BOLTON Operatic Society was in fine voice as it brought a classic tale to the stage.

It's production of Pickwick, the musical opened at the Octagon Theatre in November 1974, to entertain audiences about a story of riches to rags.

Based on Charles Dickens' The Pickwick Papers, the lead part went to Bill Davenport, who played the wealthy Samuel Pickwick.

Set in England in 1828, the plays opens with Pickwick and his valet Sam Weller in a debtors prison. And they recall the misadventures ­— which began on Christmas eve ­— that led to their imprisonment.

The play ran from November 19 to November 30.

The musical actually first opened on June 3 1963 just down the road at the Palace Theatre, Manchester prior to the West End premiere the following month at the Saville Theatre.

The best-known song from the score is "If I Ruled The World", which not only became the signature tune for Harry Secombe, but was covered by Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis Jr. and many other vocalists.

In 1969 the BBC made Pickwick, a TV movie of the musical which again starred Harry Secombe as Mr Pickwick, and with Roy Castle as Sam Weller.