Take a look at these two pictures taken in Sidmouth town centre, taken 70 years apart from each other.

The first picture was taken during the Queen's Coronation in 1953, and the other before the King's Coronation last week.

John Palmer's friend caught a black and white photograph looking down old Ford Street in Sidmouth decorated for Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation Day in 1953.

It was displayed in Sidmouth Museum for many years as part of a Queen's Coronation display.

What interested him particularly was a 1935 Morris 8 two-seater parked at the side of the road. 

He took a photo of the photo on his smartphone and magnified the picture up, only to find to his surprise that the registration number was that of his car, AUO 6.


Mr Palmer said: "I bought the car in 1966, at the tender age of 19, for £60 (a lot of money for a 30-year-old vehicle in those days.)" 

The pair got in touch with each other and last Wednesday, (May 3), in celebration of the forthcoming coronation of King Charles III, the pair drove the Morris 8 the 40 miles from Sampford Courtenay, where Mr Palmer now lives, to Sidmouth and photographed it, as nearly as they could, positioned on the spot it had been parked outside Gliddon’s hardware store 70 years previously. 

The two pictures also show how different and the same Sidmouth looks between the two years. The big bunting on display in 1952, as well as the sun blinds in front of every store. One thing that is the same is Giddons Hardware Store on the corner, now Gliddons Cook's Corner Cookshop

The two pictures show Sidmouth Town Centre in 1953, where the town was preparing for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and the versions of our 2023 photograph in colour showing a beautiful summers day. 

Mr Palmer added: "It’s interesting to see the changes which have occurred over the intervening 70 years; pedestrianisation, absence of shop sunblind's, large flower holders, trees planted and, of course, very different fashions and designs of clothes and vehicles. 

"Also, there was a relative paucity of coronation decorations in the picture the other day, although there were a few union jacks suspended from buildings, but out of sight of the camera."