Joan celebrates 101st birthday - but is still waiting to be able to celebrate 100th!

Joan Nott with her card, made by her grandson George

Joan Nott with her card, made by her grandson George - Credit: Submitted

Former Torbay Blue Badge Guide Joan Nott has celebrated her 101st birthday - and is still waiting for a big party to celebrate turning 100 during the pandemic.

Covid-19 restrictions mean a party is still to be held - so far, a celebration has had to be postponed three times!

Joan, whose birthday is May 28, was a Blue Badge Guide for well over 40 years and only retired in her late 90s.

In fact, at age 97, she stood for over an hour to give a talk about Agatha Christie in Torre Abbey for the Agatha Christie Festival.

Over the years Joan has brought many visitors to the Bay, with her walks to places of interest relating to Agatha.

Tourism chiefs always asked her to guide the heads of foreign tourist boards as they knew she would give a good account of Torbay, said Joan's family.

Life was very different for Joan after she lost her husband Michael, a Burma veteran who was also a Blue Badge Guide, almost 16 years ago.

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However, Joan was determined to carry on helping to promote the Bay, and having been an army wife, she just 'got on with things' in true stalwart fashion.

Joan made time to be an active member of Torquay Inner Wheel for more than 50 years and remains a member. She has also been a fundraiser for My Aware, the new name for the Myasthenia Association.

Joan lives alone in her own flat, with some help from her three daughters, Linda, Celia and Hilary.

Her 100th birthday in May 2020 was during the pandemic, which meant her big party for 100 has had to be postponed three times.

However, she was able to have a small family gathering, in the grounds of Ellesmere Flats.

She made an appearance, in true Royal style, on her balcony, waving the card from the Queen, as the residents sang 'Happy Birthday' to her.

The 100th  party is now rearranged for October, although Joan will be 101-and-a-half by then!

But she did want everyone to have something to look forward to at the end of the year, after such a difficult time. So, she wouldn’t hear of cancellation, just postponement. The party will go ahead eventually, she has vowed.

Joan has seven grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren. She said she was amazed by the number of 101 cards she received from friends and family and was 'tickled' by one handmade card by her grandson George, of a Dalmatian with 101 on the tag round its neck.

“Fancy everyone still remembering me?“ she said.