Wednesday, 26 May 2004


Here's comfort for septuagenarians feeling OK now but wondering what they'll be like in ten years time. Or perhaps not, for this is an exceptional case.

Here is my (much) older sister. She was only eighty when this photo was taken but looks just the same now, at eighty-three with ten grandchildren, still running classes teaching mere sixty-year-olds how to Keep Moving. Her belief is that if you keep properly active throughout your life then mere advancing age does not necessarily immobilise you.

Still moving almost like a twenty-year-old, she has demonstrated this in her own person. Her career as a dancer helped (though it ended sixty years ago), and proved an advantage in another way: having been on the stage since she was 14, she didn't have much academic achievement to offer the WAAF when she was called up in 1943. She might have been drafted as a cook/cleaner, but one of the interview panel said "Dancer? Must have good rhythm; let's give her a test.". This did indeed show that she had an aptitude for Morse, so they trained her as a Wireless Operator.

It had not been easy to start a dancing career at fourteen. She had been at a church school, where they tried to stop her leaving and warned that going on the stage would lead to a Life of Sin. Back came a firm but perhaps slightly misleading response from her (our) mother:"But it's what she's always wanted!".
[There is a 1932 photo of Audrey HERE and another picture of her HERE.]

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