Dances kept spirits soaring during Second World War

0
Have your say

Dances were a regular occurrence at Peterborough Town Hall during the Second World War to keep up the spirits of Peterborough residents.

Dances were a regular occurrence at Peterborough Town Hall during the Second World War to keep up the spirits of Peterborough residents.This dance is thought to have taken place in 1943, and pictured are a number of council officials as well as Czech soldiers who were stationed at RAF Mildenhall.

The photograph was brought in by Joyce Purser, nee Viney, of Mayfield Road, Peterborough.

Mrs Purser is the third person from the left in the second row.

Other people in the photograph include Mrs Bryant (fifth from the left in the front row), who during the 1930s had been the first female mayor of the city.

The seventh person from the left in the front row is Alice Smith, who was the city treasurer’s wife.

Mrs Purser also remembers another regular occurrence in Peterborough life.

Beginning in the early ’50s, the city’s first director of education, Leslie Tait organised for teachers from Commonwealth countries who were spending a year in England studying education to visit Peterborough for a week.

Mrs Purser has many fond memories of having visitors to stay at her house with her husband Jack and their four children.

She said: “It opened a window on the world to us. When they arrived they were given a reception by the mayor.

“Personally we always had a party for their last night and invited a lot of our friends round and they enjoyed that.”

About 20 visitors would come to Peterborough annually and the tradition continued for about 20 years.

The visitors would usually come to the city at the end of the spring term.

Can you remember these visits? What were your experiences of the foreign visitors?

E-mail your memories to Julia Ogden - see details above.