New Meppershall's Joan celebrates 104th birthday

Joan Taylor, New Meppershall Care Home's oldest resident, turned 104 on May 6

Joan Taylor, New Meppershall Care Home's oldest resident, turned 104 on May 6 - Credit: New Meppershall Care Home

A New Meppershall Care Home resident who has survived two World Wars, two global pandemics and the Great Depression is celebrating her 104th birthday. 

Joan Taylor, a long-time Hitchin resident and now the oldest person at New Meppershall, celebrated her birthday yesterday (May 6).

Joan Taylor spent her 104th birthday at New Meppershall Care Home in pamper heaven

Joan Taylor spent her 104th birthday at New Meppershall Care Home in pamper heaven, celebrating by having her hair done, getting a manicure and throwing a residents’ party, with a special birthday cake - Credit: New Meppershall Care Home

Joan Taylor was born in 1917 at her maternal grandparents house in Wendover, while her father was fighting in France. She spent her early years in Higham Gobion, where he father was Farm Foremen.

She went to school in Hexton before the family moved to Hitchin in 1924.

On later moving to Tunbridge Wells, Joan met her husband-to-be Henry - known as Ginger - before returning to Hitchin in the late 1930s. She worked as a shorthand typist at Letchworth's Spirella and married Ginger in 1941, just before his call-up for military service.


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In 1946 the couple bought a house in Hornchurch to be nearer Ginger’s work, but the pull of Hitchin and family was too great, so they bought their ‘forever house’ in Old Hale Way in 1951. There they raised two children, Andrew and Lin. Joan also has five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Joan worked part time as a school secretary, first at Ickleford and then at Strathmore Infants next door. She was a long-time member of Ickleford WI and Hitchin Townswomen’s Guild.

Joan Taylor celebrated her 104th birthday at New Meppershall with a new hairdo, a manicure and a residents party with cake

Joan Taylor celebrated her 104th birthday at New Meppershall Care Home with a fresh new hairdo, a manicure and a residents party with cake - Credit: New Meppershall Care Home

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Joan and Ginger celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary in 2001, and, after losing Ginger, she continued to live in Old Hale Way until a fall just four months short of her 100th birthday, when she moved to Meppershall.

A birthday party was thrown in Joan's honour, with residents all joining in the celebrations. Decorations adorned the common areas, with balloons, banners and even colossal light-up numbers adding an extra sparkle to the party.

Long-time Hitchin resident and now the oldest person at New Meppershall Care Home, Joan Taylor celebrates her 104th birthday

Long-time Hitchin resident and now the oldest person at New Meppershall Care Home, Joan Taylor celebrated her 104th birthday on May 6 - Credit: New Meppershall Care Home

Joan - who staff say is "a pleasure to look after" - was also treated to a special birthday hairdo and manicure by New Meppershall staff ahead of the party.

New Meppershall Care Home said: "It was a lovely afternoon and Joan had the best time celebrating."

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