Monday, 15 February 2010


RhylShirley Cooper was born in Aldershot and moved to Rhyl as a child; she went to St. Anne’s (Vale Road), Clwyd Street and Glyndwr schools. At the age of 16, Shirley sang ‘The Anniversary Waltz’ at her parents’ anniversary party and was immediately offered work as a singer. Thereafter she remained a part time vocalist. The photo above (left) shows her in 1954 taking a break during a performance at Summers Cafe, High Street.

Shirley was a natural singer (no lessons required) and was a long-time associate of Fred Williams and his Music who were based at Regent Ballroom, High Street. In 1959 she was one of the performers chosen to represent Rhyl in a BBC TV show. The other photo shows Shirley with husband Morgan Borthwick whom she married in 1961.

Morgan (born Liverpool, 1932) played piano from infancy, guided by his mother who was a piano tutor and school teacher. He moved at age six to Talacre where his mother became head of St. Michael’s, a small private school. From age ten onwards, Morgan took to organ and later played in a wide variety of formal and informal settings from church services to a summer season with entertainer Will Parkin at Coliseum Theatre, Rhyl.