Tributes paid to 99-year-old great-great-great-grandmother from Harold Hill who was ‘queen and star’ of the family 

Joyce would have turned 100 in September this year

Joyce would have turned 100 in September this year - Credit: Abby Leader

A Harold Hill great-great-great-grandmother, who spent nearly three decades working on the London transport system, has sadly died aged 99. 

Joyce Evelyn Porter was born on September 12, 1922, in Bethnal Green, and was the youngest of 13 children. 

Despite being born in Tower Hamlets, Joyce - whose maiden name was Manning - spent most of her life living in Harold Hill. 

She was only in her teens when she met Frederick Verne Porter, the man who she would end up marrying at 18, in April 1940. 

By that stage, Fred had been called up to fight in the war, and the two organised their wedding day to coincide with his home leave. 

Joyce met her future husband, Fred, when she was a teenager

Joyce met her future husband, Fred, when she was a teenager - Credit: Abby Leader

Together they had three children; Maureen and Gladys, who were born during the war, and Jeanette, who arrived once the conflict was over. 

Joyce and Fred’s partnership extended beyond the home and into their professional lives, as the two worked together for 28 years as a conductor and bus driver for London Transport respectively. 

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While working at the company, Joyce was crowned Beauty Queen, a competition similar to the likes of Miss Essex or Miss England. 

Joyce with her trophy after winning the Beauty Queen competition while at London Transport

Joyce with her trophy after winning the Beauty Queen competition while at London Transport - Credit: Abby Leader

Fred sadly died in 2001, but Joyce continued to support her family and enjoy her favourite pastimes.

These ranged from caring for various family members, which eventually stretched to six generations all alive at the same time, to knitting, baking and playing rummy. 

She even got an invite to the Queen’s Garden Party one year, due to Fred’s service in the army, where she spent the day speaking with royalty including William and Kate. 

In 2009, Joyce suffered a stroke which left her paralysed down one side, and required her to go into a care home. 

She moved to Hutton Village in Brentwood, which is where she died of natural causes on April 4. 

In her eulogy, one of Joyce’s granddaughters, Gay Jane Leader, said: “Nan, you taught us all so much throughout our lives, but most of all, you taught us to love those dear to us no matter what, take care of each other no matter what, and live life to the full.”  

Gay’s daughter, Abby, told this paper: “It has been really hard. 

She said Joyce's legacy is as “an amazing lady". 

“The queen and the star of the family,” Abby added. 

The Recorder wants to help our readers pay tribute to lost loved ones by publishing obituaries in the paper, celebrating their lives and achievements. 

Find out more at Obituaries in the Recorder: Pay tribute to lost loved ones or fill in the form below.

Joyce's funeral involved hiring a red, double-decker bus, in tribute to her work with London Transport

Joyce's funeral involved hiring a Routemaster bus, in tribute to her work with London Transport - Credit: Richard Barker