London on Holiday
There is a holiday feeling in the air, and this week we shall all be thinking about the Coronation. You can imagitte that anything as big as this needs a very great deal of organisation.
Many of the London Boroughs are celebrating the Coronation by giving parties for children. Some of them are entertaining as many as 30,000 children, and in one place soo boys and girls are being given a fortnight's holiday. I wonder whether any of my readers are among the lucky ones. If you are, write and tell me about it. I should Jove to hear.
I am sure you have all heard of Alfred the Great, who is supposed to have burnt the cakes. If you haven't, ask somebody to tell you about him. The crown which was used at his Coronation is believed to be the same one which was used in Charles I's time, about seven hundred and fifty years later.
William the Conqueror was crowned on Christmas Day, to66, the same year in which he conquered England.
Henry VII was crowned in 1485, on the battlefield of Bosworth, the last battle of the Wars of the Roses. lie was then called the Earl of Richmond, and while he was fighting, King Richard III aimed a tremendous blow at him, but before it touched Henry, Richard was killed. The crown was lost, but at last it was found in a hawthorn bush and put on Henry's head.
The crown used by Charles I may have been destroyed by Cromwell, and at the Restoration of the Stuarts Charles II had a crown made just like it. He was crowned twice, once in West minster, and once at Scone as King of Scotland. By the way, if you go round Westminster Abbey you will be shown the Coronation Chair, and underneath it there is a stone called the Coronation Stone, which was brought from Scone to Westminster.
Spanish Children Here
Many Spanish children are being brought to England on British battleships, away from the terrible fighting which is going on in Spain. These children are Catholics like ourselves, and we hope that English Catholics will make them feel at home.
It is one of the most terrible things about war, and especially civil war, that women and children suffer and go through so much.
A Fireman's Life
We pay too little attention to the ordinary everyday heroism of the public servants who keep us safe. There are men in the police, the coastguard and lifeboat service, and the firebrigade who do things which a great many of us would never have to do at all, as part of their daily work.
For instance, when a fire breaks out, the firemen cheerfully risk their lives for other people.
Have you ever thought, too, what a strain it must be to an ordinary policeman on point duty, to hold his arm up for a long time, and to stand still in one place for hours at a time? Yet it is part of their everyday job, and think what an extra occasion like the Coronation crowds and traffic must mean to them!
We are all so apt to think of policemen as our enemies, who try to make us do what we don't want to, and punish us when we disobey. But just try to imagine for a moment what a town without policemen to protect us and control the traffic would be like. The chaos would be terrible, and probably many people would be killed by the cars.