Former Kenilworth mayoress celebrates her 100th birthday

Cllr Mike Hitchins with Barbara Watts on her 100th birthday
Cllr Mike Hitchins with Barbara Watts on her 100th birthday

A former mayoress of Kenilworth celebrated her 100th birthday last week.

Barbara Watts, the widow of former town councillor and mayor Joseph Watts, was visited by current deputy mayor Cllr Mike Hitchins and by St Nicholas School pupils at a party held at Kenilworth Grange care home on Friday December 8.

Pupils from St Nicholas Primary School with Barbara

Pupils from St Nicholas Primary School with Barbara

Born on December 8, 1917, Barbara was born and raised in Coventry. Growing up, Barbara was a keen Coventry City fan and would often go to games as she lived near the club's old Highfield Road stadium.

She sometimes made money from the games - Barbara would offer to look after fans' bikes while they watched the match in exchange for a fee.

Barbara was also a talented dressmaker and used to make all her own clothes.

After meeting Joseph, the pair got married and moved to Kenilworth. They had one son, John, who now lives in Australia. Barbara helped out at Joseph and John's DIY shops in Kenilworth.

Barbara and Joseph (right) meeting the Queen and Prince Philip at Kenilworth Railway Station in 1963

Barbara and Joseph (right) meeting the Queen and Prince Philip at Kenilworth Railway Station in 1963

Joseph was elected to what was then known as Kenilworth Urban District Council as an independent councillor in 1955, and was made mayor in 1963.

The highlight of this was Barbara and Joseph meeting the Queen and Prince Philip at Kenilworth Station in 1963 as part of a royal visit.

Barbara still remembers this moment fondly and has a photo of the occasion.

She was delighted to receive a telegram from the Queen upon turning 100.