I was very pleased to be asked by Endon with Stanley Parish Council to help celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthday.


My grandma first truly saw the Queen

In black and white

with a monochrome crown,

looking out at the crowd

from a fizzing, cramped screen.

The family had tea and cake

and stared at her face, close up, from straight backed chairs:

their first television set.

A memory from the depths of 1953.


Before a coronation,

there had been a wedding.

And a dress paid for with ration coupons,

the nation strangled by war

brought celebration.

We’re all in this together, said 1947.

And it was true then.


Yet war had not meant hiding in shadows,

it had meant contribution,

a princess in khaki, a member of the A.T.S.

Willing stretched through 1945

with strong resilience.

Not just publicity and gowns.

but it had never been just that.



an Elizabeth was born.

A queen began,

alongside Baird’s mechanical television set.

The months populated by general strike

and turmoil,

were her first months.


This is a birthday of the people,

a selfless birthright beginning,

a face than means a memory to so many.

A street party for a person

and for a nation.

A beacon to us all.