AN "independent and wonderful" Bolton woman who served as a landgirl in the Second World War has celebrated her surprise 100th birthday.

Joan Cheadle, who grew up in Astley Bridge, was "inundated" with cards, presents and visits at her home in Egerton today, Friday.

And the centenarian was also treated to a shock visit from youngsters at Eagley School House Nursery who sung for her and made Joan a card.

They also brought her flowers and a large "100" balloon.

The Bolton News:

Joan Cheadle with her card from the Queen

Joan said: "I have been inundated with people coming to see me and children from the nursery on the corner has visited and sung Happy Birthday to me. It was lovely.

"Everybody has been so kind.

"I have got lots of presents and cards, including one from the Queen as well.

"People have been ringing me up too.

"I had a fantastic day and was absolutely overwhelmed."

In her youth, Joan served as a landgirl in which she had a "wonderful five years" on a dairy farm in north Wales during the Second World War.

The Bolton News:

Joan with her friend Felicity in the land army during the Second World War

During the conflict she married her first husband Kenneth Roberts and they went on to have three children, Stephen, Geoffrey and Gordon.

Sadly Stephen, a consultant paediatrician at Wythenshawe Hospital, died from cancer 11 years ago at the age of 64.

Joan and Kenneth later divorced and she married her second husband Clifford Cheadle, whose dad John founded the popular Cheadle's Bakery with the first branch opening on Newport Street.

Two further shops opened on Deansgate and one each on Bradshawgate and Crown Street as Clifford took over the running of the firm.

Clifford died in 1993.

Joan, who has 11 step-grandchildren, also became a successful amateur golfer and won the Lancashire Ladies Senior Championship and Lancashire Ladies Handicap tournaments. She got her handicap down to six at the height of her success.

Joan loves playing bridge too and is a member of Bolton Bridge Club and Heaton Bridge Club.

And recently she also became one of the first people in the town to receive both jabs of the coronavirus vaccine.

Her friend Janice Wimbleton, 72, met Joan through playing golf and bonded immediately through their love of the game and cooking.

The Bolton News:

Joan with her friend Janice Wilmbleton

Janice said: "Joan is absolutely brilliant and switched on.

"She is independent and does everything for herself.

"She still drives very well too.

"Joan is just a wonderful person and a very good friend."