Ronnie loved a pair of high heels

Zac the Mastiff cross with Alec Moser.
Zac the Mastiff cross with Alec Moser.
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BY his own admission, Hull-born balladier Ronnie Hilton admired high heels and preferred to see his wife Joan in them “whenever possible”.

In the same Gazette interview in 1959, as he enjoyed his first Blackpool summer season, Ronnie revealed that his pet hate was “fat women wearing shorts and slacks”.

And he added: “I don’t think women generally dress to suit the occasion.”

Ronnie (real name Adrian Hill) had success in Sunday concerts at the Palace and Opera House in the summer of 1955, following three Top 20 hits during the previous winter. He hit number one with Stars In Your Eyes in 1956 but it was another three years before his own summer show, co-starring with Dickie Henderson and Jimmy Clitheroe at the Queens Theatre.

Of his performance, The Gazette said: “He has a fine voice, an honest, sincere manner and does not take himself too seriously.”

Various Sunday concerts followed throughout the 1960s, and Ronnie was back in the Queens summer show in 1971, this time with Les Dawson, Dora Bryan, and former Gazette entertainer writer Lennie Bennett (Michael Berry).

Ronnie’s third Blackpool season came 16 years later, on South Pier in 1987 in Mike Donohoe’s Music Hall, when he told The Gazette: “Until this year I had never thought about another summer season, now I don’t see why I can’t tackle something like the main season on North.

“At the moment I can see things lasting another four or five years, so obviously people think I can still put bums on seats.”

Ronnie, who was to marry again in 1989, four years after Joan’s death, had suffered a fatal stroke in February 2001, aged 75.