LOOKING BACK: The Queen in Peterborough

The Queen at the East Of England Show. I wonder what the joke was?

The Queen at the East Of England Show. I wonder what the joke was?

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Today is the Queen’s 90th birthday and city people will be joining the rest of the country in wishing her many happy returns.

Although it is some years since she last visited Peterborough, as this week’s pictures show she was quite a regular visitor.

Crowds wait for the Queen outside The Cresset. Do you recognise yourself on the picture? If you do, let us know.

Crowds wait for the Queen outside The Cresset. Do you recognise yourself on the picture? If you do, let us know.

Her first visit was in 1952 while still Princess Elizabeth when she attended the Peterborough Agricultural Show at the old showground in Eastfield. She also visited Burghley House on a few occasions but her first visit to Peterborough as a reigning monarch was in March 1975 when she handed out the Maundy money to 98 senior citizens – 49 to men and 49 to women, because she was 49-years-old at the time - in a special ceremony attended by more than 3,200 people at Peterborough Cathedral.

She followed that with a walkabout in Bridge Street.

Later, city councillors dined with the Queen and the Duke of the Edinburgh at the town hall tucking into a menu of salmon mousse, roast leg of lamb and fresh strawberries and pineapple and cream, prepared by Aldo Rossi, the head chef at the George Hotel in Stamford.

In 1978 a year after her silver jubilee the Queen officially opened the new Magistrates Court and The Cresset complex at Bretton, tying both openings in with a visit to the National Shire Horse Society centenary show at Alwalton.

The Queen opens the Cresset in 1978

The Queen opens the Cresset in 1978

A crowd of 2,000 greeted the Queen and Duke when they arrived at Peterborough station and they were given a fanfare from The Royal Anglian Regiment as they stepped on to the platform.

In May 1988, the Queen had another busy day in the city attending a special service to mark Peterborough Cathedral’s 750th anniversary and opening both the Edith Cavell Hospital at Bretton and Norwich and Peterborough Building Society’s head office at Lynch Wood. Interestingly, Lorraine Cherry, from Werrington, presented bouquets to Queen in both 1978 and 1988.

There were traffic hold-ups as 3,000 extra visitors piled through the turnstiles to catch a glimpse of the Queen at the East of England Show in 1991.

That visit a quarter of a century ago is the last one she made to Peterborough.

Meeting staff at The Cresset

Meeting staff at The Cresset

Judging from the pictures she has some happy memories.

The main picture is my favourite ever of the Queen –I’ve rarely seen her looking so animated.

I wonder who the lady was she was talking to and what caused her big smile?

If you know please get in touch. And if you have any pictures of the Queen during any of her visits to the city please send them in.

Lorraine Cherry, meets the Queen in 1988 at the opening of The Cresset.

Lorraine Cherry, meets the Queen in 1988 at the opening of The Cresset.

Lorraine Cherry, from Werrington, presents a bouquet to the Queen during a visit to Peterborough in 1978

Lorraine Cherry, from Werrington, presents a bouquet to the Queen during a visit to Peterborough in 1978

Princess Elizabeth being escorted around the East Of England show in 1951  by Lord De Ramsey

Princess Elizabeth being escorted around the East Of England show in 1951 by Lord De Ramsey