14/10/1931 – 12/5/2022
On 9th June Ashley Methodist Church celebrated the life of a beloved and long serving member, Joyce Scott, in company with her close knit family – husband Ken, daughters Jan & Jackie, sons-in-law Mark and Paul and her grandchildren, Hannah, Tom and Grace. Following Joyce’s wishes this was not an entirely sad occasion. The sun was shining, the church was decorated with wild flowers reflecting Joyce’s delight in the natural world and Neil Barnett played appropriate but not gloomy music. Rev. Mark Lawrence emphasised this positive note in his welcome. Joyce had chosen the hymns: Be Thou my vision, How great Thou art, Sweet is the work and Blessed assurance. Her chosen Bible reading from Ephesians 3 was a prayer for us all – so typical of her and so comforting for us.
Joyce, nee Forrester, was born in Bucknall. She had an older brother and was the middle one of three sisters. Her home was humble but very loving and happy. She talked of the rationing, blackouts, air raids and Anderson shelters of a wartime youth. Although she showed great promise at school like many she had to leave at fourteen to help support her family but she remained an avid reader all her life. After a brief time on the pledge counter of a pawnbroker’s she went to work at a pot bank and trained as a skilled lithographer applying and painting patterns on crockery for Cottons, Meakins and Doulton. The apex of her career was to be chosen to work for Susie Cooper.
In 1953 she was introduced by mutual friends to Ken Scott and they soon became “an item” and then engaged to be married. After saving hard they were able to marry on 8th January 1955 at St Mary’s Church, Bucknall – no need to wait for the warm weather. Their first home was in Ruxley Road, Bucknall, where Jan was born. However they dreamed of moving to Ashley Heath where Joyce’s father had grown up. They found a plot of land in Loggerheads and Joyce used her design skills to draw up plans for a bungalow which they named Ranworth, recalling a beautiful Norfolk Broad where they had enjoyed a holiday. In 1962 they moved in and Jackie completed their family in 1963.
While her children were young Joyce worked as a dinner lady at Hugo Meynell School originally in Ashley and later as it moved to Loggerheads. She was much loved and respected and ex pupils often greeted her locally. Her patience, caring encouragement and communication skills were later put to use as an effective teaching assistant at Maer School.
Many happy family holidays were spent on Anglesey but Joyce and Ken ventured further afield in 1983 when they visited friends from Ashley Methodist who had moved to Toronto, Canada. They travelled to Hudson Bay on the Polar Bear Express to visit Cree native Americans.
Over the years Joyce and Ken adopted several dogs, some being retired greyhounds. Their love of animals was passed on to their family. They always encouraged their children in whatever they tried to achieve. Sons-in-law were welcomed and nicknamed “halo boys” because they could do no wrong. Seeking a welcoming place of worship Joyce and Ken came to AMC in 1970 enabling their daughters to attend a thriving Sunday School and have been faithful and active members ever since. Joyce sang in the choir and wrote the words to accompany our organist Eileen Purcell’s composition for a church anniversary.
Joyce studied to be a local preacher but diverted her attention to an ecumenical Bible study group that continues to meet regularly. She and Ken would lead the discussions with loving, knowledgable and encouraging direction endearing themselves to all who participated. Alas the pandemic prevented them from meeting with this group as they were required to shield. Latterly age and ill health made attendance difficult.
We have so many reminders of their contribution to church life. Every harvest festival included their nature table. On the wall is Joyce’s beautiful pencil drawing of Mother Theresa cradling an infant. They have always made a point of sincerely thanking those who did something, however lowly, for the church community. They did everything together. “JoyceandKen” is one word at AMC. Joyce’s passing has left a huge hole for us all but we rejoice that she is now with the Saviour she worshipped with a steadfast, visible faith that inspired us all. It is an honour and a privilege to have known such a gracious lady.