Jeane turns 100 as her business hits 50

Jeane Roper, who started NL Roper and Sons Ltd, in Harleston,

Jeane Roper, who started NL Roper and Sons Ltd, in Harleston, has celebrated her 100th birthday. - Credit: NorseCare

The founder of a 50-year-old family business said turning 100 was "just another number" as she marked a double celebration.

Jeane Roper started NL Roper and Sons in Harleston with her husband Norman in 1971, with the business marking its golden anniversary this year. 

Mrs Roper was born in Colwyn Bay on February 22 1921 and moved to Peterborough with her family in 1931, meeting her husband in a munitions factory. She later worked as a charge hand at a sugar beet laboratory.

They married on February 9 1946 in Peterborough and moved to Harleston with their two sons Kevin and Clive in 1970, starting their business a year later. 

Her grandson Ian is the third generation of the family to run the business, which specialises in surface finishing for materials including stainless steel, ceramics, rubber, glass and plastic composites.

The couple started in premises in Hempnall and then moved to Harleston Market Place, before finally moving to Harleston Industrial Estate where Jeane was company secretary for several years.

Mrs Roper said: “It’s been 50 years since me and my husband started our business when it was just one boy and a machine. They didn’t have an industrial estate then (in Harleston), so we opened in the middle of town. When the estate opened we were one of the first on it, next to the veterinary surgery. It’s very special to me that my son and grandson work there now.”

Most Read

The couple were active members of Shotford Bowling Club and Mrs Roper continued the sport after her husband's death in 1985. She later met George Henderson whilst bowling and shared a happy retirement until his death in 2005.

Mrs Roper, a resident at Harker House in Long Stratton, said: "I didn’t really know what all the fuss was about, I thought it was just another number. But I do feel lucky with everything going on.

They made me a special cake and I was pleased to be able to share it around with everyone. It made my day being able to see my family, the staff were great, I think they were enjoying it as much as I was – they all do so much for me.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter