Books of Condolence and other documents relating to the passing of HM Queen Elizabeth II have been placed in Wirral Archives by the Mayor of Wirral.
The items have been carefully stored in the archive at the request of Buckingham Palace, so that future generations can discover how local people felt about the late Queen’s passing, and how the historic event was marked in the borough.
The Mayor of Wirral, Councillor Jeff Green, said, “It is clear from the comments left in the books of condolence that many people felt a great loss with the Queen’s passing, as well as an enormous gratitude for her more than 70 years of service.
“Although those feelings, and the historic events of the past few weeks, are not ones that any of us will forget, it is important that we leave a record so that future generations can learn about how people felt and how they came together to celebrate the proclamation of their new King.”
Around 4,500 residents signed the books of condolence, which were opened at Birkenhead Town Hall, Eastham Library, The Floral Pavilion and West Kirby Concourse the morning after the late Sovereign passed away and remained open until the evening after Her Majesty’s State Funeral, Tuesday 20 September.
Personal messages left in the books include:
• We have lost a much-loved and respected Sovereign who demonstrated an extraordinary sense of duty and devotion to our county, people and public service. The high regard that people and communities held her in was so evident at every Platinum Jubilee celebration I had the honour of visiting earlier this summer. We all now have an opportunity to reflect on, and give thanks for, her exceptional life. Rest in Peace, Your Majesty – Councillor Jeff Green, Mayor of Wirral
• Thank you for your dedicated lifetime of service and your undiminished love for our country. A woman leader who has commanded everyone’s respect. RIP. – Cllr. Janette Williamson, Leader of Wirral Council
• You were a fantastic role model in an ever-changing world – Elizabeth the constant! You will forever be remembered for serving your country and keeping your vow. May you know how much you will be missed. Rest in Peace Your Majesty. – Luke, Pamela and Max
• Thank you for all your wisdom, steadfastness and all your dedicated hard work for 70 years. Thank you for being a wonderful Queen and a magnificent guide for our country. RIP. – B Devany
Other items placed in the archive alongside the books include a copy of the letter of condolence the Mayor sent to the Palace following the announcement of the death, the Proclamation that was read out to crowds in front of Birkenhead Town Hall, photographs of the Proclamation event, and service sheets, including the Merseyside Civic Service at Liverpool Cathedral, the Memorial on the Mersey, and special services at Birkenhead Priory Chapel and St John’s in Meols.
The items now join a collection of up to half a million items, stored in 30,000 special boxes on more than six miles of shelving space at Wirral Archives. Among the huge variety of artefacts being conserved are workhouse and school records, ships plans, and other important documents from the Cammell Laird archive.
Public access to archives ‘Search Room’ at the Cheshire Lines Building in Birkenhead is available by appointment. Residents can also make an enquiry by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and the archivists will endeavour to help with research requests where possible.
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