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By October of that year he was invested at a ceremony at the Winter Gardens, during the Conservative Conference. In a speech during the ceremony, Churchill extolled the virtues of a ‘United States of Europe’ and prompted the later closer association with the rest of Europe in an Economic Community. The speech reinforced an earlier one in Zurich when he promulgated a ‘United Europe’ to dispel the bitter feuds and quarrels of the past. The investiture and speech were reported all over the world.
The ceremony which was chaired by the mayor Frank Nickson. Describing why Churchill had been chosen for the honour, Coun Nickson said: "No man in history gave more of his life and talents in the service of his country than Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill. "In his youth he fought for it, in his middle years he gave it counsel, in his later years he fashioned its crowning achievement – victory in the most terrible of all wars."
Churchill's response to the honour remains clear 70 years later: "I thank you for your courtesy, for the honour you have done me, and the compliments you have paid me. I shall carry away from Blackpool the most delightful memories and tell any descendants I may have in future years that I was once welcomed here with open arms." A regular visitor to the town and to the Imperial Hotel in particular, Lady Clementine and Winston enjoyed their stays, drawing large crowds on their arrival at and departure from the hotel. He is remembered at the hotel with affection and commemorated by the dedication of a function room, the ‘Churchill Room’.
After the ceremony, and as Churchill descended the stage, he thrust his unsmoked cigar, into the hand of B A Walker, who was an Divisional Inspector with the local constabulary, after assisting Churchill.
The unsmoked cigar is a rare 'La Corona" Winston Churchill, Habana, made for Sir Winston, and contained within a metal cigar tube. A photograph of B A Walker of the period.
Not all the locals took kindly to Mr Churchill and the Tory party. The memories of one young lad, at that time, highlight this.
"Elections created a political fervour at school that is hard to comprehend now. I can't remember if it was February 1950 when Attlee won, or October 51 when Churchill won, but I do remember small gangs of the big lads roaming around at playtime picking on smaller kids with the question 'Labour or Tory?' Tough times for any poor lad who was politically naïve and took a punt on Tory for the answer. One day, during the run up to the general election, a friend grabbed my arm as we poured out the front door at 4 o'clock, and said in all earnest 'If Winston Churchill comes round here I'll stick his cigar up his arse".
|Height||16.50 cm||(6.50 inches)|