One special day with the Queen to celebrate her Silver Jubilee
MONDAY, August 8, 1977, was an exciting day for many Bristolians as they prepared to greet the Queen on the occasion of her Silver Jubilee.
The eight-hour, £1,000-a-minute, visit started at 9am with the arrival of the Royal party at Portbury (West) dock on the Royal Yacht Britannia.
The young princes Andrew (who had a cold) and Edward were on board, as was the Duke of Edinburgh.
After being piped ashore to a welcoming escort provided by the crew of HMS Bristol, the Queen was greeted by the Lord Mayor, Councillor Ted Wright, and various other VIPs.
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Five thousand people (drawn by lottery due to lack of space) cheered as she unveiled a commemorative plaque and gave the £37 million dock its "Royal" appendage.
The Queen and Prince Philip were then driven in a glass-toped Rolls Royce along the M4 and M5 to Filton High School, where, to the delight of another 30,000 flag wavers, they went on a 20 minute "meet the people" walkabout.
Youngsters broke through the barriers or ducked under ropes to present a smiling Queen with flowers and gifts.
Prince Philip, said the Post, was on top form too, cracking jokes with the cheering crowds.
After visiting an exhibition portraying Northavon (South Gloucestershire) life the Queen was presented with a jar of bramble jelly by Thornbury WI.
Then it was off, via the M32, Bond Street, The Haymarket and Rupert Street, to Bristol's Centre where, to a 21 gun salute, she reviewed units and contingents from the Avon Reserve Forces.
But even this sombre occasion turned to laughter and smiles as yet more children broke with protocol to dive under ropes and rush up to the Queen clutching roses and posies.
Lunchtime saw the most colourful part of the visit as the Queen made her way to Temple Meads in a procession of three open carriages flanked by a mounted escort from the Avon and Somerset police. As the first force in the country to substitute for the Household Cavalry on Royal escort duty these horsemen were making history.
The procession, with church bells ringing, then made its was through Queen Square, over Redcliffe Bridge and past St Mary Redcliffe church.
In a nice touch the City Council presented a set of newly minted coins to every baby born in the city on the day of the visit.
The Royal party then made their way to Keynsham where, after receiving a box of chocolates from Fry's Somerdale factory, they boarded a new High Speed Train (HST) for a 40 minute visit to Weston- super-Mare and a Beach Lawns walkabout.
Then it was back on the Royal train to Bath for another 40 minute visit centred on the Parade Gardens, Orange Grove and the Abbey churchyard.
The busy day ended as it had begun, in (Royal) Portbury Dock and on the Royal Yacht where a reception was held for 240 guests, including local VIP's, industrialists and other civic dignitaries.
Thousands of people then enjoyed hearing the yacht's own band playing Life on the Ocean Wave and Rule Britannia as fireworks lit up the night sky and the ensign was lowered.
Later that evening, as the ropes were slipped and anchor weighed, the Royal party left for Ulster on the next leg of their Silver Jubilee tour.
George Gallop's archive of pictures can be viewed via the Knowle West Media Centre Flickr site at www.flickr.com/kwmc/collections.