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History - Jubilee gems - Living history

At Alleyn's School in Dulwich, South London, pupils have created a living history project by interviewing former students who attended their school during the Queen's coronation in 1953.

What is it?

Pupils spoke to alumni about what their lives were like when they were at school, and recorded their memories. The school has previously held reunions for students from the 1930s and 1940s. This year, it was the turn of students from the 1950s.

Why was it useful?

While pupils can study the coronation in history books or watch archive footage, the opportunity to hear the memories of people who were schoolchildren at the time was not to be missed. One ex-pupil, Michael Lovick, recalled: "We all waited for the coronation of our new Queen ... television was a comparatively new phenomenon, and so those with televisions invited neighbours and friends to their homes to share the great day."

Another, Chris Nelson, told pupils about the carnival atmosphere in his house and the endless cups of tea his mother made for guests. And Keith Paton remembered how the schoolchildren stood on the procession route in Dulwich Village.

Create your own aural history record by inviting members of your local community to speak to pupils.

The Alleyn's in the 1950s report is still being compiled, but will be available from www.edwardalleynclub.com in the near future.

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