‘Secret to a long life? All you need is love’says Sidmouth centenarian

Joanna Knight enjoying her birthday with her neighours.

Joanna Knight enjoying her birthday with her neighours. - Credit: Archant

Filling your days with ‘lots of love’ is the secret to having a long and happy life, according to one Sidmouth centenarian.

Joanna Knight enjoying her birthday.

Joanna Knight enjoying her birthday. - Credit: Archant

Joanna Knight (pictured) celebrated her 100th birthday with family and friends on Monday, writes Beth Sharp.

Joanna, who has lived at The Redlands, in Manor Road, for the last 30 years, was born in Oxford before moving to Bournemouth as a four-year-old.

After meeting and marrying her husband, Gerald, who she first set eyes on at a church choir concert, Joanna moved to Sidmouth in 1934.

“It was love at first sight,” she said. “I think the first thing he said to me was: ‘Don’t sit on the eggs’, because his mother had just bought a box.”

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Joanna and Gerald later purchased a shop in Fore Street - Knights Clothing Store.

The store, which had previously been used as an antiques shop and before that a cinema, closed down in 2010. It is now the home of Fat Face.

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The couple ran their business and lived above it in a flat during World War Two. They later went on to live at a number of places in and around the Sid Valley.

Joanna and Gerald had two sons, Gordon and Keith, who went on to give them four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

The couple were together 72 years before Gerald died in 2010.

“We cared and loved each other and never argued,” said Joanna. “We spent a lot of time together because of the business.”

When asked what the secret was to a long and happy life, Joanna said: “It’s lots of love.”

To celebrate her birthday, Joanna had a special meal, as well as a family party.

She was also presented with a bouquet of flowers and card signed by 19 of her neighbours.

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