TO mark the Queen’s 90th birthday, we are looking back at Her Majesty’s previous visits to the area, which included a 1957 tour stop-off in Hagley.

On St George’s Day, Tuesday April 23, the Queen and Prince Philip came to the village as the starting point for her royal tour of the West Midlands, which included Halesowen, Stourbridge and Kidderminster.

A report which was compiled by Don Freeth in June 2002, based on a paper read by Mrs D Nock to the Hagley Historical and Field Society on October 26 1965, stated that before the Queen’s arrival by train into Hagley, residents worked hard to give the station a makeover.

They even went as far as taking up the rough bricks on the platform and replacing them with smooth paving stones where the royal train would stop.

The County Express’ April 27 1957 edition reported a detailed account of the transformed station, reading: “The station normally a cheerless place, as indeed most country stations are, was transformed into a gay and colourful scene.

"The traditional red carpet covered the arrival platform and surrounding it and over the bridge was a profusion of floral decorations interspersed with the Royal Cipher and the Royal Coat of Arms.

“The floral decorations were the work of Blakedown nurseries, supervised by Mr J R Bent, and very attractive it looked.

“In all there were 1,500 pot plants, including Hydrangeas, Cinerarias, Pelargoniums. This all helped to make an attractive background to the large lettered sign ‘Welcome to Hagley’.”

Mr Freeth’s report said the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were met by the Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire, Admiral Sir William Tennant, where the royal pair received their first round of cheers.

The report quoted Mrs Nock as saying: “As the royal car drove away on the first part of the tour, fifty people in an enclosure erected in the drive by British Railways had a never-to-be forgotten view of the visitors.

“The car, followed by others in the official procession, swung out of the drive into Station Road. Then it drove slowly up Park Road, past a crowd of several hundred schoolchildren. Sifting on the raised grass verge they had a first class view of the royal couple.

“As a centre piece and as a reminder that this was rural England, children from Hagley Primary School were manning a red, white and blue maypole.

“Once clear of Hagley, the procession increased speed through the green belt of Worcestershire countryside between the Hagley and the Halesowen boundaries.”

It continued: “At six o’clock that evening, my husband and I sat down to listen to the news on sound radio. We were delighted to hear from the news that in Hagley 'every building was lavishly decorated’, while the eye witness report called us ‘the smart suburban village of Hagley’.

“As I gave my love to Hagley when it was just a little country village, I cannot express much enthusiasm for the adjective ‘suburban’, but it is, at any rate, a comfort to know that we were considered ‘smart’ on that outstanding day.”

To read Don Freeth’s full report on the Queen’s visit to Hagley in 1957, visit

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