30 April 2018
A resident at The Grand Care Centre in West Bridgford, Nottingham, has celebrated a very special three digit birthday milestone.
Audrey Johnson marked her 100th birthday surrounded by family, friends and the staff team at The Grand where she has been a resident for the last 12 months. Joining Audrey for her special day and birthday party, complete with afternoon tea and two birthday cakes, was her daughter Liz, son Jamie and grandson Harvey, nephew Alan and his wife Sue, plus the many friends she has made while living at The Grand since last April.
Born and brought up in Nottinghamshire, Audrey has enjoyed a long and happy life in the area. She spent much of her childhood in Nottingham, before meeting her husband Philip and marrying in Burton Joyce church in 1943 after which they moved to Tollerton to bring up their two children Liz and Jamie. Sadly, Philip passed away (aged 91) just after they had celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.
For more than half a century, Audrey devoted much of her time to art. A great passion of hers, she joined the Nottingham Society of Artists in 1966, was elected a Fellow of the Society in 1980 and served for two years as President from 1986-88. Able to express her art though any medium, she particularly enjoyed painting portraits, figures and movement, as well as atmospheric scenes using oil, pastel, watercolour, gouache and acrylic.
Jamie and Liz both remember their mother driving to and from London to take her paintings to exhibit in many of the London galleries and exhibitions, and it was the highlight of her career when one of her paintings was chosen for the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition. Her paintings continue to delight, and only recently three of her works were hung in the Fellows Exhibition at the Nottingham Society of Artists Gallery at St Luke’s House in April.
Audrey’s artistic talent was also put to good use in other areas. For more than 12 years she designed and drew more than 75 covers for the Parish Magazine of St Mary’s Church, Plumtree, where she also headed the team of flower arrangers for nearly 21 years. Daughter Liz Johnson said: “My mother is thrilled to have reached her 100th birthday. She hasn’t had the best of health for the last few years, but she is very strong-willed and was determined to reach this milestone. We have enjoyed spending this special day with her at The Grand.” Audrey puts her long life down to keeping her brain active: “Painting is wonderful for that,” she said, “You never stop thinking and learning.”
Registered manager at The Grand, Yana Whitehouse, added: “It was a privilege to share this special day with Audrey and to organise a memorable party for her here at The Grand where she is very much part of our family.”