Card from the Queen among the delights as Joan turns 100 in Great Dunmow
- Credit: family photo Angela Monk daughter
Joan Stock celebrated her 100th birthday with a pink cake and tiara, fizz, presents and cards - including one from the Queen.
The fun was organised at Redbond Lodge, where she now lives. Her children Angela and Christopher, and their spouses, were able to be with her socially distanced for part of her special day.
Joan was born in 1920 to parents, Frederick and Louise Sibbons as the second eldest of seven children. They lived in Albert Square, West Ham, then Silvertown, before moving to Sewards End when Joan was around six years old and finally to Ivy House, Great Easton.
Joan left school aged 13, going into service at Olives Hall, Great Dunmow. She lived in and worked a 12 hour day undertaking a multitude of household tasks, including cooking meals. Sundays were her day off and she would cycle home to Great Easton hand over all her wages to her mother to help support the household.
During her time at Olives Hall, a local man called Ted saw Joan cycling home and they began courting. With the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, Joan volunteered for the Land Army.
Upon arriving at Doug Smith’s farm was given a great coat, a pair of wellington boots, a large stick and told to go herd the cows. Joan was terrified, but carried on regardless. It turned out the cows were more scared of Joan, than she was of the cows!
Joan married Ted in April 1941 at Great Easton Church. Ted, a tank transporter driver, served in North Africa, Italy, France, Belgium and Germany. Apart for a couple of brief visits, they did not really see each other again until the end of the war in 1945.
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After the war Joan and Ted purchased a house at New Street, Great Dunmow and went on to have two children, Angela and Chris. Angela and husband George live at Great Easton, their two children and their family live in Cambridge and Norfolk. Chris and wife Jenny live in Dorset, their three children live in Worthing, Bristol and Ringwood.
Joan worked at the Civil Defence HQ in New Street, then later as a private car hire driver with Ted. They moved to School House Helena Romanes, where Ted was school caretaker for many years.
They enjoyed camping holidays in England and Belgium, often taking grandchildren. Each of the five grandchildren have fond memories of holidays and days out, as well as tasty dinners, including the famous suet pudding and delicious cakes made by Joan.