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1935 New Mill Pageant dancer wasn't Doreen France ... so who was she?

Nostalgic film from a different era

Last week we published a video of a young woman dancing in 1935 at New Mill Peagent and it was believed to be well-known dance teacher Doreen France.

The film had been sent in by historian Heather Norris Nicholson, who said it had come to light recently and is part of a series of 1930s films that are being used in an intergenerational project to research local history and New Mill’s pageant tradition.

But close friends of Doreen contacted Heather to say it wasn’t her.

Heather said: “As researcher to the New Mill Pageant project I have been interviewing a number of people about the films that were brought to my attention last year. The owners of the films had grown up understanding that the cabaret artist in the 1935 pageant was indeed Doreen France as she was such a highly respected dancer and performer in the local area.

“Unfortunately, what now seems to be incorrect information has been passed on to me and I’m sorry. The featured dancer was another dancer who contributed her skills to many local events during that era.”

Doreen, of Crosland Moor, taught for 45 years while also appearing in countless musicals all over West Yorkshire in a stage career spanning more than 60 years. She received an MBE in 2002 for services to the community and died in November.

But it leaves the question who is the dancer as her identity still remains a mystery? Any ideas to andrew.hirst@examiner.co.uk



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