Nine decades of singing for talented and well-known Dewsbury woman

Talented pensioner Nora Riordan has been performing at celebrations in Dewsbury for decades - and is still singing now, aged almost 93.

Tuesday, 7th December 2021, 2:33 pm
Nora Riordan

The great-grandma has been belting out tunes since she was a toddler and used to perform with Dewsbury Catholic Choir and Batley Theatre Group.

Her family recently unearthed a recording of her singing - made at least 50 years ago - and when they shared it on social media, were inundated with messages from people who remembered her performing.

Many got in touch to say Nora had sung at their or their relative’s weddings and at relative’s funerals.

Sign up to our daily Dewsbury Reporter Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Nora has been singing since she was two.

“She’s a mighty woman,” said her daughter, Clare Naughton.

“She was always singing while we were growing up. She has a beautiful voice.”

Nora, who turns 93 on Friday, has eight children - six girls and two boys - 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

She was born in Dewsbury and used to look after boys in care, some of whom are still in touch now.

As well as family events, she used to sing at charity concerts and care homes.

Ave Maria is her signature tune and she is a huge fan of 1930s and 40s musicals star Deanna Durbin.

Her married name is Nora Naughton but she always sang under her maiden name of Riordan.

The messages shared on social media after her family posted her recording included one saying: “Memories of her coming up the street with bags upon bags of shopping, singing away and smiling as she passed, often with a joke or two as well.”

Another said her father had lived in the house behind Nora’s and used to fall asleep listening to her sing through the wall, and that she had “sung him to sleep one last time” at his funeral.