Sanctuary Care resident Phyllis Johnson recently celebrated turning 102.
Phyllis, who has lived at Bartley Green Lodge Residential Care Home since February 2013, was born in Telford. When she was 10, the family moved to Bridgnorth where she attended St Leonard’s School until the age of 14 before taking her first job. Phyllis worked as a between-stairs maid for Lady Hamilton-Russell, who later became Lady Labouchere and donated her family’s property, Dudmaston Hall, to the National Trust.
After working as a maid, Phyllis was employed by an Italian-run tapestry firm and then a laundry opposite her family home. While working here she met future husband Joe Johnson; he lived in Birmingham so in their early courtship he would camp on a local field to be close to Phyllis.
The couple married in 1941, during the Second World War, and had one son, David. The family lived in Winson Green, Birmingham, then relocated to Ladywood in 1965 where they lived until Joe sadly passed away in 1993.
When asked the best thing about reaching 102, Phyllis said: “I’ve had a long and happy life with my loved ones – and been so lucky to live through many great historical events, including two World Wars, the sinking of the Titanic, England winning the World Cup, the first man on the moon, 23 prime ministers and 4 monarchs!
“Not to mention the inventions – I saw things like penicillin, the television, the microwave oven and the credit card become mainstream household items.”