A Last Excuse Me Dance

A Last Excuse Me Dance


Back in the early 1940s, during the grimmest days of the Second World War, even Hitler couldn’t spoil the unbridled glamour of the local dance, where excited young people dressed in their finest would flock for a bop and perhaps the chance of meeting someone new.

As did Shirley Hughes. In a recent article, the successful children’s writer and illustrator recalled how she tripped the light fantastic in West Kirby on the Wirral. Readers responded with their own, similar memories, among them the writer and journalist Philip Purser — who turned out to have been the teenage Shirley’s dancing partner. There’s a delightful promise here: that seven decades after the pair first danced the foxtrot, Shirley and Philip take to the floor, now as octogenarians, one more time.


The Archers actress Felicity Finch meets children's writer and illustrator Shirley Hughes, who recalls attending wartime dances in the Wirral town of West Kirby in Merseyside. She discusses how a recent article she wrote on the subject reunited her with an old dance partner, journalist Peter Purser, and shares her memories of music, clothes and teenage courtship during the 1940s. From 2012.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Felicity Finch
Contributor Shriley Hughes
Contributor Peter Purser
Producer Beatrice Rubens