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To mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, we thought it would be nice to show a couple of images from the University of Manchester’s archives relating to the Coronation of 1953.

Cover of 1953 Coronation edition of University Rag Mag

Cover of the Coronation edition of the University’s Rag Magazine, 1953.

First is the cover of the Coronation edition of the University of Manchester’s Rag Magazine, Rag Rag, featuring a less-than-regal snake from the University’s coat of arms, complete with crown, sceptre and orb. The artist is not known. However, the Rag Magazine was renowned for its avant garde artwork, especially in the 1920s and ’30s, when many of the covers were designed by the German-born artist Karl Hagedorn.

The University celebrated the occasion more formally by decorating its soot-blackened main buildings on Oxford Road with banners, floral displays and the royal coat of arms. The gentleman standing precariously atop the set of step-ladders would certainly fall foul of modern Health and Safety legislation (one wonders what sort of risk assessment was undertaken!). Notice also the electric cables strung above Oxford Road. The last trams in Manchester were withdrawn in 1949, although trolleybuses continued to operate in some districts until 1966.

The University of Manchester's buildings decorated for the Coronation of 1953.
The University of Manchester’s buildings decorated for the Coronation of 1953.
  • Please note that the John Rylands Library, Deansgate, will be closed to readers for the public holidays on 4-5 June. The building will be open to visitors 12.00-17.00 on Monday 4 June, but will be closed entirely on Tuesday 5 June.