Rick Astley stars in Eighties concert at Alton Towers

For Vicki Fenton and her parents, remembering the Eighties is something more personal than just looking back at the music and wild fashion. For that was the decade when Vicki and her sister Dawn grew up in Abbey Hulton. And the whole family have fond memories of the era. Dawn passed away in 2001 aged just 31. But yesterday Vicki, with her mum Janet and dad Chris, joined hundreds of other party revellers at Alton Towers as the theme park celebrated its 30th birthday with a special Eighties concert.

Janet, aged 58, from Meir Hay, said: “Dawn would have loved something like this and I’m sure she is with us. I love the Eighties music, it reminds me of the children growing up.”
Husband Chris, aged 60, added: “I remember the house was always filled with this music when the girls were growing up.”

For Vicki, who made sure her family were at the front for the entire gig, it was quite an occasion. The 37-year-old from Meir Hay said: “I mainly came for Curiosity Killed The Cat, and I thought they were brilliant. All this reminds me of growing up and all the happy memories. I was into rah-rah skirts and I had a big crush on Nik Kershaw.”

Vicki’s boyfriend Rob Farrington, aged 43, from Meir Hay, was also transported back to the time of mullets and leg warmers. He said: “I remember dancing to Curiosity Killed The Cat in Shelley’s in Longton. I was into Ska music and had a skin head – it was a great time.”

On yesterday’s bill were The Christians, The Here And Now Band, Midge Ure, Kim Wilde, Rick Astley and Bananarama.

Stuart Bannister, aged 38, from Uttoxeter, was at the concert with girlfriend Janeine Neale, aged 37. He said: “I am fan of The Christians and have not seen them before. I must admit I was a big Neneh Cherry fan as well.”

Janenine, also from Uttoxeter added: “I was into Wham, it was such feel good music. I remember wearing fluorescent socks that didn’t match!”

Among the music lovers were a group of Alton Towers staff who had travelled to the gig on their day off. Worker Haley Yates, aged 26, from Kingsley, said: “It’s been great to take a step back in time.”

Colleague Adam Baylis, aged 22, from Tean, said: “The Eighties music is great.”

The performers were equally as buoyant in the scorching temperatures.

Kim Wilde wowed the fans with hits including Kids In America. The 49-year-old said: “It’s been great and people love the Eighties, even more than they did then.”

Rick Astley proved a major draw and didn’t disappoint as almost the entire crowd joined in with Never Gonna Give You Up. The 44-year-old Lancashire-born star, said: “It’s been a brilliant day and the crowd was really up for it. There has been such a good atmosphere at the concert.”