AT the grand young age of 60, Irene Marshall made her stage debut and was looking forward to a Christmas treading the boards in December 1979.

Mrs Marshall, who ran a dancing school in Accrington before the war, had never really retired from foot-tapping.

“I can gyrate along with the rest of them and I can still do the splits,” said Mrs Marshall, of Elizabeth Street in Accrington.

Mrs Marshall put together a show for pensioners - and was astounded by the response.

She had trained a young group of dancers called the “Shirlees” to appear in her show.

They were her three nieces - Sonia Baron, Janet and Angela Keeley and three friends Paula Jones, Vanessa Yardley and Lesley Hargreaves.

Mrs Marshall appeared at the Moorhouse Avenue Old People’s Centre, Accrington, in October and was asked to put on extra shows,