To celebrate her 90th birthday, a Stanton woman was swept off her feet by an American serviceman for a surprise dance which rekindled memories of her youth.
Peggy Thatcher used to jitterbug with the US servicemen when she was 17 at the American Canteen at the Royal Opera House, in London, during the Second World War in 1943.
As a surprise for her 90th birthday party at The Grange Hotel, in Thurston, her daughter Janet Simson launched an appeal in the Bury Free Press to find an American serviceman to ask her mum for a dance. Ssgt Kent Cross, from the 100th security forces squardon at RAF Mildenhall, volunteered and he attended the party in uniform to invite Peggy for a spin on the dance floor to a Glenn Miller track.
When her daughter teased that there was going to be a special guest, Peggy initially thought it was a Queen Elizabeth impersonator so was shocked when Ssgt Cross walked upto her with a bouquet of flowers. Peggy, who still works as an accountant, said: “I was in a total dream - everything went so perfectly and he was lovely.”
On her wartime dancing, she said: “We were just enjoying ourselves - just like normal teenagers do now - except we had hanging over us a death fear so the men definitely lived for the moment. I found that they were perfect gentlemen.”