I have a lorra lorra great mem­o­ries of Cilla

Harefield Gazette - - OPINION -

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.

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