Lulu lured back again
WHEN Lulu takes to the stage at the Regent tomorrow it will be with a career spanning some 40 years behind her. But when she first appeared in Ipswich in 1965 she was a teenager just starting out in the music business – and one man can remember that date more than most.
WHEN Lulu takes to the stage at the Regent tomorrow it will be with a career spanning some 40 years behind her.
But when she first appeared in Ipswich in 1965 she was a teenager just starting out in the music business – and one man can remember that date more than most.
For it was Ipswich Borough councillor John Mowles and a group of his friends who were responsible for bringing her to town.
"I was about 23 at the time and a few colleagues and I had set up the Ipswich Pensioners Aid Society to raise money for pensioners by holding dances," Mr Mowles recalled.
"This was the third event we'd organised at the old Savoy Ballroom at the Hippodrome at the bottom of Silent Street.
"It was quite a risky enterprise for us as young people and the most ambitious event we'd organised. We'd never had a professional star before.
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"I remember she was on Juke Box Jury at that time and the following week she was here in Ipswich."
Lulu was 15 when she made that first appearance and was then still performing with her band as Lulu and The Luvvers. It was at the time when her smash hit Shout was making her a well known name.
The event was a three-and-a-half hour dance with another act, the Young Ones, also performing.
She has since enjoyed a career that has lasted to this day with many more memorable hits.
Meanwhile, Mr Mowles and his friends continued to bring other artists and bands to play at their dances. Other acts to take part in the charity events included Ipswich's own Nick and the Nomads and the Merseybeats.
The Ipswich Pensioners Aid Society eventually came to an end however and Mr Mowles, who is unable to make Lulu's latest appearance in town, has made a successful name for himself in local politics.
He said: "The Society we set up went on for about five years and we held about eight or nine dances in all. We held them to attract youngsters but the profits went to pensioners.
"I can remember them all distinctly and this one in particular because she was a real name.
"And I'm pretty sure she's not been here since then."
n Lulu is at Ipswich Regent at 8pm on Wednesday. Tickets cost £23.50 and are available at the Central Box Office, in Princes Street, Ipswich or by calling 01473 433100
n Do you remember Lulu's last appearance in Ipswich? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk