Former King’s Lynn headmistress celebrates 100th birthday

Joyce Collison celebrated her 100th birthday. Also pictured are Mike Menear and Ruth Gregory. Pictur

Joyce Collison celebrated her 100th birthday. Also pictured are Mike Menear and Ruth Gregory. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Two of her cousins reached the same great age and now a much-loved auntie to 11 nephews and nieces has celebrated her 100 year milestone.

Joyce in 1935_Picture. supplied

Joyce in 1935_Picture. supplied - Credit: Archant

Former King's Lynn headmistress Joyce Collison said she 'had never dreamt so many people would see her' as around 30 of her friends and family joined her for a tea party at Amberley Hall care home.

Ms Collison, the youngest of seven children, did her teacher training after the Second World War and moved to King's Lynn where she was headmistress at All Saints and St James' infant schools.

Earlier this year her cousin Ethel Elworthy marked her 100th birthday and another cousin Florence Walker became a centenarian in the 1990s, but died in 1997.

Ms Collison, born on November 25 at Stoke Holy Cross, said her secret to living a long life was that she always kept her mind and body active.

Until late in the life she travelled around the world to places including New Zealand, where she travelled in a campervan, Australia, Canada, America, Sweden, Denmark, Holland and France.

Ms Collison, a member of St Faith's church in Gaywood, said: 'We were in Switzerland in 1939, my friend and I, when war was declared and we had a job getting out, the trains were packed and everybody was trying to get out.'

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She moved in 1918 to Clenchwarton and lived at Church Farm - now East View Farm - from 1922 to 1947, the old house was originally the home of her grandfather Charles Collison.

'We were just a happy family, we used to play games we had space and we always had balls and things to play with.'

Ms Collison used to cycle from Clenchwarton to King's Lynn High School - whatever the weather.

'I was always healthy. I had to be, I had to cycle four miles to get there, that kept you healthy,' she said.

Niece Ruth Gregory, 71, said: 'I think she's wonderful. She has always been wonderful.'

Is your loved one going to celebrate their 100th birthday? Email sophie.biddle@archant.co.uk