RETRO: All thmiles at the Gloops Club

Times were different in the 1970s, not least for The Star, which had its own cartoon cat mascot which raised money for charity and was the head of a children's club.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 1st June 2016, 12:02 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st June 2016, 1:03 pm

Gloops, a creation of an employee of The Star in 1928, was a cartoon cat which took Sheffield by storm and lasted right up until the 1980s.

Gloops hosted fun day events in which youngsters were encouraged to become ‘Junior Stars’.

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There was also a Gloops cartoon in The Star and the (now defunct) Morning Telegraph.

By 1939, the Gloops Club had 365,000 children as members and by 1957 it had raised more than £25,000 for charity.

Gloops came to the fore again in 1972 with a new costume created by The Crucible Theatre.

Gloops switched on the Christmas lights that year.

In 1984, the most recent incarnation, Gloops Superstar, took on all kinds of activities from skydiving to escaping from a mock fire.

Gloops then toured the city in an old vintage Star van to entertain children at summer parties and fetes.

In the 1980s, The Star asked readers to share their memories.

Reader Patricia Ellis said: “Gloops has very special memories for me. As a little girl I spent many happy hours touring round with the Gloops concert party.

“The climax of the concerts was the Gloopers’ Motto, which I still sing today if I’m feeling downhearted.

It went: “Smile, Smile, that’s the Gloopers’ motto, Always happy always gay, Always smiling all the day, Never be downhearted it isn’t worth your while, so be like Gloops and smile, smile, smile.”

The ‘smile’ was pronounced ‘thmile’ for many years, until Sheffield Council requested that be stopped because too many youngsters were copying the incorrect pronunciation.

Gloops’ last appearance was at City Hall during the 1995 VE day celebration dance, but sadly has not been spotted in Sheffield since.