Retired Worthing school teacher celebrates 100th birthday in Clapham

Jeanie Clark with the birthday card she received from the Queen on her 100th birthday. Picture: Steve Robards SR1830307
Jeanie Clark with the birthday card she received from the Queen on her 100th birthday. Picture: Steve Robards SR1830307

Just after the centenary of the end of the First World War, a resident of Clapham Lodge care home celebrated another anniversary: her 100th birthday.

Jeanie Clark was born on November 16, 1918 in Normandy, Surrey, just after the end of the First World War and had an idyllic childhood.

Jeanie went to grammar school and then studied at Brighton College before becoming a teacher. She started teaching at Durrington School in 1939, just as the Second World War broke out.

She lived in Worthing for most of her life, teaching in various schools across the area including Elm Grove and Lyndhurst Primary, ending her teaching career in 1979 at West Park School in Marlborough Road.

A very active woman, Jeanie always rode her bike around Worthing and also loved to dance. Her other interests include playing the piano and she was always keen on politics, she worked hard for the Conservative party and always read the Telegraph.

Jeanie lived on her own until she was 98, when she made the decision to move into Clapham Lodge Care Home, and is still in very good health for someone of 100 years old.

Now, Jeanie’s family includes two daughters, Harriet Browne and Sheena Collins, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Harriet travelled from her home in Somerset to celebrate her mother’s birthday, and Sheena lives nearby in Worthing so went over to the care home in Woodland Avenue, Clapham, for the celebration.

Sheena said: “She is always really interested in our family’s achievements, she is very supportive of everyone.”

Jeanie enjoys her time living at the care home, and Sheena said she really appreciates the staff for the love and care they give to Jeanie. Sheena said: “It is a lovely place, the staff are just delightful.”

All of her family members went along to visit throughout the week for the milestone birthday, and a party was held at Clapham Lodge last Friday, featuring singing and cake.

Sheena bought her mum a sparkly new outfit to wear on her birthday, and said Jeanie was always very glamorous when she was younger and always drank pink gin.

Melissa Marshall, activities coordinator at the care home, helped to organise the birthday celebrations. She said: “Jeanie is always happy and is really a lovely lady with some great stories.”

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