Alma Cogan to be honoured at Morecambe Winter Gardens

Alma Cogan.
Alma Cogan.

A ‘Wall of Fame’ will be created in the Winter Gardens to honour the stars of yesteryear.

A portrait of 1950s singing star Alma Cogan will be the first to hang in a special section at the grand old theatre.

Fans from the Alma Cogan Society will visit the Winter Gardens on April 8 to take part in a ceremony to open the Wall of Fame.

Volunteers who have fought hard to bring the Winter Gardens back to life will also receive an outstanding achievement award that day from Old Theatres magazine.

The award will hang on the Wall of Fame near the Alma Cogan picture.

Evelyn Archer, chair of the Friends of the Winter Gardens, said: “We couldn’t run the theatre without the volunteers. They are absolutely wonderful.

“We hope this Wall of Fame will be popular with people who can come in and see the stars who used to perform here.”

David Aspinall from Old Theatres magazine said: “The volunteers’ fantastic efforts have brought the building back to life for multi-purpose use, including stage performances. They are an inspiration to others. There have been many setbacks and much work still to be done, but they have persisted with their dream.”

The Winter Gardens opened in 1897 and was at the heart of Morecambe’s thriving entertainment scene for decades until its closure in 1977.

In 1986 the Friends of the Winter Gardens was formed to rescue it and in 2006, the Winter Gardens Preservation Trust bought the Grade II* listed building. Since then, gradual work has been done to open the theatre sporadically for events, most recently a Stagestruck Theatre production of Oliver.

Old Theatres magazine is Britain’s leading magazine of theatre nostalgia. Its patrons include Ken Dodd.