War welder Joyce celebrates centenary

October 04 2018
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JOYCE Loveridge spent a blissful day surrounded by family when she celebrated her 100th birthday.

The centenarian - described by her family as 'remarkable' - was treated to a carvery dinner and birthday cake with 18 members of her close family, including daughters Jackie and Jan, her four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Joyce, who lives independently at Meadowsweet Court in Oldbury Court, was born on September 2 1918, near Ottery St Mary in Devon.

After attending a small church school in Feniton, she left education at the age of 14 to go into gentlemen's service in Honiton.  

It was at a scout dance that Joyce met her future husband, Jack, and they married in 1941.  

During World War II, households with servants were told to release one of their staff to do their bit for the war effort and Joyce was chosen. 

She moved to Westbury-on-Trym to stay with Jack's sister whilst he was posted to South Africa and took up a position in the Rolls-Royce aircraft factory, where she qualified as a welder on aero engines, progressing to MIG welding.

When Jack was demobbed, he and Joyce rented a house in Westbury-on-Trym, where their daughter Jackie was born. They then moved to a prefab in Coombe Dingle, where their second daughter, Jan, was born.  

Their final move was to Oldbury Court when the prefabs were demolished, so they could be nearer to Jack's place of work at Carsons sweet factory, Greenbank, but sadly he passed away suddenly shortly after retiring.  

Joyce, who was working at FK Cash and Carry in Channons Hill at the time, decided to retire herself and moved to South Africa for three years to live near Jan and her family, returning with them to Bristol in 1985.

Since then Joyce has lived independently - with a little help from Jan and son-in-law Clint - initially at Forest Avenue, Fishponds, before moving into Meadowsweet Court a few years later.

She spends her days doing puzzles and indulging her love of colouring, having only recently given up her days out due to mobility problems. Daughter Jan Winfindale said her mother loved her special day.

"She still hasn't come back down to earth," said Jan."She gets a visit from a warden a couple of times a week but lives independently, doing things for herself. Her motto in life is to soldier on; she never gives in to anything and is always cheerful. She's absolutely remarkable for someone of her age."