Morecambe Warblers celebrate 120 years

Morecambe Warblers. Picture by John Atkinson.
Morecambe Warblers. Picture by John Atkinson.

Morecambe Warblers Amateur Operatic Society is celebrating its 120th year of performing amateur musical shows.

Their first performance, held at the Winter Gardens in 1897, was “The Canary Birds” and they were the first amateur musical society in the area.

Since 1897 the Warblers have gone from strength-to-strength and produced successful shows with famous actors, singers and dancers over the years.

These include Dame Thora Hird, her father James H Hird, Janette Scott, Neville Allison, Fiona Chadwick, Paula Vernon and more recently Mark Isherwood who after nine years in Jersey Boys in the West End is now appearing in Mamma Mia.

This year they have a new president, Donald Street who became a member in 1957 performing in the musical “Love From Judy.”

He continued to appear on stage for many years before taking up office on the committee where he served for ten years.

Vice-President Ms Audrey Sutcliffe has been a stalwart member of the society since 1957 and has only this year stepped down as president after four years in the position.

Although a non-active member now Audrey has many fond and amusing memories of her years on stage with the Warblers and has a fantastic knowledge of the past shows and the people in them.

While there are still members who have been in the society for many years and continue to support and perform in shows, perhaps the largest family who continue to remain Warblers are the Isherwood family.

Gwen Carter has been a member since 1972 and her two sons, Chris and Mark and her daughter, Kim have all appeared on stage in the past and continue to be a part of the company. Chris is chairman of the Warblers, Gwen and her husband George are honorary ticket secretaries and Kim is part of the props team.

All of Chris’s children, along with his wife, Carey have performed for the Warblers and on their 120th year the team are pleased to have two new Isherwood members, Daniel Jack, son of Kim and Mike and Noah Benjamin, son of Chloe and Luke who they hope will tread the boards in years to come.

Morecambe Warblers will perform “Half A Sixpence” this year for their 120th production under the direction of Sharon Bell and musical direction of Angela Potter.

The show is being performed at Lancaster Grand Theatre, from Tuesday October 3 until Saturday October 7 and tickets are available on 01524 415854 or 01524 64695.