A 40-year Sunderland showtime tradition is set to live on

Norah Harbord - Richard's mum and an original Rosslyn Babes member.

Norah Harbord - Richard's mum and an original Rosslyn Babes member.

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It’s a long-running tradition which looks likely to live on.

That’s the Rosslyn Babes who lit up North East stages from the 1940s to the 1980s and who will hold a reunion in Sunderland soon.

The Rosslyn Babes on the bill for Little Miss Muffet at the Gateshead Palace.

The Rosslyn Babes on the bill for Little Miss Muffet at the Gateshead Palace.

Today, in our final look back, Richard Geere tells us more about the legacy and how generations of Rosslyn connections may not yet be over.

Richard was the Babes’ accompanist and arranger from 1974 to 1980 and now performs at Disneyland’s “Royal Theatre”.

He said: “I secured a full-time position with Disney, where I have worked for the past 10 years.

“Just over three years ago, a new theatre opened at Disneyland, and I was selected to be the principle accompanist. The setting is that of a Renaissance village called “Fantasy Faire” where guests can come see theatrical performances featuring various Princesses.

I consider it a great honour to be able to continue their work. My children Christopher and Hannah both play musical instruments, and my son recently performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Maybe that legacy can continue for another generation

Richard Geere

“I even have a character to portray - “Sir Samuel of Morocco” which is a reference to the pianist “Sam” in “Casablanca”. The theatre is designed so that the children can sit up close to the stage, getting a full-on theatrical experience.”

Richard’s mum Norah was a Rosslyn babes member and he remembered: “Given the fact that I’ve worked in almost every area of the music industry, it’s uncanny that I now perform 24 shows a week in a theatre, ensuring that the Rosslyn Babes’ legacy lives on, one that has been shared with over a million Disneyland theater goers.”

The Rosslyn Babes ended in 1984 when illness took its toll.

But Richard added: “I consider it a great honour to be able to continue their work. My children Christopher and Hannah both play musical instruments, and my son recently performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Mary Harbord with two Rosslyn Babes.

Mary Harbord with two Rosslyn Babes.

“Maybe that legacy can continue for another generation.”

If it does, it will be a wonderful continuation to an enchanting story.

Richard Geere

Richard Geere