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DC Lew Tassell At The Silver Jubilee

June 4, 2022
by the gentle author

Some tickets are available for THE GENTLE AUTHOR’S TOUR on 11th & 12th June

A time-travelling adventure escorted by our old friend Detective Constable Lew Tassell of the Fraud Squad, thanks to his personal photographs of the day.

“As I recall, it was dull and overcast but this did not stop crowds coming out to line the route from Buckingham Palace to St Paul’s Cathedral. As you can see from my pictures, I was situated on the south side of Fleet St at the western end. The dull weather did not help me at all, taking pictures with a manual camera and lens, especially as I used an Agfa transparency film which was very “slow.” Consequently some of my photographs are not as sharp as they might be, particularly Earl Mountbatten with Princess Margaret. The date was 7th June 1977. I was a Detective Constable during the summer of the celebrations, attending a course at the Detective Training School at Peel House in Hendon. Before going to Hendon, I spent a lot of time doing preparatory security work along the route of the procession and returned to the City for the big day.” – Lew Tassell

Spot the boys in flares sitting on the canopy

Earl Mountbatten & Princess Margaret

The Queen & Prince Philip

Detective Constable Lew Tassell of the Fraud Squad, 1977

Photographs copyright © Lew Tassell

You may also like to take a look at

On Night Patrol With Lew Tassell

On Top Of Britannic House With Lew Tassell

A Walk Around The Docks With Lew Tassell

Lew Tassell at Charles & Diana’s Wedding

12 Responses leave one →
  1. Saba permalink
    June 4, 2022

    No one can do ceremony like the Brits! What I love most are the fabulous horses that are as genteel as the attendant human aristocracy.

  2. Yutman permalink
    June 4, 2022

    It looks like an elaborate occult ritual , a feudal rite for those subdued, badgered, harried and bamboozled by centuries of war and violence and land robbery into a state of catatonic stupor and peonage — and I am not even a follower of David Icke, nor a conspiracy theorist!

  3. June 4, 2022

    I was at university in London. A friend had family who lived upstairs on the route and we all crowded on to a rather shaky balcony to watch. It was very thoughtful of them to include me and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Only “the Brits” can do things with so much pomp and ceremony!

  4. June 4, 2022

    I first came to Britain in 1978 and at that time I completely surrounded the British Isles in my car. The colour pictures I took then were not nearly as brilliant as those taken by Lew Tassell during the Silver Jubilee. The grain of the Agfa film seems quite sympathetic today.

    Who would have thought that 45 years later we would be celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee! Long live Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II !

    Love & Peace

  5. Yutman permalink
    June 4, 2022

    ‘Aristocrats’ love all the horse displays — if you read ‘Plough Sword and Book; The Structure of Human History’ by British-Czech philosopher and LSE and Oxbridge Scholar Ernest Gellner, he makes it clear that the use of horses was in the post hunter gatherer period, one of the major leaps forward for humankind into violent class-division world-wide, since only the most violent — or the ones would been most successful in thieving — could afford or could pacify wild horses, and once on a horse, one was literally physically *higher* than the other meeker, more egalitarian, gentler souls, and one was in a higher position to beat and coerce those souls lower than them into labour, and, the horses were perfect for violent confrontation too — it’s literally easier to beat someone lower, on foot.

    ‘Aristocrats’ still fetishise these symbols of power, class oppression and violence. A cursory look at the tabloids will show you that, with endless pictures of these royals on horseback, often with whip in hand if on a carriage.

    Even the high-end designer manufacturers reify objects such as horse reigns, buckles and leather straps.

    Since many rich, status aware people can’t actually ride horses around the inner-cities, the symbols will have to do, and they are proudly worn on designer head-scarves and shirts and even bags bear these images.

    It’s all so Freudian and mythic-Jungian.

    Don’t buy into it — unless of course, you enjoy peonage, feudal subservice, ritualistic reification and submissive fetishisation.

  6. Mark permalink
    June 4, 2022

    I played Got Save The Queen by the Sex Pistols on the radiogram. Even at 15 coming on 16, I knew this was utter tosh and nonsense.
    He took a good pic though but.

  7. Mark permalink
    June 4, 2022

    Hats off to Yutman.
    Can’t stand the bloody animals meself either.
    Don’t like ‘orses much an’ all.

  8. Robin Call permalink
    June 4, 2022

    Great photos! To think we are here ,celebrating her Platinum! It is as amazing as she is !! GSTQ!

  9. Yutman permalink
    June 5, 2022

    In ancient primordial cultures the horse was frequently seen as a holy being, as silent messengers from the Gods, bringing with them a sense of awe, a ‘thing in itself’, noumenon-al sacred beings.

    Kafka and Nietzsche also saw them as silent , divine messengers, magical beings, allowing us to wordlessly share in their presence and sense their gaze.

    It’s a shame to see horses co-erced into such sad and submissive roles.

  10. Amanda permalink
    June 5, 2022

    l love Lew Tassell’s birds eye photography almost as much as the GA’s.
    The impressive picture of him in the distinctive City of London police uniform while still a PC, is worth seeing in the other articles linked below (with his ‘on duty’ chequered armband.
    Spot the differences to the London Metropolitan uniform.

    Thank you GA for a warm reminder of seeing my favourite stand out attire of the Queen on her Silver Jubilee. Having lived a very exciting ‘Tom & Jerry’ life with plenty of scrapes and near misses, l am surprised l’m still here for the Platinum.

    Her floaty sugar pink coat and dress had deviated from her formal tailored look and the delicate fabric fluttered in the breeze.
    As a costume maker, l was fascinated by the brimless hat design. The cascade of teeny silk flower bells on stems of organza rouleaux bobbling as the monarch turned her head. l hope its in an exhibition somewhere.

    My college chums and l sat in a big group on rugs in St James’ Park til very late that summer night animatedly chatting to other Londoners. We were excited for a reason just to be together.
    Many of us were children of immigrants to this country who grew up knowing we were fortunate because of our parent’s destiny.

    The park the most packed l had ever seen it. Our London pigeons attempting sleep in their lime trees must have been bewildered by the cacophany of voices.

    When time to reluctantly go home we ambled back to our cars in a huge throng, possibly parked just off Marble Arch along Edgware Road. Imagine parking that close nowadays.
    l can still remember exactly what l wore with my waist length hair in 2 bunches so l could add extra red, white + blue ribbons. Skin tight jeans were THE uniform for our age group – stark contrast to the falling down ones today. We had our boots made at Cobblers to the World in Kings Road.

    In recent years l saw the heavy Gold Coach at The Royal Mews looking totally immovable. Designed centuries ago almost as if not destined to budge.

    As an added bonus, the woollen red tunic of the Waterman’s Doggett Coat and Badge was on display in the Mews, alongside the other spectacularly embroidered uniforms of English pageantry.

    Mr Doggett, an Irish actor in London funded the first race of apprentice Thames River boatmen to win the huge badge to adorn the sleeve of their red coat.

    l’ve yet to stand on a bridge over the Thames to watch the Waterman Apprentices very tough boat race, rowing against the strong tide.
    Next year … l promise myself.

    There are so many traditions handed from grandfather, father to son l feel proud to personally observe in my travels and have yet to learn about from this gentle blog.

  11. Jill Wilson permalink
    June 7, 2022

    Great memories!

    I was in the crowd for the Silver Jubilee (having camped overnight in the Mall!) and it was a brilliant occasion with a real feel good factor. The crowd was so well behaved and typically British in that anyone who had got there first was kept their place if they needed to go to search for a cup of tea or a loo.

    I can remember that beforehand there were lots of negative comments about how it was all a waste of money and was going to be an embarrassing flop. At the time there was the usual cost of living crisis, rampant inflation, industrial unrest and a threat from Russia, not to mention the ongoing bombing campaign by the IRA.

    But it turned out to be a huge success, and like the Platinum Jubilee was a wonderful chance for communities to get together to celebrate something uniquely British.

    And if anyone says that having a hereditary Head of State is a bad idea I just say look at the alternative… Would you be happy to be represented by the likes of Boris?? President Blair???


  12. Marcia Howard permalink
    June 14, 2022

    Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful….

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