Going back in time, to a few weeks ago, we had the marvellous Lancashire Belle, aka singer Jane Francis, in for a recording session. Whisking us back some 70+ years to the era of World War 2, our vocal booth acted like a true Tardis as she faithfully re-enacted the classic White Cliffs Of Dover by the much beloved Vera Lynn(who recently celebrated her 100th year) and a quirky number by Gracie Fields - The Thing-Ummy-Bob.
Our own sound engineer Dean Corrie headed the session and a surprise visit by Geoff from Kaleidoscope Imagery made the day even more memorable, by capturing some highlights on film. Have a listen to her rendition of White Cliffs Of Dover on our site-wide player, usually located on the top left of the site.
Read more about Jane with some excerpts of her biog from her website:
"Although rightly acclaimed for her vocal performances and ability to engage with an audience, Lancashire Belle is also a top class entertainer and, with her unmatched repertoire of songs, can justifiably lay claims to being the most versatile of 1940s acts, effortlessly switching from high energy dance numbers to standards, with a hint or two of Gracie Fields-style comedy included for good measure.
A professional vintage singer and entertainer for the past seven years, Jane has enjoyed a lifetime love affair with the fashion and music of the 1940s - and that passion shines through on stage. Jane undertakes a wide variety of work each year, from public to private bookings, has performed on Concorde - and even had a Marston's beer named in her honour! A top class act, and one not to be missed.
Born and raised in the county, Jane is an authentic Lancashire Lass. She is a relative newcomer to the burgeoning 1940s scene, but has already appeared at many of the country's leading events, earning a deserved reputation amongst organisers and the public alike for the spectacle of her shows and the unrivalled quality of her voice.
Her repertoire includes material by Vera Lynn, Gracie Fields, The Andrews Sisters, Glenn Miller - and many more stars of the 1940s.
People often tell me they think I was born in the wrong era... and do you know something? I think they are right! As someone who loves nothing better on a rainy afternoon than curling up on the sofa and wallowing in an old black and white movie - anything with Bette Davis, Bogart and Bacall, or Fred and Ginger suits me just fine! - I always think how wonderful it would have been to have experienced the 1940s for myself. It is without doubt my favourite vintage era.
In my role as Lancashire Belle, I am lucky to be able to live a little in the 1940s as a performer and entertainer, and to take part in so many fabulous events. I love them all - and going by the number of visitors to them, and having met some wonderful re-enactors along the way, I know I am not alone in that respect. The music is incredible and the clothes are amazing. I just love it when you see the crowds dressed from head to toe in their vintage outfits. I love it when people dress up and I especially love all the music. Why, I wonder, during a time of severe hardship, was the music so good?”
Whether it's an extended performance for the BBC during a live two-hour VE Day commemoration hosted by Adrian Chiles, or appearing alongside Mary Berry at a (successful!) National Trust world record attempt, or simply making a reappearance at one or other of the many 1940s weekends held across the country each year, Lancashire Belle (aka Jane Francis) consistently demonstrates why she is the first choice of so many professional event organisers."
You can catch Jane at Fleetwood 1940's Weekend at The North Euston Hotel on the Friday and Monday between 14th-17th April.
For more information and for booking Lancashire Belle, check out her website.