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The Gaiety Theatre and Marconi House during the Coronation in 1953

The Coronation decorations above the main entrance to Marconi House in 1953 - Courtesy John A. Strubbe F.R.I.B.A. (Retired).

Above - The Coronation decorations above the main entrance to Marconi House in 1953 - Courtesy John A. Strubbe F.R.I.B.A. (Retired).

Norman Shaw's Gaiety Theatre and Marconi House, both with Coronation Decorations -  Image drawn by, and courtesy of, John A. Strubbe and E. J. Thring A.R.C.A.

Above - Norman Shaw's Gaiety Theatre and Marconi House, both with Coronation Decorations, during the conversion of the old Gaiety Restaurant, Strand, to Marconi House for English Electric. The first transmitter of the BBC was on the 7th floor of this building from November the 15th 1922. Image drawn by John A. Strubbe and E. J. Thring A.R.C.A. For more on the coronation decorations Click Here. - The Gaiety Theatre was demolished in 1957 and replaced by a new building for the English Electric Company, later to become Citibank House, which was itself demolished in 2005 - 2007. The site was then redeveloped and reopened as the ME London Hotel in the summer of 2012 - Click here for images of all these incarnations.)

'We Celebrate'

Coronation News and Notes

From the English Electric Staff Publication July 1953

The Coronation decorations at Queens House. - Courtesy John A. Strubbe F.R.I.B.A. (Retired).Although Queens House and Marconi House were not on the Coronation route, they stand in important positions in London's West End. It was considered essential, therefore, that the Coronation decorations on these buildings should be in keeping with their outstanding positions.

At Queens House bold use of draped fabric was made to enhance the dignified architecture. Red and white fabric draped from the upper cornice met the dark blue fabric covering the vertical columns, each surmounted by a crown, and bearing fleurs-de-lis emblems in red and white.

Right - The Coronation decorations at Queens House. - Courtesy John A. Strubbe F.R.I.B.A. (Retired).

The displays in the windows at Queens House attracted great interest. Each showed the Royal cipher in bumished bronze against a background of blue and crimson velvet and set on a metal red, white and blue framework.

Marconi House adjoins the Gaiety Theatre, which is now owned by the Company. The two form a triangular island site, with the south side facing the Strand, opposite Somerset House. and the north side facing Aldwych and opposite to the Strand Theatre and the Waldorf Hotel,

The Gaiety Theatre adjoined at the right by the south side and main entrance of Marconi House. Her Majesty the  Queen on two occasions recently drove past Marconi House and Queens House on her way to the City.The west side of the Gaiety forms the apex of the triangle and looks straight down the Strand towards Trafalgar Square.

A decorative scheme of charm and dignity was used on both Marconi House and the Gaiety. it proved to be one of the most admired of all the West End buildings.

Sir George H. Nelson Chairman and Managing Director, was privileged to be one of the representatives of British industry 'at the Coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey, and our photograph shows the Chairman and Lady Nelson, in Court dress, leaving for the historic event.Above the main entrance at Marconi House was the Royal coat of arms and the title "Elizabeth R" in plain white.

Left - Sir George H. Nelson Chairman and Managing Director, was privileged to be one of the representatives of British industry 'at the Coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey, and our photograph shows the Chairman and Lady Nelson, in Court dress, leaving for the historic event.

This centrepiece was repeated on the west front of the Gaiety, (Shown Right) with the addition of a crown, a blue background and drapes of gold fabric at both sides.

The Gaiety Theatre during the Coronation in 1953 - courtesy John A. Strubbe F.R.I.B.A. (Retired).

Above - The Gaiety Theatre during the Coronation in 1953 - Courtesy John A. Strubbe F.R.I.B.A. (Retired).

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