Being a Dusty fan - a letter to a friend

Let’s Talk Dusty! is fortiunate to have a number of Dusty fans among its membership who have been following Dusty since the heyday of the Sixties.

These fans add something to the mix which the rest of us cannot - and of which, we are envious (although in a warm sort of way). Cas is one of these long-time fans, and here she writes to a friend and talks about her Dusty fandom.

cas and ms pMorning Wend,

Just made Ians breakfast, and its cheese on toast and I could really go for that but I darnt, as it would set me off on a binge! You can get back on track today for sure, so no worries eh!

I really am so crap at putting Dusty thoughts into words, take my word for it.You can't begin to explain something that just took over your life. I loved her when she was with the Springfields, and still today I really find those songs make me happy, I sing along and yes I'm off back in another World, another time.

When she went solo it was a kinda shock at first, you just expected the Springfields to go on forever, they were so popular and successful, and were at the top when they disbanded. Would Dusty make it alone, I felt she could.

I started to collect cuttings from the papers, and of course her first solo record. I was limited in what I could buy as I hadn't a fantastic job, and most of my money went to Mam.

I first saw her live in 1966 at the Imperial in Nelson, I was so close to her that if I'd reached out I'd have touched her. I didn't meet her that night, I was too niave and shy to attempt that, but I sent an album backstage, and it came back all signed, I was in 7th heaven! I then wrote to the Fan Club and joined soon after.

I was always writing to the music papers singing Dustys praises, a few were published, and I noticed that a certain Carole Cooke...now Gibson.... also wrote and had good points to make. In those days they printed your full address, so I wrote to Carole, and she replied, and so began a friendship.

We always say if only we had all those letters, it would give a full account of our Dusty adventures...its so awful to be older and to forget the details of our meetings with Dusty. I met her several times, and they simply all roll into one. The latter times seem to be the ones that stand out, when I met her at Stockton on tees and at Wakefield. I do mix the times up.

Dusty was always so nice she really cared for her fans. We'd wait hours, but she always saw us and signed endless autographs. I have spent time in many a dressing room, talking to Dusty, Peppi, Pat, Norma or her hairdresser John. They were fun, happy and crazy times.

I loved everything about Dusty, she was all I wasn't, with her stunning good looks, gorgeous eyes, fantastic voice and lovely clothes. I followed all over the country, mainly between 1966 to 1969, I'm not sure how I afforded it, but I did. I often went with Carole and Moira and later on with Eileen and Dawn.

We were known to the Echoes too, and one night we were stuck for a place to stay...it never worried us.....and they took us along to their digs in Manchester, and the land lady let us stay. Another time we were in London and had been wating for Dusty, talked to her and still hung on to see her go from the Talk, not knowing what we were going to do 'cos no buses or trains, and Pat came out to a waiting taxi, saw us and took us back to her flat. So I don't ever forget that kindness.

Another time we had booked a place in Blackpool, but when we got there at some un Godly hour in the morning, it was all locked up, and we spent the night on the sea front ! Such happy times.

In the 70's I met Ian, and continued to love Dusty, but your life kinda changes, so I never went to shows then, plus Dusty wanted to go for it in America. I married Ian, and had Ricki in 1978 and Dene in 1985, so those years were kinda taken over with bringing up the boys.

It was quite a while till I got back into Dusty, I won tickets to see Abba Gold at the Palace in Manchester, and they were advertising Dusty the Musical with Mari Wilson. So we booked to see it and I thought it was marvellous, I filled up as soon as I saw Dustys eyes on the screen when we walked in. I was buzzing when I came out, the memories came flooding back.

On tv I saw that they had held a Dusty Day in Henley, and I vowed to go the following year...it was amazing to see Carole there, I couldn't believe it! The rest is history.

Well I best get some breckie, then stroll up for my paper.

Have a good day.

Cas xxx