IT’S been quite a year of landmark celebrations for the owner of an iconic Northwich business.

Pauline Little has just celebrated her 80th birthday, nine months after her shop LJ Little Dancewear marked its 50th anniversary.

And the octogenarian shows no signs of embracing retirement any time soon, saying that keeping busy and active helps her maintain her youthful outlook on life.

“It’s very important to keep your mind alive and the shop makes me get up in the morning," said Pauline.

“There might come a day when I want to stop doing this, but I’m not planning to give up any time soon.

“The only time I think I might like a day off is when it’s when it’s a nice sunny day. I love my garden and sometimes it would be nice to spend time gardening on a lovely day.”

Northwich Guardian:

Pauline has celebrated her 80th birthday

Born in the same year that The Wizard of Oz premiered in Hollywood, Pauline has supplied school uniforms and dance costumes for thousands of children over the years.

The mother of four children – who all work in the performing arts – opened her shop in Chester Road, Castle, with her late husband Len in 1969 when Beatlemania was at its peak.

“It was quite a different business when we bought it,” she said. “It was a young man’s fashion shop, but it also did very traditional, old fashioned menswear.”

Northwich Guardian:

The business diversified when Pauline began selling dancewear and school uniforms and for almost two decades, she was the go-to specialist for everything ranging from ballet pumps and leotards, to blazers and PE kits.

“Changes in rules and most schools wanting to sell their own uniforms meant we had to change, so 33 years ago I decided to become a specialist in dancewear,” she explained.

“I absolutely love it. I love seeing the children come in and finding out about what they are doing, where they are auditioning or performing. It’s lovely to be able to be a part of their journey.”

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Pauline marked her 80th birthday on October 3 with her children Helena, Edward, Louise and Rebecca along with other relatives and customers at the Chester Road shop, where she also lives.

“It was lovely, I had cake and celebrated with my family and friends,” she said.

That’s not the end of her birthday celebrations as a big family gathering is planned to take place at Rookery Hall later this month.

“I count my blessings,” she added. “I have a wonderful and talented family who I am very proud of, I’m very fortunate to have such wonderful customers and I still enjoy what I do, which are the most important things.”