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SUPER GRAN: Chorleywood woman credits positive attitude for reaching 107th birthday

 Published on: 21st September 2023   |   By: Annabel Stock   |   Category: Uncategorized

A Chorleywood woman is celebrating her 107th birthday, making her one of the oldest people in Hertfordshire.

Born on September 27, 1916, Joan Scoles was born to Elizabeth and John Henry and was the second of three children.

Joan grew up in Mortlake and in 1934 went to Homerton College in Cambridge, where she trained to become a teacher.

She said: “I was very fortunate to have received a tertiary education as few women did at the time.”

After graduating, Joan went on to teach at Eastcote Lane School in Harrow.

Joan met her first husband Bill, an electrical engineer, at age 21 and they married in 1940. They had two daughters, Janet and Gillian.

At the start of the Second World War, the couple were living in East Sheen with their young daughter when their flat was bombed.

She said: “Janet was teething and I had only just got her to sleep. I couldn’t bear the idea of taking her down to the shelter and risking her waking up, so I told Bill I wasn’t going to sleep in the shelter, but he insisted. It’s just as well that he did.”

Bill then moved in with Joan’s parents because he needed to be in East Sheen for work while Joan and Janet went to live in the countryside.

After Bill passed away, Joan married Graham, a research engineer and the brother of a friend, with whom she had her third daughter, Hilary.

Eight grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren later and still giggling and cracking jokes, Joan believes that it is a positive, “get on with it” attitude which has seen her through and kept her strong.

Joan has lived in her current flat in Chorleywood for 40 years and still lives independently.

When asked about her secret to a long and healthy life, she said: “Plenty of outdoor exercise and keeping your mind active.”

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