100th birthday celebrations for founding Banbury Townswomen’s Guild member


Former Grimsbury resident Joan East is a talented needlewoman and embroiderer

A founding member of Banbury’s Townswomen’s Guild and long time Grimsbury resident has celebrated her 100th birthday.   Joan East marked the occasion with her daughter, grand-daughters, family and friends at Featherton House in Deddington, where she now lives.

Joan Hollings was born on August 25, 1923 in the coal mining district of South Yorkshire where her father was a pit manager.   Joan and her twin brother, Reg, grew up in a village near the coal mine.

She joined the Women’s Land Army during World War II and it was here that she met Gilbert John East – who was known as Johnny.   Born in Swacliffe, he was a mechanic on Mosquito aircraft in the RAF.   Joan’s brother Reg was also in the RAF, working as a Spitfire pilot ferrying planes around the Mediterranean until his death in 1944.

Joan and Johnny married and after the War moved to the Banbury area and rented rooms in Kings Sutton before buying a house in Grimsbury, where they lived for over 50 years.

Joan was a founder member of the Banbury Evening Townswomen’s Guild and served as chairwoman and committee member for many years.

Joan is a very talented needlewoman and embroiderer and she ran the Arts and Crafts section of the Guild.   Most of her friends and neighbours have received a handmade card or gift at some point exhibiting her work.  She taught and inspired many people.

In her eighties Joan decided she needed a computer to communicate with her family and friends so attended a class at Age UK to learn how to use a laptop.   She became the oldest person in the Banbury area Age UK had taught.

As part of her birthday celebrations Joan received a card from King Charles and Queen Camilla.

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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