The family of Joan Ward will be waiting with bated breath for the government’s next set of advice on the easing of lockdown measures.

This is because it could mean them all being able to attend a significant milestone in her long life.

Mrs Ward, a former mayoress of Barrow, will celebrate her 100th birthday on July 17 and four generations of her family are hoping they will be able to celebrate with her.

She was a magistrate for more than 25 years until her retirement.

Her late husband Cedric Ward was mayor of Barrow during the town’s centenary celebrations in 1967, which brought a royal visit from Princess Margaret.

It was a role she enjoyed ‘very much,’ according to her son David, who is a chartered accountant and a company director with Wardgroup, the Barrow-based building services firm founded by his great grandfather Thomas and run by his father.

On what was planned for his mother’s big day next month, David said: “We were intending to have a little party for her with relatives and friends, but we’ve just got to wait and see what the government allows.”

Mrs Ward was born in Barrow and after living at Hawcoat Lane she moved to Pennington House in Ulverston.

She now resides in Scales with her live-in carer,who has looked after her through having to shield in her home during the coronavirus pandemic.

She also served in the Women’s Royal Naval Service, popularly known as the Wrens, during the Second World War.

It was after hostilities ended that she married Cedric, who did his duty as a soldier in Africa in 1945 and the two remained together until his death in 1996.

Mrs Ward has a long-standing love of flower-arranging and used to travel to the Chelsea Flower Show in London.

This influenced her daughter Judith Blacklock, who runs a flower-arranging school in Knightsbridge.

All being well, Mrs Ward’s younger sister Joyce, 94, two children, her grandchildren Richard, Simon, Sally, Charles and Jane and great grandchildren Kyle, Millie, Penny and Rory will be hoping to celebrate her 100th birthday with her.