In today's digital world, a 1980s reel of tape in a dusty box could be from another planet.

But to musician Dave Keech, its discovery behind a cupboard is priceless.

In 1986, he wrote the lyrics to a song Wilfred to commemorate the First World War poet Wilfred Owen, who spent his early years in Tranmere and was educated at the Birkenhead Institute.

First World War poet Wilfred Owen
 

It was sung by Gill Burns, a well-known Wirral folk singer who had several albums.

“The recording was made in August 1986 with the cassette titled Wilfred  going to the Clatterbridge Cancer Research Trust and proceeds of sales going to the charity,” explained Dave, from Ellesmere Port.

“I wrote the lyrics and co produced the recording while Gill Burns composed the music and was vocal and guitar on the finished product.

“After the cassettes were sent to Clatterbridge, the remaining ones, some of them without labels and the master tape were put to one side and forgotten for almost 30 years.

“The original case containing cassettes and the master tape had previously been found empty in the loft apart from a loose cassette nearby.

“As the original recording was made in 1986, I assumed that the remaining cassettes along with the master had been thrown away as the case they had been stored in was empty.

“However a couple of weeks ago, I found an old document case down behind a cupboard with the tapes in and after another search the master tape was found.

“I contacted the Wilfred Owen Story, the museum in Argyle Street, Birkenhead and have presented them with a cassette and also the details from local media and the lyrics all from 1986.”

The museum is the only permanent tribute to Owen.

Though Gill is not on the folk circuit now, she is involved with educational projects.

She has been informed and a cassette has been sent to her along with the lyrics.

Dave retired from the music business in December 1986 but now wants to concentrate on scripts for screenplay and occasional stage comedy following his retirement as a social worker with Liverpool City Council’s disabled children team.

Museum curator Dean Johnson said: “It is a wonderful surprise that they still exist after it was thought they were lost for over 20 years.”