Residents and the team at Care UK’s Prince George House, in Ipswich, have been helping Ivy Hinchcliffe celebrate her 105th birthday in style, despite the coronavirus lockdown.
A cake made specially by the home’s chef, drinks and balloons all helped to make Ivy’s birthday a fitting occasion.
Ivy, who was born in Blackburn, was one of six children. She began work aged 14, using Jacquard looms in a mill; work that she says was hard, but that she enjoyed because she was good at it and she received a lot of praise.
Before the Second World War she married her husband Jim, who she says was a good and kind man. Together they moved from Blackburn to Blackpool. Ivy ran a boarding house: during the war, soldiers were billeted at the house while Jim played his part in the war effort working in a nearby aircraft factory.
After the war Ivy returned to weaving before having her daughter Susan. In 1951, Ivy brought a run down tripe shop and converted it into a grocer’s. Every morning she opened the store at 7am to take in fresh bread and she would close again at 7pm, to start cleaning and stocking the shelves for the next day.
In 1984, when Jim retired from his job with the gas board, the couple decided to retire to Ipswich to be close to their daughter. They became regulars at the Alan Road Methodist Church. Sadly, Jim passed away in 2005 and Ivy carried on living at home with the support of Susan.
In 2015 she moved into Prince George House, in Mansbrook Boulevard, in Ipswich.
Home Manager Jennie Rodger said “Ivy is a wonderful lady and we wanted to ensure that, despite our lockdown to keep everyone safe, she had a celebration worthy of her 105 years. Here at Prince George House we like to make sure birthdays and anniversaries are celebrated the way our residents would like. Normally that would involve a party in the home for friends and family. Due to the pandemic, this was sadly not possible. However, Ivy had a wonderful time and we have promised her a big party next year for her 106th birthday.”