Everest news left crowd in Mall on a high

PUBLISHED: 15:56 12 March 2008 | UPDATED: 09:33 23 August 2010

I have frequently been told to beware of stories that are 50 years old because they frequently get better and better.

I have frequently been told to beware of stories that are 50 years old because they frequently get better and better. A good example is my claim that every newspaper had banner headlines on the morning of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth proclaiming that a New Zealand mountaineer and his Sherpa guide had reached the summit of the world's highest mountain.

"Not true," writes Ken Gunderson. "Time has dimmed your memory." He says: "Unless my memory fails me, the only newspaper to have banner headlines on that morning was the Daily Express. It was an exclusive story, probably their finest scoop. Some papers had a few lines in their Stop Press late editions - possibly the Daily Telegraph was one. The news of the conquest of Everest had been broadcast by the BBC in their first bulletin of the day."

Martyn Berry, of Copse Bank, Seal, remembers how he heard the news of the successful conquest of Everest.

He writes: "On the eve of the Coronation my Scottish friend Iain and myself stayed with an uncle of Iain's in his flat at the top of Buckingham Palace Road, inside the control-crowd barrier.

"We had great difficulty in waking Iain at 4am the next morning but we were in position in The Mall well before 6am. The weather was pretty miserable, and. although the huge crowd was good humoured, there wasn't much sparkle during the long wait - until the news about Everest was relayed along the route. That set the tone for the rest of the day.


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