Bolton Evening News 11th June 2003
Clubland Giant Mort dies, 66
MORT Allan, one of the best known and most popular showbiz entertainers in the North-west, died in the Royal Lancaster Infirmary on Monday after a long and brave battle against cancer. He was 66. Originally part of a successful clubland double act with veteran Bolton entertainer Norman Vernon, Mort went on to establish himself as a top class compere at leading northern nightclubs Blightys in Farnworth and Fagins in Manchester.
During his early years in Bolton he was part of an award winning ballroom jive dancing troupe known as The Red Devils, a complimentary nod to Mort’s army service in the Parachute Regiment.
In recent years, Mort has lived in Middleton, near Morecambe, where he ran successful dog boarding and rescue kennels with his long time partner Joan, whom he married in April. He also helped to relaunch the Morecambe Jazz Festival with his close friend, TV personality, Jim Bowen.
The funeral will take place at St Helen’s Church, Overton, on Friday at 2.30pm
ENTERTAINER, animal lover and councillor Mort Allan has lost his long battle with cancer.
The 66-year-old from Heysham died on Monday at Royal Lancaster Infirmary, leaving behind his long-term partner Joan, whom he married earlier this year.
Mort's funeral is being held at 2.30pm tomorrow (Friday) at St Helen's Church in Overton, when friends and family will remember a much-loved and deeply respected man.
Born in Bolton, Mort had a difficult start in life but went on to become an entertainer, discovering Lisa Stansfield as a talent contest judge, and later becoming close friends with comedian Jim Bowen.
Mort's life in show business saw him spending time as an assistant manager with Mecca, touring the London clubs and hitting the comedy scene in the north as part of a comedy duo.
After a spell singing with a band in Manchester, he moved to this area when he became friends with Jim Bowen, becoming his company manager and touring with Bullseye.
Mort will also be remembered for his love of animals, having taken in abandoned dogs and tried to re-home them with caring owners for many years.
Four years ago he joined Lancaster City Council to represent the Overton ward as a Morecambe Bay Independent.
Independent group leader Cllr Shirley Burns was one of many friends and colleague to admit being `deeply saddened' by news of Mort's death.
"He was enormously liked and well thought of by many people and was highly regarded by everyone," she says.
"Mort will be missed, not only by family and friends, but also by all the people from Overton and the District. The three things that were especially important to him were people, entertainment and Morecambe."
Tributes pour in for Councillor Mort Allan
TRIBUTES have been paid this week to Coun Mort Allan, who died on Monday following a long illness.
The 66-year-old Morecambe Bay Independent, who had represented
the Overton ward since 1999, was a popular figure at the town hall, bringing
much of his good humour and ready wit drawn from a career in showbusiness to the
Independent Group Leader Coun Shirley Burns, a colleague and friend of Coun Allan, said she was "deeply saddened by the news".
She continued: "He was enormously liked and well thought of by many people and was highly regarded by members of all political backgrounds. He was a very popular councillor and will be missed, not only by family and friends, but also by all the people from Overton and the district.
"His love was for the district. There were three things that were especially important to him and those were people, entertainment and Morecambe.''
Friends from the world of entertainment also paid their respects.
Jim Bowen, who had known Coun Allan for more than 30 years, said it was a "very sad loss".
"Before he ever became a councillor he was a very well respected entertainer, he gave me one of my first breaks when he employed me to compere at the Morecambe Bowl and we had been friends for about 33 years.
"He was my company manager when we took Bullseye out on the road, he never missed a gig and was always reliable.
"He loved Morecambe and always did his very best for the town, he will be missed by a lot of people.''
Bolton-born, Coun Allan first caught the showbiz bug when he used to watch his sister - a contortionist - on stage.
But it wasn't until he'd spent three years in the army, and then worked as a coal miner, that he really began to follow his dream.
He joined the Mecca Dancing Company as a singer in the heyday of Come Dancing and Mecca ballrooms, before becoming one half of a comedy mime act then arriving in Morecambe to become entertainments manager at Pontin's.
In 1966 he was performing again, this time with the Starlights, the traditional end-of-pier show on Morecambe's Central Pier, then went back into entertainment management with McNulty's, which owned several Morecambe venues.
During his career he worked with a host of star names, including Bob Monkhouse, Tommy Cooper and Ken Dodd, and continued to perform at charity events until his illness prevented him doing what he loved best.
As a councillor he used his experience to good effect and was a past chairman of the arts and events committee and was on the festivals and events working group.
Over the years he had also been a member of the economic development and tourism policy committee, tourism committee, licensing committee and River Lune Millennium Park advisory group, and represented the city council on a number of outside bodies.
A civic funeral will be held today, Friday, at St Helen's Church, Overton, at 2.30pm.
13 June 2003
It is with deep regret that Lancaster City Council reports the sad death of
Councillor Mort Allan.
After a long illness, Councillor Allan passed away in the Royal Lancaster Infirmary in the early hours of Monday 9 June 2003.
Councillor Allan, aged 66, a Morecambe Bay Independent, joined Lancaster City Council in May 1999 representing the Overton Ward as a Member of the Independent Group. Over the years he had been a member of the Economic Development and Tourism Policy Committee, Tourism Sub-Committee, Licensing Committee, River Lune Millennium Park Advisory Group, Festivals and Events Working Group, Lancaster City Centre Strategy Task Group, and was the Chairman of the Arts and Events Sub-Committee. He had also represented the City Council on a number of outside bodies, including the Boys Club of Lancaster Executive Committee, the Heysham Nuclear Power Station Local Community Liaison Council and the Avocado Chemicals Liaison Group.
Independent Group Leader, Councillor Shirley Burns, a colleague and friend of Mort Allan's said: "I am deeply saddened by the news that Mort has passed away. He was enormously liked and well thought of by many people and was highly regarded by members of all political backgrounds. He was a very popular councillor and will be missed, not only by family and friends, but also by all the people from Overton and the District.
"His love was for the District. There were three things that were especially important to him and those were people, entertainment and Morecambe. He had lived in the District for at least 30 years, and he was well respected by all who knew him and we will miss him greatly."
The civic funeral will take place at Sr.Helen's Church, Overton at 2.30pm this Friday the 13th June 2003.
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