Singing star Frank Ifield? Yes, I remember you at Whipsnade!

Here’s a response to many requests for another Yesteryear photo of Dunstable Ladies Choir.

Friday, 23rd August 2013, 9:00 am
Frank Ifield and Dunstable Ladies Choir

But this picture is particularly special because it also features singer Frank Ifield, who was a huge star in the UK from the 1960s onwards.

Frank’s biggest hit came in 1962 when he released the classic pop record I Remember You.

A string of stage and TV shows followed.

Frank settled in this area in the 1980s and opened a tea shop and gallery at Whipsnade, in a house on the common next to the old National Schoolhouse.

He threw himself into local life and hosted a number of events here, including a spectacular charity concert at the Queensway Hall with his friend Bob Monkhouse, who lived nearby at Eggington.

This photo was taken in November 1986 at Whipsnade, when the choir’s visit coincided with Frank’s birthday and the ladies presented him with a cheeky celebration card.

With him in the foreground is the choir’s conductor Marie Westley, on the right, and Pat Lovering on the left.

Pat, who wrote the lyrics for children’s songs composed by Marie, included this photo in her book Dunstable Decade.

Frank (born in Coventry) has now returned to Australia, where he had spent much of his early life.

He is still very active in show business, and this year has been playing Gomez in a musical about The Addams Family.

> Yesteryear is compiled by John Buckledee, chairman of Dunstable and District Local History Society.