At 8pm this evening a new two part programme, The Queen and I starts on ITV which tells the stories of people whose brush with royalty was caught on film – and MACE have played a large part in sourcing some of the archive material and the people who feature in them.
No child forgets the day the Queen comes to visit their school. For one day, normal timetables and classes are put to one side and every one is on their best behaviour. Almost exactly 50 years ago, on the 25th May 1962, it was the turn of Solihull School to be gripped by Royal fever.
Remarkable footage of the visit, which was deposited by the School’s Archivist and is now preserved at MACE, was shot by the pupils themselves and was one of the school cine clubs first assignments. Eighteen-year-old Tony Thomson even dared to climb on the roof of the Headmaster’s office to get a bird’s eye view.
Solihull School student Tony Thomson recalls, “We needed a clear view and the headmaster’s office was a prime position. Apparently the headmaster said to the cine club, ‘Who the heck was that up on the roof?’ Well that was me! I think when the queen visits you it is something special. It something you remember and it becomes a cherished memory.”
“It always amazes me about the Queen, how interested and amused she is on these public occasions. She still manages to give the impression that this is a really special occasion for her, as well as for those admiring her.” says Denis Tomlin – Former Teacher of Solihull School.