Putting on the Style

I then let down the hem of my evening skirt, which had been pinned up clear of the bicycle chain with safety pins.

In 1946, as a sixteen-year-old, I accompanied my Auntie Louie and my mother to the weekly old-time dance at the Rex, Whitley Bay.  Louie was a handsome woman and never lacked partners, but she generously took the floor with me, expertly leading me through the Military Two-Step and the Eva Three Step.  There was a very small, wizened little man who occasionally asked me to dance.  He was an expert waltzer, and I was always glad to see them coming across the dance floor together, with him twirling and whirling as though he was a handsome prince.

When I was eighteen, I would go out with my friends to the Plaza at Tynemouth.  This carried problems.  Everyone caught the late buses laid on, but unfortunately, they didn’t go as far as New York.  Rather than miss out on the fun I elected to go on my bike wearing wellingtons and a cycle cape, storing the bicycle round the corner of the Plaza.  I then changed into gold shoes and let down the hem of my evening skirt, which had been pinned up clear of the bicycle chain with safety pins.

The dances in Church Halls in North Shields were no problem.  They were situated in easy walking distance of New York and I danced the evenings away to the popular tunes of the late 1940s.

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