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Hard work helps Joyce reach 100

Newbury woman celebrates milestone birthday

Hard work helps Joyce reach 100

HARD work and no money is the secret to living to 100 according to one Newbury woman who has recently reached the milestone.

Joyce Davies (nee Smith) was born when the First World War was still raging on January 21, 1917.

Indeed, her father was serving in the army at the time of her birth.

The centenarian told the Newbury Weekly News that she was born in a snowstorm in Queen’s Road, Newbury, and that her uncle Charlie had to go and fetch the nurse.

Mrs Davies said that the family was very poor and lived in a little row of houses with her sister and brother.

She added that Newbury had “changed unbelievably” in the 100 years of her life and that she had spent lovely years in the town.

Until only a few weeks ago, Mrs Davies was living at Lambourn Court, Walton Way.

Her husband Eric was killed in the Second World War when his ship was lost with no survivors.

Mrs Davies said that she received a letter from the captain’s wife informing her of her husband’s death, leaving Mrs Davies to look after her daughter Anne. 

After the war, Mrs Davies lived in Henley-on-Thames and Newhaven before moving back to Newbury.

When asked the secret to her long life, she said: “Hard work and no money.

“I never realised there was such a thing as money and you could have it in your pocket.”

Referring to her new home at Thatcham Court Nursing Home, Mrs Davies said: “I have got as near to heaven as I will get. I like it here.”

Mrs Davies celebrated her birthday last Friday with her niece Penny Collins, aged 70, her former neighbours from Lambourn Court, Ken and Vig Bellamy and Hazel Pyatt, alongside staff and residents at Thatcham Court. 

Speaking about her aunt’s 100th birthday, Mrs Collins said: “It’s amazing, absolutely amazing. She’s outlived everyone else in the family.

“She won’t use a walking stick – they’re for old people.

“She was always very welcoming if you went to visit her.” 

Mrs Bellamy said: “It’s just lovely. We told her she would live past 100. We just wish that she could be in Lambourn Court.”

“It’s amazing really when you think she was born when World War One was still going,” Mr Bellamy added. 

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