Category Archives: Bassey Archive

FROM THE ARCHIVE 481 -1998-

Today an article from Caledonian Airways

This is my last post for now as I will be going on holiday for three weeks.
If there is any news Ed or David will post it. Till later and keep the music playing.

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FROM THE ARCHIVE 479 -1996-

Today a review from the London Times from 1996 about the series of concerts that year at the Royal Festival Hall plus Goldfinger from one of those fabulous concerts there.

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FROM THE ARCHIVE 478 -1995-

Today a follow up from the last blog with the programme from the 1995 outdoor concert in Cardiff Castle. We have some newspaper articles from this great event and a video with Dame Shirley performing Still.

1995 A

1995 B

1995 C Jean (blog)

1995 AK

1995 O

1995 K (blog)

FROM THE ARCHIVE 477 -1994-

This weekend another request by Jill from Canada. The 1994 Blackpool illuminations by Dame Shirley. The illumination is always done by a celebrity

Blackpool Illuminations, 2nd September 1994 a

BLACKPOOL ILLUMINATIONS, FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 2ND 1994 (By Susan):

blackpoolAs we all know, everything Shirley touches turns into gold and today was no exception. This was the day she was going to switch on the most famous lights in Britain – the Blackpool Illuminations – and three mad Shirley fans: myself, my friend Sylvia and her 11 year old daughter Dionne had travelled 350 miles by train that day to witness her do it!

Shirley wasn’t due in Talbot Square until 9pm, but we were standing in position at the front of the crowd from 4.30 onwards. A special stage had been set up alongside a V.I.P. stand for the sponsors and the local dignitaries and we found out that Shirley would be flying to Manchester and then coming into Blackpool by helicopter.

Westbury Music Fair, Long Island, NY, Oct 1997bEntertainment started at 5.30 in the form of a local orchestra, comedians, etc. but we were only waiting for one person! As it got later and darker we became more and more excited and then finally the big moment arrived. The host said: “In one moment I’m going to bring on stage the lady you’ve all been waiting for” and the National Youth Jazz Orchestra struck up the “Goldfinger” intro! Everyone started to cheer and applaud and Shirley came running on stage, looking stunning in black mini-culottes and a white silk shirt and jacket, like a female version of a circus ringmaster. With circuses being one of Blackpool’s major attractions, Shirley had got it just right yet again! When the thunderous reception subsided Stan Boardman – the host for the evening – spoke to Shirley. She said she’d come from London and before that Monte Carlo and that she had lots of wonderful memories from her appearances in Blackpool over the years. Britain’s famous all-round entertainer, Roy Castle, had died earlier that day and Shirley presented his son Ben, who was playing in the orchestra, with cheques for The Roy Castle Cause For Hope Appeal, to help build a new lung cancer research institute in Liverpool. In a very touching moment Shirley gave him a hug and then he gave a speech in which he thanked the whole country for their support and said his father was back with God. I’m sure there must have been many tears in the estimated 15,000 crowd. After that it was back to the happy business of switching on the lights. Shirley gave the countdown from 10 and we all counted out loud along with her. “Ten, Nine, Eight…” As she got to “One!” she moved to the right of the stage and put the massive plug into the socket setting not only Blackpool alight, but also the 500ft. high tower which had been painted gold for it’s 100th Anniversary.

After doing a few press calls and receiving bouquets from the various local dignitaries it was time for Shirley to don a gorgeous black cloak lined in red, again like a ringmaster’s, and make her way back to her limousine and the civic reception awaiting her at the Imperial Hotel.

Meanwhile the three of us made our way back to the railway station for the return journey on the sleeper, arriving home less than 24 hours since we’d left. Some people might say “700 miles just to see Shirley for 10 minutes?” Well all I can say is that it was worth all the time and effort and we would do it all over again tomorrow!!

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