Home care company ‘honoured’ to celebrate 100th birthday with Joan

Tuesday, 28th July 2020

When Joan Lowther of Knutsford turned 100 years old on 25th July there were special celebrations to mark the occasion.

Joan enjoying a glass of champagne surrounded by all her flowers, gifts and cards

The team at Carefound Home Care in Wilmslow have been supporting Joan to live independently at home since 2018 and her carers were honoured to accompany her to a wonderful celebration of her 100 years. Debra and Suzanne were able to make sure Joan was all dressed in the morning with hair, makeup and nails ready, before she enjoyed a socially distanced afternoon tea and champagne with friends and, of course, her card from the Queen.

Joan has spent much of the recent lockdown reminiscing with her carers about the events of her life which they have been fascinated to learn about.

Joan was born a twin to her sister Mary in North London in 1920 and was the youngest of seven children to parents Bill and Emma. She is now the only sibling alive as Mary sadly passed away in August 2019. Joan recalls her Mother “would always make sure Mary and herself were dressed the same”.

Joan (right) with her twin sister Mary (left)

When Joan and her sister were 13 years old their Mother went for a break away at a convent in Brussels. On her return she decided to send the twins there for two years, only coming back for term breaks. Joan and Mary travelled by ferry from Dover to Brussels, where they had to learn French and finish their last two years of school.

Joan recently recalled with her carers an unforgettable day during the Blitz when the postman had come to deliver their morning post and passed her Father a letter. This letter was to inform the family that Joan’s then boyfriend, Don, had been killed. He was 21 years of age and a fighter pilot flying spitfires in the North of England. On this particular occasion he was learning how to night fly where he was killed during practice. The letter was from Don’s brother to inform the family of him passing away. Joan’s father was reading the letter when a number of bombs landed which were targeting the local railway station. The postman was killed during this attack and a number of homes were flattened and Joan’s family home had the windows blown out. The houses were rebuilt after the war.

At 19 years old Joan had completed a secretarial course and started her job at the War Office behind Buckingham Palace in Central London. However, Joan says that “through the war they spent most of their time in the shelters as they were a high-risk target being so central in the capital”. The War Office was eventually evacuated to Cheltenham which is where she met her late husband, Bill, who had been posted there from his hometown in the North East. Bill was then posted to Greece and North Africa through the rest of the Second World War. Once the war had ended and Bill was back home, they were married in October 1945 at a local church in North London. Joan was in a borrowed wedding dress from her to be sister-in-law and Bill was in his uniform. They then honeymooned in Bournemouth.

Following marriage, Bill was posted back to Greece until he was demobbed then came back to England and together Joan and Bill moved to the North East where Bill was originally from and started a family. Their daughter Kath was born in 1951 in Durham and was Joan and Bill’s only child. Joan decided to stay at home and bring Kath up as well as support Bill. She did over 30 years’ voluntary service with the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service where she did meals on wheels and helped out in the local youth centre, Durham prison and local care homes.

Sadly, Bill passed away in May 1996 and so Joan decided to make the move to Knutsford to be closer to her daughter. After 51 years in the North East, Joan has resided in Knutsford for the past 23 years.

Sarah Vickers, Recruitment & Community Manager at Carefound Home Care in Wilmslow, said:

“Our team take great pride in being able to help Joan continue to enjoy the comforts of her own home, especially given the challenges presented by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. We are absolutely delighted that she was able to celebrate her 100th birthday safely with friends and family – Happy Birthday Joan and many congratulations on this amazing milestone.”