Birthday boy Arthur (100) is a dancing king

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A Barnoldswick man marked his 100th birthday in style with a series of sequence dances at a weekly class.

Arthur Aldersley, of Abbeyfield House, was the centre of attention at the weekly meeting of Barnoldswick Seniors’ Dance Group at the town’s civic hall last Wednesday.

100th Birthday celebrations: Photo Kelvin Stuttard

100th Birthday celebrations: Photo Kelvin Stuttard

Mr Aldersley was joined by family from across the country for the special birthday celebrations where he was presented with a big birthday cake and enjoyed a photographic trip down memory lane.

The dance group is not the only class Mr Aldersley attends weekly. He’s a regular at the Barnoldswick Art Group on a Friday and he goes to the St Joseph’s Community Centre every Thursday for a meal.

Mr Aldersley has also been made an Honorary Life Member of the West Craven Probus Club which meets every fortnight and was presented with a certificate by fellow members at its latest meeting.

He said: “To me, it doesn’t feel any different. I just take each day as it comes.

“I have been dancing since I was 14. I come here every Wednesday. It’s for the company as much as anything.”

Squire Firth, who runs the dance group, said: “I’ve known Arthur for a long, long time. Arthur’s always been a loyal member, he never misses. He knows all the dances, he’s a regular and he’s a very nice member to have.

“Up to a few years ago, he had his regular dance partner Elsie but unfortunately she passed away three or four years ago.

“Since then, he’s continued coming and all the ladies are keen to dance with him. He’s never short of a dance partner.”

Mr Aldersley was a joiner by trade, including at Briggs and Duxbury and Rolls-Royce, until his retirement at 65.

He was born in Earby in 1916 and was taught how to dance by his late elder sisters.

He danced regularly with his wife Gladys, who died in 1986, but he continued with his lifelong passion.

Mr Aldersley was joined at the party by his daughters Margaret Berry and Kathleen Pickles, grandchildren Warren, Jason, Karen and Matthew and his great-grandchildren Liam, Emma, Angus and Miles.

Proud daughter Margaret said: “He’s just danced his life away, in a nice way. He’s a good dad, he was a good husband; he lost my mum when he was 70, and he didn’t think he would dance again.

“But he got together with another lady friend and by looking at the ones that he is with today I think he has a few lady friends! They all think he is a gent; he is the old gentleman.

“His elder sister taught him to dance in his teenage years in a small dance hall in Earby.

“He met my mum when he was dancing, they danced all their lives at Rolls-Royce Welfare Centre and Barnoldswick Majestic when they were younger, they went on holiday dancing and they went to celebrity dances.

“He got together with Elsie after my mother had died, and they carried on dancing, and he’s dancing now so it’s lovely.”