‘Star Baker’ Jo Marks Her 102nd Birthday In East Preston

StarA local resident has recently celebrated her 102nd birthday with a family celebration and a very special birthday cake at The Martlets care home in East Preston, West Sussex.

Jo King was born in Hendon, North London in 1917, and attended an all-girls school in nearby Mill Hill. Her first job after leaving school was in retail as a business assistant, and she went on to work for two high-end clothing companies where her passion for fashion enabled her to work her way up to a senior position.

Her hobbies included playing the piano and tennis, in which she achieved her ambition of becoming a local champion. Jo met her husband, Charles, in 1937 and later married when Jo was 25 at Hendon North London. They had two children and is she now a proud grandmother too.

In later life, Jo enjoyed cake making and used her artistic talents to make her daughter’s spectacular three-tier wedding cake, complete with 188 iced roses.  The favour was returned on Jo’s 102nd birthday, when her two grand-daughters baked her a wonderful rainbow cake.

Home manager at The Martlets, Angie Douglass, who works for Shaw healthcare, commented; “It’s wonderful to be able to mark this milestone and give Jo and her family the chance to celebrate together. Jo moved here in February, 2018 and quickly made many friends. She takes real pride in her daily appearance, ensuring staff dress her in an appropriate outfit with matching accessories. We all love to listen to her and the stories she has to tell.”

When asked about her secret to long life, Jo replied, “a smile, good living and a bit of good luck.”

The Martlets provides care for up to 60 older people, including those with dementia. Shaw healthcare provides a spectrum of services, from comprehensive care packages through to low level support in the community for older people and adults with physical, sensory or mental health support needs.