Sep 16, 2015
Ivy, who turned 100 on 14th September, was joined by friends and residents for a party hosted by the team at Colne View. Highlights throughout the day included a personal birthday card from The Queen and a cake which had been specially baked by the care home’s chef. A display of photos and other items, curated by Ivy’s dear friends, Margaret and Chrissie, had also been set up in one of the lounges at the care home to celebrate Ivy’s life.
Omar Taylor, home manager at Colne View, said: “Residents are at the heart of everything we do here at Colne View, and we always take the time to commemorate birthdays and anniversaries. In particular, we think it is important to involve friends and loved ones in such important events and to keep to any traditions residents may have around special days. Everyone had a fun time joining in the celebrations for Ivy’s 100th birthday and the birthday girl had a wonderful day.”
Ivy Mead was born in Halstead on 14th September 1915. A lifelong church-goer, she attended Halstead Holy Trinity Church Sunday School and bible class until she was 15 years old.
During the Second World War, Ivy served with the Women’s Voluntary Service and helped with canteen suppers on Saturday evenings in the United Reform Church Hall.
The war also saw Ivy take on the role of secretary for the Holy Trinity Players’ variety shows. When the shows resumed in the 1950s, Ivy donned a farmer’s outfit and took her comedic ‘Old Joe’, the country yokel act, to many charity and social organisations in the villages around Essex, accompanied by her sister, May. According to her friends, Ivy also frequently amused and entertained with poetry and prose renditions in her rural Essex accent.
In 1930, Ivy started work at Courtauld’s factory in Halstead as a textile weaver, and she remained an employee of Courtauld’s until she retired in 1975.
After being confirmed in 1930, Ivy also became a Primary Sunday School Teacher and attended a summer training college at Hockerill. Here she met other teachers and clergy in the Diocese to explore new ways of teaching young children and, with her forward-thinking methods, Ivy was considered very Avant Garde.
At the age of 21, Ivy become a member of the Parochial Church Council at Holy Trinity Church. She served on the Council for many years, including three years on the Deanery Synod and a stint in the Overseas Group at both Holy Trinity and St. Andrew’s churches in Halstead. Having a passion for the performing arts, Ivy helped in the production of many religious and Nativity plays over the years.
When Holy Trinity Church closed its doors in 1987, Ivy became a member of St. Andrews’ congregation. Here she enjoyed a variety of services and helped out with Junior Church activities – her friends confirm she can still remember a good majority of her Sunday School children by name.
Throughout most of her life, Ivy lived with her late sister, May. She moved into Halstead Lodge for respite care in 2005 and become a permanent resident a year later. Ivy became a resident of Colne View when Halstead Lodge shut its doors in 2012 and here she is regularly visited by her very dear friends, Margaret and Chrissie, who played an important role in helping to organise Ivy’s birthday celebrations.
Dame Mary Walk, Colchester Road, Halstead, Essex, CO9 2FF
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