JOAN Lowther enjoyed a socially-distanced afternoon tea and champagne with family and friends on Saturday to celebrate her 100th birthday.

The team at Carefound Home Care in Wilmslow have been supporting Joan to live independently at her Knutsford home since 2018, and her carers were delighted to accompany her to a celebration of her milestone birthday.

Debra Morton and Suzanne Walton made sure Joan was dressed in the morning, with her hair, make-up and nails ready, before she enjoyed afternoon tea at her daughter’s home.

Sarah Vickers, recruitment and community manager at Carefound Home Care in Wilmslow, said: “Our team take great pride in being able to help Joan continue to enjoy the comforts of her home, especially given the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are delighted she was able to celebrate her 100th birthday safely with family and friends - happy birthday Joan, and many congratulations on this amazing milestone.”

Joan has spent much of the lockdown reminiscing with her carers about the events of her life.

Joan was born a twin to her sister Mary in north London in 1920 and the youngest of seven children to parents Bill and Emma.

She is now the only sibling alive as Mary died in August 2019.

When Joan and her sister were 13 their mother went for a break at a convent in Brussels.

On her return she decided to send the twins there for two years, only coming back for term breaks.

Joan and Mary travelled by ferry from Dover to Brussels, where they had to learn French and finish their last two years of school.

Joan recalled an unforgettable day during the Blitz when the postman delivered their morning post and passed her father a letter.

This letter informed the family that Joan’s then boyfriend, Don, had been killed.

He was 21 years of age flying Spitfires in the north of England, and was learning how to night fly where he was killed during practice.

Joan’s father was reading the letter when bombs landed at the railway station.

The postman was killed during this attack, a number of homes were flattened and Joan’s home had the windows blown out.

At 19 Joan completed a secretarial course and started at the War Office behind Buckingham Palace.

The War Office was evacuated to Cheltenham, which is where Joan met her late husband, Bill, who had been posted there from his home town in the north east.

Bill was then posted to Greece and North Africa through the rest of the Second World War.

Once the war had ended and Bill was back home they were married in October 1945 at a church in north London.

Following marriage Bill was posted back to Greece until he was demobbed, then came back to England, and together Joan and Bill moved to the north east, where Bill was originally from, and started a family.

Their daughter Kath was born in 1951 in Durham and was Joan and Bill’s only child. Joan decided to stay at home and bring Kath up as well as support Bill.

She did over 30 years’ voluntary service with the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service, where she did Meals on Wheels and helped out in the local youth centre, Durham prison and local care homes.

Bill died in May 1996 and Joan decided to move to Knutsford to be closer to her daughter. After 51 years in the north east, Joan has lived in Knutsford for the past 23 years.