A resident of Abbotswood Court, a luxury care home in Romsey, Hampshire, is celebrating her 102nd birthday, with an afternoon tea accompanied by friends and family on December 2nd.
Scrabble champion and stellar maker of mince pies Joan Soper turns 102 this December 2nd.
The centenarian will be marking the occasion with family, friends and staff at Abbotswood Court, where she has been a resident for three years, having moved in shortly after the purpose-designed care home was opened back in 2015.
Plans for the big day include a sumptuous afternoon tea, complete with a singer to entertain the party – a special surprise for sing-along loving Joan.
Born in 1916 and brought up in Rugby, Warwickshire, Joan left school at the age of 14, and trained as a shorthand typist. She recalls earning the grand sum of 9 Shillings a week in her first job, then later going on to teach shorthand to trainee journalists.
But her talents go way beyond that. She is known in her family as a maker of amazing mince pies – loved so much by her son that she used to make them for him every week, all year round.
While she believes “the secret to a good mince pie is in the pastry”, what is her secret to reaching a ripe old age?
“I think it’s hard work,” she adds. “I do feel very old now, my memory is not as good as it was.”
Gemma Ridout Bowden, General Manager of Abbotswood Court, said:
“Joan is a very active member of the Abbotswood Court family. She is a scrabble champion, and regularly wins games. She has a great memory for words, and also loves crosswords and quizzes.
“As well as hard work, we suspect Joan’s grand age may also be due to the daily bag – or three – of crisps that she enjoys!
“She is still very sharp, and makes us laugh all the time! Joan has a great sense of humour. She is a wonderful lady and we are so happy to be celebrating this incredible milestone with her.”