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Medway MovieBase

Royal Visit to Gillingham 28 March 1968

This film was made by the town clerk pursuant to resolution 515 (f) of the Gillingham Borough Council meeting of 12 March 1968. The occasion of the royal visit was the inspection of new installations at the Royal School of Military Engineering (RSME), Brompton Barracks.

The film opens with a view of the permanent way at Gillingham Railway Station, looking west. Waiting police officers are shown on the platform and HM Queen Elizabeth II and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh alight from a carriage to be greeted by Lord Cornwallis, Lord Lieutenant of Kent. The queen wears an emerald green coat and turban style hat while the Duke of Edinburgh wears the frock coat, cap and sword of a field marshal. The royal visitors are introduced to Councillor W.F. Harris, Mayor of Gillingham, wearing his chain of office. Floral displays are in evidence.

In the next scenes, school children, cub scouts and brownies are seen lining Brompton Road and waving Union flags and holding welcome placards, with Black Lion Field, the Royal Engineers' Ravelin Building, houses in Mill Road and the concrete extension to the Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes (NAAFI) club building (subsequently the Aurora Hotel later renamed King Charles Hotel) visible in the background. The royal motorcade approaches with police motorcycle escort, police car and an open-topped army Land Rover. The royal motorcade turns into Prince Arthur Road, and we glimpse the red brick NAAFI club building (subsequently also site of the Aurora Hotel renamed King Charles Hotel) on the corner of Prince Arthur Road and Brompton Road.

On the conclusion of their engagement at Brompton Barracks, the royal couple are awaited by crowds at the end of Gillingham High Street opposite the railway station. The motorcade approaches the camera along the High Street, again accompanied by police motorcycle escorts while the crowds are controlled by police officers. The royal couple wave to the crowds from the entrance to the station and the film closes with views of groups of onlookers and crowds at the junction of High Street, Victoria Street and Railway Street.

Edited from a 16mm original cine film shot by Glyn C. Jones, Town Clerk of Gillingham, from the Gillingham Borough Archives (collection GBC, accession no. MTC/MR/13)

Copyright Medway Council

From a video tape copied from the original reel film by Screen Archive South East (formerly South East Film and Video Archive (SEFVA)) SEFVA accession no.: M020420/1

File updated by Borough Archivist 26 July 2006

Date: Exposed 28 March 1968
Quantity: 4 minutes, 46 seconds
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