Mr. HCB’s mother, Phyllis Evelyn Joan, was born on 18th December 1913 and sadly died on the 30th October 1996, 21 years ago today, so this Blip is in memory of a lovely lady, whose presence is still very much missed even after all these years.  

Joan had been a widow for almost twenty years since Harry, her husband, died in 1977 and had been a true inspiration to all her family.  Harry died suddenly whilst they were on holiday in Llandudno, so Mr. HCB and his brother went up there to bring Joan back home.  That very first night, when they got back, she insisted on going into their home and staying there, completely on her own, and lived there until she became too ill and she had to go into hospital, where she died on the 30th October 1996.

She was a most wonderful lady who was like a mother to me - and I well remember that whenever we used to visit, she always said “How lovely to see you, dear!”  And she really meant it.  She loved her family and was happiest when she was baking or doing something for them - whenever we went there for tea, there was always either a fruit cake or an apple pie and custard and we used to look forward to what she had put into the last little piece of pastry, so that it wouldn’t be wasted.  Every week she boiled a piece of ham and it was always a joy to have one of Mum’s ham sandwiches.  Her trifles were made in the old-fashioned way and no-one could make one quite like Joan!  

Before she married, Joan was a seamstress, so whenever we had trousers to be taken up or a blouse to be altered, Joan would be the one who did it for us, which often involved her using the Singer treadle sewing machine that was in the box room (small bedroom) upstairs.  I never could get the hang of working the treadle, although she did try to teach me on many occasions - there was definitely an art to using it!  

She was a member of Immanuel Church, just up the road from where she lived, was a valued member of the Women’s Fellowship and was an active member until a few months before her death.  The measure of her popularity and the love that people felt for Joan was the fact that the church was full for her Service of Thanksgiving.

She was a gentle lady, loved by all her family and was always grateful for all we did for her, especially after she was diagnosed with breast cancer not long after Harry died.  She coped with having a mastectomy and all the treatment that followed and never complained.  She had many friends and neighbours who visited and as soon as she was able, she was up and about and then would be visiting others who were ill. What an inspiration to us all.

She lived long enough to see her great granddaughter, Charlotte, born in September 1996 but by this time had become too ill to stay at home and died peacefully in hospital, aged 82.  A courageous, gentle, kind and inspirational lady who will never be forgotten.  We speak of her often and still love her dearly.

When Mr. HCB and I were out walking yesterday, I thought it might be a good idea to pick up some leaves and berries and make a frame to surround a photograph of Joan because she was a lady who loved to potter in her garden at any time of the year, and liked nothing better than to have a bonfire - but she was always careful to ensure that no-one had any washing out on the line! The photograph on the left is when she was a bridesmaid at her sister, Etty’s wedding in 1935, just before her own wedding, and the one on the right was taken in the mid 1990s - a few months before she went into hospital.

Please remember to click on this link so that those who cannot afford to pay may have a free mammogram.  Thank you - your daily clicks have helped so much. 

“It is often in the 
     darkest skies 
          that we see the 
               brightest stars.”
Richard Evans

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