Sheffielder remembers her girlhood dancing years

A Retro reader has shared a photograph of her teenage dancing years and one from her old school.

Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 23:49 pm
Updated Thursday, 12th September 2019, 13:31 pm
Yvonnne Lowe on the left of the front row at St Matthias School, Sheffield

Bernice Upton and twin sister Yvonne Lowe (then Lines) were known as the ‘twinnies’ when they performed in shows for Sheila Tyer’s dance school on Cemetery Road.

Bernice, who now lives in Killamarsh, remembers performing in pantomime at a theatre in Attercliffe.

She said: “I’d be 13 or 14 in that picture, which was taken in 1949-50, when we were in Aladdin. We were allowed to start school at 10am when we were in a show.

Twin sisters Bernice Upton, left, and Yvonne Lowe as girls in a Sheffield dance school line-up

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“We used to go to Newcastle, Castleton and Gateshead in pantomime. I remember that very well.

“I enjoyed the panto and dancing. It was good.”

However, illness struck around the same time as the picture was taken.

“I remember getting scarlet fever and I was in an isolation hospital in Newcastle for a long, long time. I was in a room with glass windows and visitors had to stay outside.”

Bernice recalled: “When I came out, I couldn’t go to school straight away.”

She reckons that’s why she isn’t in the class picture at St Matthias School on Sunderland Street. Yvonne, who now lives in Maltby, is front left.

Bernice remembers headteacher Mr Beresford, who is on the right in the back row, and Mr Roach, on the left. She said: “He took classes when we were leaving school.

“He used to throw his board rubber at you if you were naughty. You had to be quick and duck.”

Bernice said the school and church were knocked down to make way for a factory.

She said the school was good but so small they had to walk to Pomona Street School off Ecclesall Road for rounders and cookery classes.

Pupils Bernice remembers on the photo include Enid Ashton on the right , who went to Australia. They still keep in touch. Nancy Staniforth is a tall girl in the middle and Jean Ashton is next to her.