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24 September 2014
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The ITMA Girls

The ITMA girls
Personality girls chosen from the Union of Girls Clubs.

Audio Listen to Doris Taylor a former ITMA girl
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After the war, the Union of Girls and Boys Clubs were very short of money and they wanted to purchase some playing fields and do things for the youngsters. They decided they would have a show in the Philharmonic and Tommy Handley said he would come along and entertain everybody.

Tommy Handley and the girls
The girls were invited for a meal with the ITMA cast. Doris in striped dress to the left of Tommy Handley.

To make it special, the Union of Girls Clubs decided that they would pick out 12 personality girls. All the members of the various clubs went to Central Hall. Three of them from our club were chosen. Then out of those 12, they picked six, one of them had to be the Queen and that was my friend Barbara Marchbank. Then the other five were on special floats that went around town. We were all representing one of the sports that they played in the girls' clubs. I was chosen as the tennis representative and it was the year of Gussie Moran. I was wearing frilly knickers and a short skirt - very embarrassing.

Doris Taylor and Tommy Handley
Doris Taylor on Tommy Handley's immediate left

Later on that evening the show was on at the Philharmonic. Before the show, the six personality girls were invited to have a meal with them. There was Jack Train, Derek Guyler, everyone was there. We actually had the meal on stage at the Philharmonic. We had dainty sandwiches and cakes.

I was more interested in watching what the people were doing. I was very taken with Hattie Jacques. I was really intrigued when she picked out this big chocolate eclair. Some of the cream had got out onto the paper and she licked it off. Then she had another one and licked her fingers and I thought ‘Great, she must have come from Liverpool’, but I don’t think she did. I spoke to Tommy Handley. He cracked jokes with us. Told us we were a lovely bunch of lasses. He was very, very friendly, in fact the whole of the cast were

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