Luton plays a silent tribute to King George VI
AT 10.45am on February 6, 1952, it was officially announced that His Majesty, King George VI, had died peacefully in his sleep at Sandringham House.
He was 56 and was known to have been suffering from a worsening lung condition.
Princess Elizabeth, who was at the Royal hunting lodge in Kenya when she was given the news, immediately became Queen at the age of 25.
The King was laid to rest on February 15 and towns, cities and villages across the country came to a standstill.
Luton News photographer George Gurney found a superb vantage point at the top of the Town Hall for his photos of hundreds of people paying their respects by standing in silence in George Street.
His pictures included a procession of civic dignitaries as they made their way from the Town Hall to St Mary’s Parish Church for a service.
Pictured above is the crowd that gathered outside the Carnegie Library on the corner of George Street and Williamson Street.
The library had opened in 1910 after the council accepted the gift of a public library from Scottish-American industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. He was present when it was opened by Whitelaw Reid, the American ambassador, who then lived at Wrest Park, Silsoe.
It was replaced by the present Central Library, which was opened in 1962 and later visited by the Queen.
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