Portsmouth birthday girl Joan Hellier celebrates turning 100 years old

Joan Hellier celebrates her 100th birthday, Elm Trees Retirement Living, Havant. Picture: Chris Moorhouse
Joan Hellier celebrates her 100th birthday, Elm Trees Retirement Living, Havant. Picture: Chris Moorhouse
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Portsmouth born and bred, Joan Hellier has celebrated her 100th birthday with her friends and family.

Born on September 22, 1919, Joan, nee Dale, grew up with her two brothers Morris and Vernon and attended Walkers College in Southsea.

Joan on Goodwood Downs, aged 21.

Joan on Goodwood Downs, aged 21.

After she left school, she went to work for a removal company before she married carpenter Walter Hellier at just 19 years old on August 2, 1938, at Portsmouth Register Office.

A year later, the Helliers had their son Bill. Their daughter Wendy followed in 1945 and then their youngest son Derek in 1951. 

For all of her life, Joan has lived in Portsmouth or the surrounding areas. 

‘She’s never been further north than Horndean,’ laughs son Derek.

Joan Hellier with her son, Derek. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Joan Hellier with her son, Derek. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Today, great-grandmother Joan lives at Elm Trees Retirement Living, Havant, where she celebrated her 100th birthday. 

‘We also celebrated with a tea party at The Pavilion at Stansted House, Rowlands Castle, and most of the family came,’ adds Derek. 

‘I think her favourite part was seeing all the family together, because that doesn’t happen very often.’ 

‘She is a very independent woman. She played bowls up until a couple of years ago. 

‘I’m very proud she has reached such a great age.’