Thora Hird and Tom Bell before they were famous

1th Morecambe (Parish Church) Wolf Cub Pack at camp at Burton-in-Lonsdale in the Summer of 1942.
1th Morecambe (Parish Church) Wolf Cub Pack at camp at Burton-in-Lonsdale in the Summer of 1942.
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The theme in this week’s Looking Back is celebrities in their younger days.

In this photo of the 11th Morecambe (Parish Church) Wolf Cub Pack at camp at Burton-in-Lonsdale in the summer of 1942, one of the young cubs is Tom Bell, who went on to become an actor of stage and screen.

Tom, who died in 2006, lived in Morecambe as an evacuee during the Second World War.

His main roles were as Adolf Eichmann in the Emmy-winning TV series Holocaust, armed robber Frank Ross in BAFTA-nominated series ‘Out’, Det Sgt Bill Otley in Prime Suspect and Jack ‘The Hat’ McVitie in the film The Krays.

Thanks to Geoff Dowling, who used to work at The Visitor, for sending us the photo. He writes: “All of the lads will be in their 80s now.

The Scout Group had its headquarters at the National School which is adjacent to the church. Most of the lads attended Euston Road Junior School.”

Lads in the picture include Alan Douglas, Tommy Rogerson, David Boardman, Alan Calvert, Geoff Dowling, Tom Bell, Ian Dickinson, Brian Dalton, Robin Dickinson, Peter Sainsbury and Leslie Taylor.

Does anyone know anyone else in the photo?

Our other picture was taken from a 1939 review of The Visitor in pictures, which contained photos from the newspaper that year.

This one shows May Queens Past and Present from Misses Nelson’s School, posing at Happy Mount Park with the 1939 May Queen.

Fourth from left at the back is none other than Thora Hird. It wasn’t long after this photo was taken that Thora starred in her first film and went on to become one of Britain’s best-loved TV actresses.

Pictured are (left to right, front row): Freda Miller, Pat Dewhirst, Joan Wilson, Margaret Worthy, Greta Baker, Edna Mitchelson, Beatrice Bown, Edith Elkin. (Back row): Mary Tonge, Lilian Bown, Vida Edwards, Thora Hird, Madge Peel, Mary Mitchell, Mary Boden, Margaret Oldham, Margaret Gott and Joan Chadwick.

Thanks to Valerie Campbell for the Visitor Pictorial.