'Inspirational' Simonstone great-grandmother celebrates 100th birthday

Glorious weather on Saturday ensured family members were able to join Mrs Joan Eddlestone to mark her milestone 100th birthday.
The birthday girl celebrating her milestone dayThe birthday girl celebrating her milestone day
The birthday girl celebrating her milestone day

And the centenarian was delighted to receive a congratulatory card from Her Majesty, The Queen.

A former Burnley primary school teacher, Mrs Eddlestone, who was born on April 17th, 1921, has lived through 25 prime ministers, four monarchs and survived both world wars.

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Born and brought up in Simonstone, on leaving Clitheroe Royal Grammar School, she attended St Gabriel's teacher training college in Camberwell, London. Her first job was a primary school teacher in Burnley, however, over the years she taught at many other schools in the local area until around 1958.

She met her husband-to-be, Eric in the Isle of Man, when he was training and the couple married in December 1947. The newlyweds made their home in Valley Terrace, Simonstone, where they celebrated the birth of their two children - Christopher and Walton.

From 1960 onwards, she worked in the family business of James Blezards. Outside work, she was an active member of the Mother's Union, later becoming an enrolling member. In addition, she was also a member of the Women's Institute, a regular worshiper at St Peter's Church in Simonstone. Mrs Eddlestone spent considerable time working for the local branch of the NSPCC and Red Cross , soon becoming chairperson. Later, she joined the social services tribunal service.

Her hobbies, when younger, included tennis and golf and she remains a keen gardener.

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A family spokesman said: "Joan is a generous and inspirational person, dearly loved by everyone. She is a kind and loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She celebrated her special birthday with lunch outside in the garden of her elder son and daughter-in-law with her two sons, daughters-in-law and one of her grandsons for lunch. A splendid time was had by all. Three other grandchildren and two great-grandchildren had to wish her via Zoom as they clearly could not attend due to Covid-19 restrictions."

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