WIGAN councillor Coun Chris Ready had a lucky encounter with one of the most well-known of the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Formed from employees at Liverpool’s football coupon firm, the Vernons Girls’ singing and dancing was a major part of the big music shows of the day.
The ladies also made records, appeared at Royal Variety Performances and on stages across the UK.
Margaret Cleary, now Margaret Boden, was one of those girls and remembers queuing with Nat King Cole for a cup of tea, going to Marty Wilde’s wedding and doing summer season with Ruby Murray.
She recalls: “We got to meet all the stars.
“A sing-along with Des O’Connor in his hotel room and meeting Sammy Davis Jr at the Royal Command Performance. “They were down-to-earth people who were great to work with.”
Margaret toured the country with the Vernons Girls, before moving on to work in John Lewis in Liverpool.
She kept in with her dancing, but assumed that the showbiz days were over - until Cliff Richard rang.
She said: “He asked me if I could join one of his retrospective shows.
“Some of the original Vernons Girls were to do Wembley with him to showcase his 50s era music – and he was lovely.
“Our first day of rehearsal was as if we’d never been away – although the size of the show was much, much bigger than those old days on stage.
“I loved working with Cliff’s musicians, The Shadows.”