minute mile and Everest was conquered for the first time.

In the cinema, audiences donned their glasses for the introduction of 3-D.  They were thrilled by films from Alfred Hitchcock at the peak of his craft and marvelled at 'state of the art' special effects from the golden age of Science Fiction in films such as Forbidden Planet.  

In 1957 the Hawkwood Estate adjacent to Petts Wood was donated to the National Trust to preserve more countryside for the enjoyment of Chislehurst residents.  In the late 1950s in the High Street, the chemist Frank Warren ended over twenty years of service to the village. 

Jeanette Stap became Chislehurst May Queen in 1954, at the age of 9.  She remembers:

'I started as a holder for the May Queen's train at the age of 3, though I don't recall how I got the role!  My mother hated sewing but she still made the head dresses for all the attendants.  She had to organise and carry out everything.  I practised for May Queen on a wooden and leather chair - which I still have to this day...'

If you have any memories or photos of the Chislehurst May Queen from this time that you would like to share please contact us
1954 Crowning Procession - the May Queen was Jeanette Stap

For more photos, please click on this link