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  • Pensioners enjoy an 'afternoon of nostalgia'

    By Ron Ellis

    Sincerely Yours (The Vera Lynn Story)

    The Atkinson, Southport

    VERY few people born after 1940 are likely to have personal memories of the Second World War, yet there was a healthy crowd of pensioners at the Atkinson, waving their flags and singing along lustily for this afternoon of nostalgia.

    This was the 57th date on a nationwide tour for the company, starring the UK’s top Vera Lynn tribute singer, Lorrie Brown.

    Vera Lynn herself, now 100 years old and still going strong, endorsed the show and film clips of her career, and of Britain in the War years, were shown on a giant screen along with personal messages to the audience.

    Lorrie, attired in a range of glamorous evening gowns, was backed by an impressive seven piece swing orchestra as she sang a selection of songs from the Vera Lynn Songbook including A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square and The White Cliffs of Dover, while telling the story of Vera’s life along the way.

    Colin Bourdiec, playing his original 1930 ukulele, has been touring with his George Formby act for over 30 years and he delighted the crowd with faithful interpretations of hits like My Little Stick of Blackpool Rock, When I’m Cleaning Windows and Leaning on a Lamppost, with everyone encouraged to sing along to lyrics once considered very risqué.

    I wonder what the 1940’s audiences would have thought of Roy ‘Chubby' Brown?

    Lorrie’s husband, Gary Birtles, did a lively short comic act before the grand finale when Union Jack flags were handed out for the audience to wave and not a few tears were shed as everyone joined in for Land of Hope and Glory, There’ll Always Be an England and We’ll Meet Again sung by Lorrie, now in her khaki uniform, and recalling those far off wartime days that many of them had witnessed for themselves.

    Star Rating 7 out of 10. An afternoon of nostalgia.

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