LOOKING BACK: Sing along with the Odeon Club

James Downham in his Morecambe Brass Band uniform, 1957.
James Downham in his Morecambe Brass Band uniform, 1957.
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Here are a few memories from James Downham of Heysham, sparked by Looking Back.

James was a member of Morecambe Brass Band when it was known as Morecambe Borough Band. He played second cornet from 1953 to 1960.

Anne Birkett and her accordion. Also pictured are James' mother and father Grace and Teddy Downham.

Anne Birkett and her accordion. Also pictured are James' mother and father Grace and Teddy Downham.

“The band had a star principal cornet player, Dick Hodgson,” said James.

“On practice nights at the old National School, he would choose obscure works from the the repertory which only he could play, and thrill us with his expertise.

“He had played in the orchestra at the Plaza Cinema where silent films were shown.”

James also recalled a picture of Morecambe FC from the 1930s in a recent instalment of Looking Back.

He thinks Edward Downham, his grandfather, a lifelong supporter and secretary of the Shrimps’ supporters’ club, was in the picture.

Edward Downham, who died in 1933 aged 49, resided at 53 Buckingham Road and ran a hairdresser’s business, with shops on Euston Road and Albert Road.

Finally, James commented on the Odeon Club, as highlighted by Derek Gardner and James’ old mate from the Grammar School, Colin ‘Dinger’ Dingley.

“I was allowed to attend every Saturday morning from 1948 to 1953, provided I went with friends,” he said.

“As well as the films there, there was live entertainment, often provided by Annie Birkett.

“Annie was blind from the age of three, but learned to play the piano and accordion, with her guide dog in attendance.”

James also treated me to the old ‘Odeon Club’ theme song, which went as follows.

“We come along on Saturday morning, greeting everybody with a smile.

“We come along on Saturday morning, knowing it’s well worthwhile.

“As members of the Odeon Club we all intend to be

“Good citizens when we grow up and champions of the free.”

Thank you James for some fabulous anecdotes!