This week in 1957: Duke of Edinburgh trolls Islington Boys’ Club members on royal visit

PUBLISHED: 10:26 01 December 2017 | UPDATED: 10:32 01 December 2017

The Duke of Edinburgh visits Islington Boys' Club. Picture: Islington Gazette archive/Islington Local History Centre

The Duke of Edinburgh visits Islington Boys' Club. Picture: Islington Gazette archive/Islington Local History Centre


The Queen is set to visit St Mary’s Church in Upper Street on Wednesday next week.

Islington Gazette: December 6, 1957 Islington Gazette: December 6, 1957

And exactly 60 years ago in 1957, we reported on her husband’s visit to Islington Boys’ Club in Parkhurst Road, Holloway.

The Duke of Edinburgh arrived 30 minutes late after being delayed by thick fog. But there were no hard feelings from club members George Bailey, 16, and Robert Ellner, 15, who were on hand to greet him and open the doors.

Some of his conversations with club members went as follows.

The Duke, asked 14-year-old John Smith, of Hilldrop Road, about his woodwork course at school: “What are you making there?”

John: “A coffee table, sir.”

The Duke: “A coffin?”

He also asked the club band to play a tune, but there was confusion when only two boys started to play.

The Duke demanded of the others: “Why aren’t you playing?”

“We don’t all play this together,” came the answer.

“Oh well, just make a noise,” the Duke replied.

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