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Things to look for in Queen Elizabeth II anniversary exhibit

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ROCHELLE B. BIRKELO
February 4, 2012
— Jerry Bluhm weaves tidbits about Queen Elizabeth II into his conversations like some people share details about relatives.

"I could be a walking encyclopedia about Queen Elizabeth II," the 66-year-old Janesville man said.


He is displaying what he calls only "a drop in the bucket" of his Queen Elizabeth II collection this month at Hedberg Public Library in honor of the 60th anniversary of her reign.


Bluhm has traveled to London 10 times, has seen Queen Elizabeth during one of her Trooping the Color birthday parades, shares June 21 as a birthday with Prince William/The Duke of Cambridge and has mailed birthday cards to Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Phillip/Duke of Edinburgh every year since 1975.


People tell him: "You're more British than the British," Bluhm said.


Regardless of whether you're a fan of the royal family, you might find something of interest in his exhibit, which is on display until Feb. 29.


Here are details about five of the items of memorabilia Bluhm has collected since the summer of 1953:


1. A ticket to Queen Elizabeth's coronation. Ticket No. 61 was issued to Sir Griffith Williams to admit him to the south aisle of the nave for the June 2, 1953, ceremony at Westminster Abbey. Williams was a member of the education department of the British Cabinet.


2. A Golden Jubilee inscribed plate. This piece of blue, white and gold pottery with a metallic glaze was made by Prinknash Abbey Pottery and captures silhouettes of Queen Elizabeth II, her husband, four children and mother in celebration of the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty. The Royal emblem anchors the top of the plate, while roses—the national flower of England—accent the plate's border between the silhouettes.


3. Golden Jubilee response. This letter, dated Oct. 8, 2002, was written on official Buckingham Palace stationery by Queen Elizabeth II's lady in waiting (secretary to the Queen). It includes a handwritten message: "the Queen thought it kind of you to send the press cuttings" in response to Bluhm's card containing congratulatory Golden Jubilee wishes.


The letter also contained an enclosure stating: "The Queen hopes you will understand that because of the overwhelming number of letters she has received in the last few months, it has not been possible to thank you until now."


4. Coronation tin. This round, light sage-green container, made by W&R Jacobson & Co., London, once held cookies. On its lid are pictures of Queen Elizabeth II and other queens, including Mary, Anne and Victoria.


5. 1952 Life Magazine. A young Queen Elizabeth II is featured on the cover of the issue with the headline "Long Live the Queen." It went on sale Feb. 18, 1952, only 12 days after she became queen. The magazine has the original label of its subscriber.


IF YOU GO
What: Queen Elizabeth II memorabilia collected by Jerry Bluhm on display to mark the 60th anniversary of the queen's reign.
Where: Hedberg Public Library, 316 S. Main St., Janesville.
When: Through Wednesday, Feb. 29, during library hours: 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday and Saturday; and 1-5 p.m. Sunday.

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