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Celebrating 60 years with Joyce


December 2023

L&Q was founded in October 1963 and in 2023 we celebrated our 60th anniversary. In that same month, Joyce Vale moved into her home, and we were delighted to speak with her to celebrate this milestone.

Raymond Stares and Joyce Vale

Joyce was born in Cambridge after her mum was evacuated during the Second World War, but has lived in Leyton all her life. She moved into her home with her parents in October 1963 when she was just 23. The baby of her family (being only 20 minutes younger than her twin sister), Joyce stayed at home to care for her mum.

One of Joyce's happiest memories was moving into her home with her mum and dad. Joyce recounts how they were the first family to move into the block, which was originally owned by Waltham Forest Council (until 2002 when the ownership was transferred to L&Q). Joyce recalls the community spirit in the estate, she once knew every single person who lived in the block. "You couldn't go out without bumping into someone you knew," Joyce said.

It wasn't all rosy, however, Joyce told us how in the early days the windows in the block didn't have double glazing and the lift wasn't finished.

In 1967, Joyce's dad sadly passed away, leaving her to be the sole carer for her mum. Joyce's mum also passed away nine years later, leaving her in the home alone for the next two years until she met her husband, Bill.

Joyce met Bill when she was 39 while working at a local clothing factory as a machinist. Bill was on the cutting table and despite some initial teasing, they eventually got together and were married within the year. Bill was "welcoming and approachable and always smartly dressed." Joyce said. They moved into the flat that then became their home for 29 wonderful years. Bill sadly passed away 15 years ago.

We asked Joyce what’s important to her in a landlord, and she replied, “To help me if I need something, I can’t do things on my own now, so it’s good to know someone is always there to help.”

Over the years, several L&Q colleagues have gotten to know Joyce. “It's just nice to know someone is there,” Joyce told us of our colleagues who are always on hand. Raymond Stares, Caretaking Supervisor knows Joyce especially well as he was a live-in Resident Caretaker who lived in the block with his family for nearly 25 years. They are still close today. "Joyce is more like an extended family for me", Raymond said, reflecting on how she held his now 27-year-old son when he was born.

Thank you, Joyce, for inviting us into your home and telling us all about your tremendous life. We love featuring our residents in Homelife, so if you or a neighbour would like to be featured, please email our Communications team.