Fourth resident at Northampton care home to celebrate 100th birthday this year

Joan pictured holding a chick during the 'Book End Project', held at the home, a project which saw children from Bridgewater Primary School join in with some of the residents to unite old and young.
Joan pictured holding a chick during the 'Book End Project', held at the home, a project which saw children from Bridgewater Primary School join in with some of the residents to unite old and young.

There must be something in the water at St Christopher's Care Home as their fourth resident is about to turn 100 this year.

Former clothes shop owner, Joan Gammage is not even the oldest resident at her care home. Nancy Summers, Edna Grant, Eileen Rouse also marked their milestones this year.

The soon-to-be 100-year-old was born in Northampton and attended Spencer School in St James until she was 14.

Since she was born on November 5, 1919, she has experienced the aftermath of World War One, World War Two and has lived under four monarchs.

She had two brothers, one died when he was 80, and the other, Peter, 85, along with his wife, Sylvia, 83, joined Joan at St. Christopher's Care Home, in Abington Park Crescent, this year.

On leaving school, Joan worked in a children's clothes shop for three years before moving on to a ladies fashion shop.

At 21, when World War Two broke out, Joan worked in ammunitions on Bedford Road, returning to fashion at the end of the war.

In her thirties she became a buyer for a fashion store in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Joan, who never married, went on to buy her own high-class fashion shop in Kettering, which she ran for 25 years.

Age 65, she decided to sell the shop and retire, although retirement did not last long as Joan did voluntary work at a baby clinic and also worked voluntarily in the shop at Northampton General Hospital.

Following a slight stroke when she was 86, Joan stopped the voluntary work but continued to live in her home at Duston until moving into St Christopher's in 2011.

Manager of St Christopher's, Sarah Clarke, said: "She is a willing and enthusiastic participant in many of the Home's weekly activities, and her beaming smile will cheer the dullest of days".