Bathurst and the Queen’s Visit in 1954

Bathurst was the first settlement beyond the Blue Mountains and as well as being a gold town was an area for pastoral expansion that included the Suttors that settled at “Brucedale”.

Betty Suttor’s father was Jack Palmer, a well known Bathurst Stock & Station Agent. Betty married Dud Suttor, a WW1 veteran, originally from “Warrangong” Cowra and later “Warrangunyah” and “Myola” Ilford. Their daughter Louie married Lew Blackmore of “Mt View”, Clandulla. They first settled at “Rosedale” Kandos and later at “Chester” adjoining “Mt View” at Clandulla

In February, 1954 the new Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Phillip visited Bathurst on a tour of Australia.

Lew and Louie Blackmore, with their sons Greg and Robert “Bret” drove over to Bathurst in a 1953 Blue Plymouth sedan.

A similar 1953 Plymouth Sedan

The trip from “Chester” Clandulla, via the hilly dirt road through the gold town of Sofala would have taken about 3 hours.

Sofala – Gold Town
The road to Bathurst via Sofala (Todays travel times)

Bathurst welcomes the Queen

Corner of William Street and Russell Street, Bathurst, opposite the Town Square and War Memorial Carillon, looking towards the Royal and Knickerbocker Hotels.

From memory we were somewhere, in the location of the photo above, to see the Royal Land Rover and procession most probably across the road near the hotels where we may have stayed overnight.

The Queen and Prince Phillip in Russell Street, Bathurst on the 15th February 1954.

The royal flight to Bathurst, comprised eight aircraft. The Queen and the Duke were in a gleaming R.A.A.F. Dakota, their first flight in a R.A.A.F. plane on the tour. The “Royal Dakota” had a ground air-conditioning plant that had arrived on an earlier Dakota. On arrival, the cooling air was blown into the royal aircraft. During her tour of Australia, the Queen travelled on some 33 flights.

The Queen and Prince Phillip at the Bathurst Showgrounds.

The royals visited 57 towns and cities during the 58 days they spent in Australia. They traversed the country by plane, train, ship and car from Cairns in the north, Broken Hill in the west to Hobart in the south. Their children, Prince Charles (aged 5) and Princess Anne (aged 3) did not accompany them.

During their ten days in New South Wales, they attended 28 major programs, with events scheduled for the morning, afternoon and evening. Queen Elizabeth’s days varied from the cultural – watching a surf life-saving demonstration at Bondi Beach; to the civic – addressing 107,000 school children at three outdoor venues; to the constitutional – opening a session of parliament. The crowds were tumultuous, the press was effusive in its praise and every street the royals paraded along was festooned with decorations.

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