Memory Lane: Mary’s ‘feathered’ friends

The Pete Price Combo can just be glimpsed behind these dancers at the Horseshoe Bar at Blackpool Pleasure Beach in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The Pete Price Combo can just be glimpsed behind these dancers at the Horseshoe Bar at Blackpool Pleasure Beach in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

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KEEN to find her fine feathered friends – that’s Mary Forbes, who has identified herself as one of the dancers in this photograph featured in Memory Lane earlier this month.

It was taken at the Pleasure Beach Horsehoe Bar during one of several seasons when the Pete Price Combo entertained the holiday crowds.

That is Pete, just in view to the right of the picture, while the sax player (on the left) is Pete Elgee, who supplied the photograph with the question: “I wonder if any of the girls pictured might still be dancing today?”

From Southport, Mary Forbes has been in touch to say: “I am the dancer sat down in the front of the picture and my name then was Mary Clark. I can remember two of the girls’ names.

“Looking at the picture the girl immediately to my left is Paula, to my right Annice, but unfortunately I cannot remember the names of the two other girls.

“But of course I remember Pete Price and his Combo. I think the year is 1968 and ‘top of the bill’ was a singer called Raphael. As I recall we had a very good season and a very happy season. If you hear from the other two dancers, please apologise to them for not remembering their names.”

Mary, now 76, was in a number of Blackpool summer seasons with the likes of Nat Jackley, Arthur Askey and Sabrina. Theatres included the Hippodrome before it became the ABC. But it was the BBC that had been a big part of her dancing life as she was a member of the Television Toppers for more than five years. “I used to appear on TV in those Saturday night spectaculars with all sorts of entertainers, including Tommy Trinder, Norman Evans and Yana. I also did the original Black and White Minstrels Show.”

Over the years, Mary was a valued member of and choreographer and producer for several organisations including Blackpool and Fylde Light Opera Society, Blackpool Operatic Players, Thornton Cleveleys Operatic Society and the Premier Theatre Company. After moving to Southport in 2007 she became involved with the Birkdale Orpheus Society, but illness over the last 18 months has prevented her from taking a more active role.

Mary says: “The Horseshoe was my last professional engagement and it was such a lovely surprise to receive the Memory Lane article from a friend who recognised me in the photograph.

“I am still in touch with quite a few people from my Fylde coast days but if anyone wishes to get in touch I would be very pleased to hear from them,” added Mary, who can be contacted on ((01704) 220358.