Red carpet party for a special VIP

Joan Sadler celebrates her 100th birthday at St John's Court in Stamshaw.  Picture: Paul Jacobs
Joan Sadler celebrates her 100th birthday at St John's Court in Stamshaw. Picture: Paul Jacobs
Dr John Steadman, archivist of Portsmouth History Centre based at Portsmouth Central Library     Picture:  Malcolm Wells

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Joan Sadler reached the grand old age of 100 on January 22 and celebrated with the red carpet treatment.

Joan had a party with family and fellow residents of St John’s Court in Stamshaw on the day, and received scores of flowers, balloons and cards – including one from the Queen.

Joan pictured age 16

Joan pictured age 16

On Saturday she got dressed up for a party at Southsea Golf Club with more than 100 family and friends. So how does the birthday girl feel now she is 100?

‘No different really – in fact I can’t believe I am 100. I was very excited for the party,’ says Joan.

She was picked up in a stretch limousine by daughters Cherry, 75, and Candy, 57, and went on a tour of Portsmouth, including a stop on Portsdown Hill – where Joan got to see the Spinnaker Tower – before arriving at the venue.

Joan was then met by sons Richard, 65, and Randal, 62, who escorted Joan down a red carpet. Inside she was treated to entertainment from the Daisy Belles, who sang some of Joan’s favourite songs by Glen Miller, including In The Mood. ‘That is my favourite – many of my romances were tied up with that song I expect,’ Joan says.

Family had travelled from all over the country to be there – including daughter Cherry from Suffolk and nephews John and Jim from Cheltenham and outside Manchester.

‘I hadn’t seen them since they were about this high and now they must be in their 60s,’ says Joan.

Joan says the secret to her longevity lies in her childhood. ‘I never wanted for anything, my mother (Gertrude Ainsworth) always cooked us good food.’

Joan was born at Shotley Lodge in Suffolk in 1915.

Her jobs there included being laundry manager of HMS Ganges in Shotley.

She married twice – firstly to Ronald Woods, and then moved to Portsmouth where she married Sydney Sadler.

On the side Joan taught music and played organ and piano-accordion in many of Portsmouth’s public houses, including The Three Marines in Eastney and The Magpie in Fratton Road.

Joan had five children – Cherry, Roger, Richard, Randal and Candy – and is a proud grandmother of 11 and great-grandmother of 15.

Candy says: ‘Our mother is a remarkable woman – she loves going out. If you ask her she will always say yes.’

‘What makes her more remarkable is that she had two strokes aged 89 and made a full recovery,’ says Cherry.