TO BE OPENED JAN. 28th 1951

The Proclamation of Edward VII in Taunton. Monday Jan. 28th 1901

Mother drove Amy, Miss Cohen, Sybil and myself to hear the proclamation of Edward VII read at Taunton. We drove Bess the nice mare. It had rained for some time and the sun was shining beautifully as we drove in. The new king was proclaimed at the market cross. Bess was put in at the Castle Hotel. It was a great crowd. We saw the volunteers march past. There was a royal standard over the art school. All the flags were torn as there had been a very rough wind lately. All the flags were put half mast in mourning for the Queen but on proclamation day they were all put mast head. At the market cross there was a flag post without a flag. Well, it was a thick crowd and we could not get at all near the front. Sybil and I were told to see if we weren't small enough to get to the front alone, but we could not.

Miss Cohen held me up sometimes and then I could see a long red platform with about five men with wigs on, a general with his plumed hat, I do not know who he was and some ladies etc. on it.

In front of the platform were the volunteers and behind them the guard formed of the yeomanry. There was a little drizzle that kept on coming and going all through the proclamation and the people with wigs on had to put up umbrellas which rather spoilt the effect, some people said the Duchess of Devonshire was there but I do not think it was true. I saw one of the people with wigs on reading a paper. Then someone on the platform shouted "God save the king". Then a Royal Standard was sent up the pole and people cheered and sang "God save the King".

Then a man in the crowd shouted "God save Queen Alexandra" and everybody cheered. And when it was all over the silly crowd pushed worse than ever and the man who shouted "God save Queen Alexandra" kept on shouting "It's all over it is no use pushing" and when people began to go a hail storm came on and the street was covered with umbrellas. It was awfully windy and rainy going home and our hats went all over the place.

R. Kidner

Nynehead, Wellington, Somerset.

 

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Simon Kidner 2007

Appendix 80 - The proclamation of Edward VII at Taunton

by Ruth Emily Kidner, aged 10