Joan Stone (1923 - 2012)

Photo:Joan Stone

Joan Stone

Photo by Nigel Swallow

A long-term resident of Pelham Square

By Nigel Swallow

One of the few remaining long-time residents of Pelham Square, Joan Stone, sadly died on 3rd March 2012 just before reaching her 89th birthday.

Joan's childhood

Joan was born in Marylebone and had a happy childhood in London. She was very close to her cousin Hilda, who said they were more like sisters than cousins. They used to go dancing together and before Hilda got married Joan would go and stay with her for weekends in Sudbury, Middlesex, and they also made trips to Brighton together. The Regent Ballroom was of course the dance hall of choice on the coast (now Boots at the Clock Tower) and they both loved ballroom dancing, with the foxtrot and quickstep particular favourites.

She lived in Pelham Square

Joan lived in Pelham Square for at least 46 years and loved it, often proclaiming the benefits of being so close to all the bustle of life that was just a stroll away but at the same time enjoying the peace and quiet that living in the Square also gave. For a while Joan commuted for work to Croydon and Dorking and then eventually found work in Moulsecoomb.

On her doorstep

In her latter years Joan found a social life at the nearby Gloucester Place Baptist Church and also at her favourite food haunt ‘The Kitchen Café’ just across the road from Pelham Square in Trafalgar Street.

Both were important parts of her world and just on her doorstep.

She enjoyed an outing

Given the opportunity Joan enjoyed any chance of an outing, whether to the theatre, the countryside or to a restaurant, where the opportunity to have a steak would be heartily taken up!

I lived in the same house

I lived in the same house as Joan for seven years and when I moved in I found myself living with a lovely lady who was very independent and never complained of her lot. She liked nothing more than a chat and some laughter with friends. In fact my presiding memory of 4 Pelham Square is Joan’s laughter, either when nattering with her over a cup of tea or when something had amused her on TV. I often heard her laughing as I came in the front door.

She was a sitting tenant

Joan was one of the last sitting tenants in Brighton, so couldn’t be moved out. She was very proud to have ended her days still living in the Square and was lucky to have good friends such as Mary Penegar popping in weekly to help.

Three main loves in her life

There were three very clear main loves in Joan’s life.

First and foremost were her parents and especially her mum, Elizabeth, apparently a very warm and loving person who made wonderful cakes. Joan also took great pride in her father pulling out his accordion at family gatherings and Joan’s photo album consisted mainly of photos of the three of them on trips around London or to the seaside. Joan was buried in the same plot as her mother on 15th March.

Her second love was her cats, Tiger and Cindy, on whom she doted. They were spoiled rotten and quite simply brought a beaming smile to Joan’s lips. She even managed to have a cat on her lap at the care home where she spent her final weeks. Joan was the picture of contentment with a cuppa and a cat!

Her third love was that cuppa  - a good cup of tea!

If you made Joan a good cup you were well in with her and even better if there was a decent chocolate or bit of cake to go with it!

She appreciated the simple things

Above all Joan showed people how to appreciate the simple things in life and to keep laughing. I will always remember Joan with love and affection.

Add your memories

If you have any memories of Joan Stone, please add them below.

[Previously published in the North Laine Runner, No 216, May/June 2012]

This page was added on 03/06/2012.

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