I have a lorra lorra great memories of Cilla
THE death of Cilla Black last week will have brought back many memories, particularly for my generation. Love her or hate her, she was the background to many of our lives.
I recalled a perfect day that I spent with my parents when we travelled up to London from Birmingham.
The capital was always an exciting prospect. We had relatives who lived there so visits were reasonably frequent but not so regular that it ever lost its allure.
It wasn’t just the usual sights that thrilled me.
My memories included Aunt Lilian’s flat, which had a phone and a fridge, neither of which we owned at the time.
She made wonderful watery ice lollies from orange squash and allowed me to make endless calls to TIM the talking clock.
The underground trains were magical. A dizzying ride on escalators, the distinctive smell and thrill as a train swept into the station, and the cry of ‘mind the doors please’ as I scrambled in, fearful of being squashed in the doors like a cartoon character.
The highlight of this particular visit – and my parents always packed a lot into a day trip – was to visit the London Palladium. In those days variety shows had a first and second ‘house’ so we could easily go to the 6.15pm show before heading back to Brum.
My mum adored singer Frankie Vaughan, who was topping the bill for a season, and my dad was happy to tag along because comic Tommy Cooper, who made him helpless with laughter, was also appearing.
But for me it was the inclusion on the bill of the young Cilla Black that was exciting. She was a raw talent, a very powerful singer, and she brought the house down.
It would have been interesting to see how her singing style might have matured but this talent was neglected in later years in favour of presenting shows like Blind Date which were not everyone’s cup of tea. Presumably they made her a lorra lorra money.
Little did I know then that I would eventually meet a young lad from Greenford – Mr F – and would also, like Cilla who left Liverpool to settle down in nearby Denham, become a resident of the Deep South myself.
Do you have any memories of Cilla? I’d love to hear them.