Lincoln woman celebrates 100th birthday in lockdown

Staff at a Lincoln care home gave a resident a 100th birthday to remember during the coronavirus lockdown.

Joyce Garner, who was born in Cherry Willingham in 1920, turned 100 on Tuesday, April 7 at Bernadette House on South Park in Lincoln.

Staff snuck into her room to decorate it with bunting and balloons before she tucked into her favourite breakfast. They then gathered round to watch Joyce open dozens of cards and presents.

Joyce and her husband George had two sons John and Graham, three grandchildren and five great grandchildren, and she enjoyed a birthday FaceTime chat with some of the family.

Joyce’s 100th birthday cake. Photo: Bernadette House

Joyce’s birthday tea included a pink 100th birthday cake and staff and residents sang happy birthday to her before she blew out the candles.

Joyce lived in Cherry Willingham except for a five year spell in Lincoln during the Second World War. She moved to Bernadette House last year and said her secret to living to be 100 was simply to keep going and never give up.

Joyce Garner with her card from the Queen. Photo: Bernadette House

She was temporarily worried that her card from the Queen might not arrive if she was in isolation and hadn’t been able to write it, but a postman soon arrived, two metres from the doorstep, with her special delivery.

Joyce said to staff: “Can you call and tell the man on the radio I’ve got my card? I don’t want anyone to think the Queen forgot me. Not when she’s so good at her job.

“I’ve had a really lovely day. Thank you all so much. It makes me want to be 100 again next year.”

Elizabeth Stephens, the proprietor, called BBC Radio Lincolnshire and Melvyn Prior announced on air that Joyce had received her card. He then phoned to wish her a happy birthday and to chat to her on air.

Joyce, who met her husband George when she was working as a maid at a house on Wragby Road, created such a feel good factor in the studio and amongst listeners that she was invited back on air in the afternoon.

Joyce married her husband George in 1941. Photo: Bernadette House

Elizabeth said to Joyce: “Once the shutdown is over we’ll have a big garden party with your family and entertainers. You’ll have two birthdays in one year. Just like the Queen.”

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