Family and friends gather to celebrate centenarian’s big day

Joyce Mawson with family and friends

Joyce Mawson with family and friends - Credit: Archant

There was cause for celebration in Ellington last week, as one of its residents rang in her 100th year – the same day the Queen celebrated her own birthday.

Joyce Mawson, who was born on April 21 1917, spent the afternoon surrounded by family, friends, and plenty of balloons at The Mermaid pub to mark the milestone.

“When we get together we always start reminiscing and we had the most fantastic upbringing,” Tina Cockings, her daughter, 69, said.

Joyce was born near Chelmsford and lived in the city all her life until she moved away to Hill House care home, in Ellington, nine years ago.

Trying her hand at many things in her lifetime, Joyce has also worked as a dressmaker and an accountant.

And as well as a milestone birthday, she has celebrated two silver wedding anniversaries – one from her first marriage in 1942 and the other to her second husband, Bill.

“She was fantastic [growing up],” her grandson, Carl Elkin, 45, said.

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“We used to stay with her every summer and she used to take my cousins and I swimming and to the local park. It’s unbelievable she’s got to 100 – she’s a tough old bird.”

Joyce also has a daughter called Peggy, 73, and is grandmother to four and great-grandmother to nine.

Tina said she reckons long life is in the family, after her uncles made it into their nineties and her grandfather died at 80.

Asked what she thinks the secret to her mother’s age is, she added: “They had the war and got through it, and in my mind they’re a tough lot.”

As well as plenty of presents and well-wishes, Joyce received cards from the Queen, the government and the mayor of Huntingdon.