Obituary: Mrs Joan Winifred Bennett

Joan Bennett

Joan Bennett

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Mrs Joan Winifred Bennett, of Earlsfield Lane, Grantham, has died in Eagle Nursing Home, near Lincoln. She was 88.

Born at Stroxton on May 8, 1926, she was the daughter of Ellis and Alice Cragg. She was one of 10 children, having three brothers, Eric, Harold and Phillip and six sisters, Ivy, Dorothy, Marjorie, Gladys, Kay and Betty. Phillip died aged seven from diphtheria. She was the last surviving member of her siblings.

Mrs Bennett was the wife of the late Bert Bennett, mother to Denise, mother-in-law to Tony, grandmother to Estelle and her husband Simon, and former mother-in-law to Dennis.

Her early years were spent at Harlaxton School, which she attended until the age of 14. This involved a walking journey of six miles, in all weathers.

On leaving school her first job was in service at the Sturgis Hotel in Loughborough. This was followed by a job working as a cook for Lady Le Marchant at Hungerton Hall, near Grantham.

In the early 1940s she spent some time working in the shell shop at the munitions company BMARC, which was situated on Springfield Road, Grantham.

During the wartime years she looked forward to Saturday night which usually meant a dance at Grantham Guildhall, where they enjoyed the big band sounds of the times. Her happiest years were spent in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAFs) at RAF Wilmslow, Cheshire, where she made lifelong friends. After the war, Mrs Bennett worked in the railway buffet at Grantham Station and it was there she met Bert, who was working as a fireman at the time. The couple were soon married and their only child, Denise, was born in 1951.

Mrs Bennett had also worked as a cook in the school kitchens on Wharf Road, and at Fenland laundries on Belton Lane.

One of her more enjoyable jobs was working on the cutting section at the Wolsey factory in Gonerby Hill Foot.

Her final job was as a cake decorator at Webster’s bakery which used to be in Wide Westgate.

Over the years her hobbies included cooking and baking, embroidery, knitting and sketching. She was captain of the ladies darts team at the Royal Queen during the 1970s and badgered them into achieving the runners-up position in the darts league one year with the immortal phrase “Give it some wellie.”

The Rev John Bruce conducted the funeral service at Grantham Crematorium Chapel.

Family mourners included: Denise Slade, Tony Slade, Estelle Sharp and Simon Sharpe.

Other mourners included: Valerie Stafford, Andrea Jackson, John Hodgkiss, Rita Hodgkiss, Fraser Anderson, Liz Cragg, Irene Percival, Debbie Gunfield, Sheila Edwards, Dennis Key, Tina Marshall, Mick LeHair, David Sentance, Susan Sentance, Regina Timms, Linda Ferguson, and Debbie Redford.

Funeral arrangements were by Robert Holland, St Catherine’s Road, Grantham.

Donations were received for the British Heart Foundation and the Alzheimer’s Society.