Glamorous, beautiful, kind-hearted and talented. Alma Cogan had it all.
Tragically the famous 1950s and 1960s singer was lost to the world in her prime, taken by ovarian cancer on October 26 1966, aged just 34.
Almost 50 years since the death of ‘the girl with the laugh in her voice’, a group of enthusiasts are dedicated to keeping her memory alive.
Last Tuesday the Alma Cogan International Fan Club gathered at Morecambe’s Winter Gardens to honour their heroine.
Members presented Evelyn Archer, chair of the Friends of the Winter Gardens, with a framed poster promoting Alma’s summer season at the old theatre in 1958, and a photograph of the star.
These precious items will hang on the Winter Gardens’ new Wall of Fame, alongside an award presented by Old Theatres Magazine to the Friends for their sterling efforts to save the theatre and work towards its restoration.
Alma Cogan was Britain’s highest-paid female entertainer in her heyday, and actually topped the bill ahead of Morecambe and Wise in Eric’s home town.
She had a number one hit with ‘Dreamboat’ and starred in her own ATV television show in the early 1960s.
“I had the pleasure of knowing Alma when I was 13 or 14,” said Eddie Grassham, president of the fan club.
“I was a fan and then I became a friend. That wouldn’t happen with the stars of today.
“She was so friendly off stage. You could ring her and she would invite you up to her flat in Kensington if she was there.
“You never saw her ad libbing with her music. She was always spot on.
“Alma was the most fantastic lady I have ever met in my life.”
Taking pride of place on Tuesday at the Winter Gardens was one of Alma’s most beautiful dresses, owned by club member Trevor Benton.
Alma wore the black and white dress when she was a guest on Cliff Richard’s TV show.
Look out for our video interviews with members of the Alma Cogan Fan Club coming soon to www.thevisitor.co.uk