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St. Laurence Troop Concert

Morecambe Guardian 19 February 1927


Over 100 people attended a successful concert and potato-pie supper organised by the St. Laurence Troop of Boy Scouts, held on Friday evening in the Schoolroom. The Rev. Egerton Ward presided.

The following Scouts were presented with service stars: Robert Procter, Arthur Procter, Archie Collis *, James Lee, Jack Hillman, George Hillman, and Cyril Parks.

The arrangements were carried out by the following Committee: Scoutmaster Whittles, Asst, Scoutmaster Harmsworth, Mr. and Mrs. F. Raynor, Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Procter, Mr. and Mrs. Locke, Mrs. Cornthwaite, Mr. T. Langridge and Mr. C. Locke.

Morecambe Guardian 02 June 1928


The 1st Morecambe Boy Scouts (S. Laurence) returned yesterday (Thursday) from their week’s sojourn at Heysham, where they have spent an enjoyable time under canvas.
Scoutmaster Whittles was in charge of the boys.

*  Lancaster Guardian 7 July 2005

“COMEDY legend Archie Collis has died at his home in Morecambe, aged 92. One of the last survivors of the great variety tradition, he was also highly respected as a writer and had worked with some of the biggest names in show business during a career that spanned more than 50 years. Born in 1912 to a theatrical family – his father appeared alongside George Formby – he cut his teeth producing plays for the Morecambe Amateurs theatre company. He also made an early appearance at the Winter Gardens as a boxer and was paid the princely sum of £5 for his efforts. His first production was Hit the Deck, staged in 1949, and he later put on gigs for servicemen and began writing gags for classic shows like ‘Owt’s Better than Nowt’ and ‘Froffy Coffee’.

Archie became well known for his character, Nobby Clarke, identifiable by his small moustache and stutter. For much of the 1950s and 1960s he remained one of the biggest draws in the town and was cited by a younger generation of comedians as a comic influence. He attended school with another budding performer, Thora Hird, who was eventually to become a household name and the two remained firm friends until her death in 2003.

“He always had a smile on his face and we loved him to bits,” said old family friend Debbie Cain, who is the granddaughter of another Morecambe comedy legend, Albert Modley. “Surprisingly the two of them never worked together but were very close socially and loved watching each other on stage.” Archie had only recently celebrated his diamond wedding anniversary with his wife Jess and he was regarded as a devoted family man. The funeral was due to be held at Lancaster and Morecambe Crematorium today, Friday, at 2pm”.

Archibald William Jackson Collis was born 1912 in Morecambe. He was a son of Herbert Jackson Collis born 1882 in Oxford and Jane Annie Huddleston born 1883 in Armley, Leeds. They married in 1912 at Lancaster Register Office.

In the 1911 Census the Collis family were living at 281 Richmond Road East Twickenham, Herbert was listed as a Music Hall Artist.

Jane Annie and family were living at Bath Cottage, Winter Gardens, Morecambe. Her mother, Margaret Summers, was a boarding house keeper.