Royal Coronation High Street, Knowle, Solihull, 2023

You may have heard the news that there was a Coronation taking place in May. An event that has never happened for 70 years. The excitement was everywhere and it was not difficult to get caught up in what was happening over the weekend. My village Knowle is very active and keen to promote community based events. The place is very friendly and since moving here from the North West nearly 40 years ago, there has always been a community get together around major events. For the Coronation weekend the plan was to close the High Street for a day and let the community reclaim the streets. This event took place last year with the Queen’s platinum Jubilee and plans to repeat this successful venture were made for the King’s Coronation.

Royal Coronation High Street, Knowle, Solihull, 2023
Crowds on the High Street.
Royal Coronation High Street, Knowle, Solihull, 2023
The Mayor of Solihull learning that King Charles may have arrived.
Royal Coronation High Street, Knowle, Solihull, 2023
Judy the village crier.

Visit Knowle were the champions of this Royal Coronation High Street celebration. As I walked the dog around early on the Bank Holiday Monday, the High Street was already closed and the contractors were putting up the stands and the stage. The weather forecast was not great and there were a few drops or rain around. I returned to the High Street at 11.30am to find it crowded and the party in full swing. The stalls were doing great business and many of the shops were open as well. The Mayor of Solihull was present plus a guest cardboard cutout of Charles III. The stage was in regular occupancy with all acts getting in a rendition of God Save the King somewhere in their routine. The idea of throwing a football into a toilet bowl attracted a lot of attention plus there were many other things to do. I did not get chance to go up the Knowle Church Tower or visit the inside display. There was just too much going on. Many people posted photographs and searching through the local social media sites confirms the success of the Celebrations and shows events that I missed.

Royal Coronation High Street, Knowle, Solihull, 2023
Are you ready for “God save the King”?
Royal Coronation High Street, Knowle, Solihull, 2023
The stage is the big draw for the crowds.
Royal Coronation High Street, Knowle, Solihull, 2023
The Church grounds are being put to good use.
Royal Coronation High Street, Knowle, Solihull, 2023
We have toilets and we have balls. What games shall we play?
Royal Coronation High Street, Knowle, Solihull, 2023
My aim is true.
Royal Coronation High Street, Knowle, Solihull, 2023
Time for a cuppa.
Royal Coronation High Street, Knowle, Solihull, 2023
This cup of tea is most welcome.
Royal Coronation High Street, Knowle, Solihull, 2023
If there are no cars, then let’s sail a boat down the High Street.
Royal Coronation High Street, Knowle, Solihull, 2023
Someone in the picture is not happy!
Royal Coronation High Street, Knowle, Solihull, 2023
Knitted Camilla to knitted Charles, “How many times have we been photographed today”

I spent a good hour and a bit wandering around, meeting people I knew and enjoying taking photographs of the fesitvities. Oh and did I mention the weather? Well there was no rain when I visited and it held off for most of the day. How would we cope if there had been sunshine?

Royal Coronation High Street, Knowle, Solihull, 2023
A painted flag.

Epilogue – I won a basketball shirt in the basketball raffle winning a black top and red vest. A good result of the day. Pictures to follow.

You may like to see how the High Street looked last year during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Latest products

Brighton Beach fun

Brighton Beach fun

I was fortunate to visit Brighton as part of a conference. My hotel was on the seafront and in between…

Travel agent working from home

Keeping life varied is the key to getting through the Lockdown and night time walks add a difference to the routine.  I am fortunate to live in a typical English village with a high street and local shops. During Lockdown the traffic flow has decreased although the cars do travel through at speed.

Knowle High Street at Night
Knowle High Street at Night
Car lights in the High Street
Car lights in the High Street
Waiting for someone
Waiting for someone
Bus with a few passengers
Bus with a few passengers

Many of the village shop lights are on and there are a few people moving around.  The busiest places are the chemist, the 24 hour convenience store and Tesco.  All the restaurants are offering takeaways.  A click and collect meal may make a difference to breaking the monotonous existence of lockdown.  However, it is an expensive one, compared to making your own meals at home.  A feature of the weather is the amount of rain that we have been having. The rain has been intensive leading to major puddles in the street.  My new camera has a tilting screen making it easier to take photographs with when bending down.  The iPhone does a great job but with absence of a flip screen you have to get quite low to see the screen.  These days I find one of the problems is getting back to a vertical standing position after crouching down. 

Picking up a takeaway
Picking up a takeaway

The shop windows are pretty, and some still have the Christmas decorations in them as people are not inclined to do much during the pandemic.  The lights at night are fun to photograph and some of the shop windows like the travel agent remind you of times gone by.  I also walk towards the level crossing at Bentley Health and the footbridge is a perfect place to take pictures of the trains going into Birmingham.  I tend to go out walking with the dog and he does not always appreciate the waiting around for the trains to go by. The picture I took was of a train into Birmingham.  The term “Night Train” came to mind and I saw that Steve Winwood had a song by that name on one of his albums. 

Footbridge over the railway
Footbridge over the railway
The night train to Birmingham
The night train to Birmingham
Train approaching the level crossing
Train approaching the level crossing

There was a picture that I saw on Instagram from one of my contacts taking pictures of petrol stations and wondered why would they being doing that?  Here I am taking pictures of the Shell petrol station at night. 

Esso Petrol station at night
Esso Petrol station at night

I have to say it does have an interesting almost timeless atmosphere about doing such photographs.  The bright lights against the black sky give it importance.  A staging post of interplanetary travel maybe?  I found the change of time for my lockdown photography made the difference.  It was a different challenge taking the pictures at night. No light trails in this set of photographs but I will look to do some later in the month.

Photographic tipThere were two or three pleasing photographs.  The reflected puddle one was interesting as the woman came out of nowhere and made the story.  I am not sure if she did have the takeaway with her.  The night train picture was after a lot of hanging around waiting for the trains to appear.  The petrol station was an idea that I copied from someone else.


Knowle is opening up and the notices on the shops are changing to ones of positivity.  “We are opening up” is the general message.  Three of the restaurants had resorted to boarding up their windows so it is nice to see them taken down and messages of how they are resuming their services.  Several of the shops look very empty and places such as the opticians and the hairdressers are missing the human interaction.  They will be difficult to manage for social distancing purposes but I know they will find a way around it. I have taken several photographs which provide hope and are looking to the future. Very different from my earlier posts at the start of the lockdown.