Wedding memories for queen of variety

Joan Savage (in pale suit) with her first husband Ken Morris and guests outside Blackpool Register Office, Devonshire Square in 1955. Below: Holding her copy of her Lost Archives story with care manager Diana Wiltshire.
Joan Savage (in pale suit) with her first husband Ken Morris and guests outside Blackpool Register Office, Devonshire Square in 1955. Below: Holding her copy of her Lost Archives story with care manager Diana Wiltshire.
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For former Blackpool variety star Joan Savage, spotting herself in a recent edition of The Gazette’s Lost Archives has caused quite a stir.

The stunning pictures, run in our weekly nostalgia supplement, showed Joan and her first husband Ken Morris outside the resort’s register office on their wedding day back in January 1955.

Joan Savage holds up a copy of her Lost Archives story alongside Diana Wiltshire, care home manager at Tiltwood, Cobham, Surrey.

Joan Savage holds up a copy of her Lost Archives story alongside Diana Wiltshire, care home manager at Tiltwood, Cobham, Surrey.

Mrs Savage, 78, now suffers from dementia and is a resident of the Tiltwood Care Home in Cobham, Surrey. But relatives said when she saw the article, she was “amazed”.

Bryan Offen, 77, Mrs Savage’s second husband since 1972, said seeing the cutting lifted the spirits of Mrs Savage.

He said: “I’ve taken the cutting to her home and the staff have taken photographs of it to frame it and put it in her room.

“It’s really created quite a stir. She was so surprised.

“To see the photos she was quite amazed.”

Joan’s sister Sheila Esson, 77, from Lindsay Avenue, near Stanley Park, said: “Seeing it in the paper was a nice surprise.

“It was a shock for me, especially because I wasn’t on it! I was in Glasgow in pantomime so I couldn’t make it.”

Mrs Savage, a grandmother-of-two from her first marriage, lived in central Blackpool and performed with Ken Morris in a double act throughout the 1950s and 1960s, including a season at the London Palladium with Arthur Haynes.

She then went on to develop a career as a solo artist and appeared in Dads Army, The Les Dawson Show and The Good Old Days.

In recognition of her talent and services to showbusiness, she was awarded the Freedom of the City of London in 2008.

Diana Wiltshire, manager of Tiltwood Care Home, added: “She is loved by everyone here and has really done well since moving here.

“She has entertained us all on our 50s night and I can tell you she still has the most beautiful voice, and makes us laugh as she can be extremely funny with her wonderful sense of humour.”

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