Tribute to last of original tenants at Watling Court

Joyce Hill
Joyce Hill
  • Joyce Hill founded the Watling Court Residents Association
  • Nothing gave her more pleasure than to see children enjoying themselves
  • She baked 40 or more Christmas cakes each year for elderly

THE last remaining original tenant of Watling Court in Southwick died last Monday at the age of 84.

Joyce Hill had lived in the flats, in Butts Road, for more than 54 years and founded the Watling Court Residents Association, standing down only in 2012, due to her failing heath.

She worked tirelessly for the community, eventually being awarded a Certificate of Appreciation in 2002 from Adur District Council for her endless voluntary work

Patricia Downes, daughter

Daughter Patricia Downes, of Highdown, Southwick, said: “When she formed the association in 1980, no one knew it would be such a long-standing organisation, or that it would run for more than 30 years.

“When my mother started the organisation, she had already raised a family of five children herself, but still had so much time to give others, nothing gave her more pleasure than to see children enjoying themselves and she was proud to be part of that.

“She worked tirelessly for the community, eventually being awarded a Certificate of Appreciation in 2002 from Adur District Council for her endless voluntary work.”

The old launderette in Watling Court became the association’s ‘club room’, where activities included a youth club, bingo, fêtes, birthday parties, sports days, jumble sales and a multitudes of community events.

All funds raised were ploughed back into the association and used to finance home-made Christmas hampers for the elderly residents of Butts Road, annual day trips to theme parks and Christmas parties for the children and their friends who attended the youth club.

Mrs Downes said: “The hampers included 40 or more Christmas cakes which my mother baked and decorated herself.

“She played a huge part in many people’s lives and was always willing to go the extra mile to make others happy. Even when suffering with her own ill health, she still continued to assist the running of the association from her bed until eventually she had to resign.”

The funeral will take place at Worthing Crematorium on Friday, March 13, at 12.20pm.