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Memories of working in family owned toy shop and special wedding day for 102-year-old.

Byline: NA MI DE SOUZA Community Reporter

A WARWICKSHIRE care home resident celebrated reaching a remarkable milestone this month.

Rugby born Joan Ridgway celebrated turning 102 at her care home in Rugby.

Joan was surrounded by family and friends, virtually and at a distance, to help her celebrate her big day at Anya Court Care Home.

Joan was born on August 18 1918 in Rugby, and lived a busy life. She started out working in the family owned toy shop on Sheep Street in Rugby town centre.

The shop no longer stands in the town centre, but many people will have memories of visiting it, and Sheep Street remains a busy shopping area in Rugby.

For Joan, family life then took her away from the toy shop when she met her late husband Don Ridgway. The couple met at their local church, and got married in 1939.

A busy family life beckoned as they went on to raise three children.

Joan spent her special day with outdoor visits from her family in the visitor's suites at the home and also enjoyed a series of video calls from family around the globe - some calling from as far as Australia and New Zealand.

Joan's busy social life didn't stop once she moved to her care home. In fact, she featured in the Telegraph just two years ago as the home geared up for the royal wedding celebrations.

At the time, Joan was trying on wedding dresses that had been brought to the home by a local bridal company, and reminiscing about her own wedding day.

Celebrating such a remarkable milestone was overwhelming and special for Joan, who said: "To see all my family from all over the world on the big cinema screen was emotional but wonderful."

And what does she say they key is to such a long and happy life? Joan said: "The secret is to enjoy a little bit of everything except alcohol!" Joan is much loved by care home staff, because she was actually the first ever resident to make Anya Court her home. Karen Handley, customer relationship manager at Anya Court, said: "Joan is an inspiration to us all and to celebrate her 102nd birthday with her was a privilege."

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Author:NA MI DE SOUZA Community Reporter
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Aug 27, 2020
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