THERE'S nowt new under the sun!

Cliff Richard may have had a surprise No.1 chart-topper last year, with his version of the Lord's Prayer (to the tune of Auld Lang Syne). But a veteran subscriber to this page can recall that family prayer being sung at a Sunday night concert in St Helens almost 60 years ago.

Most folk associate the recently-demolished Rivoli Cinema with Hollywood epics of yesteryear. But it was also a popular concert venue during and just after the 1939-45 war, recalls 90-year-old Edith Carter of Sutton.

"They were really delightful events, and we had some good ballad singers. Dennis Noble was the first I heard perform the Lord's Prayer, set to music."

Other polished artistes of fond memory (and they'll be familiar names to those around three score years and ten) included Henry Wendon, Walter Midgely, Gwen Catley and Heddle Nash.

"Then there was Thomas Hamblett, accompanist to his brother Robert," adds Edith, from Mill Lane. The Hambletts were ladies' and gents' tailors in St Helens.

Becky Riddell, an amateur operatic legend in St Helens and Newton-le-Willows for decades, was another applauded to the echo for her selection of songs from the shows.

AND Edith chirpily signs off: "Oh yes, all our family were musical. Even our sewing-machine was a Singer!"