Letter to the BBC

Letter to the BBC, December 1952 Catalogue Ref: HO 256/232


Another Question, which goes somewhat further, has been put down by Mr. Murray for Answer on 21st January; “To ask the Assistant Postmaster General what arrangements he is making throughout the country to relay the televising of the Coronation procession; what is to be done in this connection for children to see the procession in safety; and if he will have this matter looked into, so that every available hall and cinema should be utilised for television on 2nd June 1953, and thus give that section of the public who have not been able to purchase a television set the opportunity of enjoying the procession.


« Return to Life in 1950s Britain

Teacher explains that this source is part of a government letter to the BBC asking about the plan to film the Coronation live for television. The public were also going to be told what they were going to see. It was hoped to screen the coronation in cinemas as well, not everyone had a television. Teachers can also highlight that television, as a source of information and entertainment, is one of the many technological changes seen during the 70 year reign of Queen Elizabeth II.

N.B. As this text is challenging, read the extract together and underline the key points in the transcript to create a summary of the main points. Discuss meanings of difficult words. Once pupils have grasped the content, discuss the prompt questions.

Discuss the following questions:

  • What event is going to be filmed by the BBC for television?
  • Why do you think the government wanted the coronation to be filmed?
  • How can the public see the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II?
  • What does this document show us about the early days of television?
  • How has television changed today?