Service to be held to celebrate the life of former Margate mayoress Joan Twyman

Joan and Alec “never dreamt” that they would ever become the town’s first citizens.

The life of former Margate mayoress Joan Twyman will be celebrated at a service on October 4 at Thanet Crematorium.

Joan Barbara Twyman  (nee Kennedy) passed away peacefully on September 13, aged 91 at the Tralee Rest Home, Whitstable, with her family by her side.

Born on October 18, 1927, Joan lived in Margate almost her entire life. She left her home town briefly during World War Two when, as a teenager she was evacuated first to Staffordshire alone, then to Salisbury with family members. During the last decade of her life, she lived with  her daughter and son-in-law in Whitstable.

The youngest of three girls, Joan met fellow Margatonian Frederick Alec Twyman -known best as Alec – when they were teenagers in a Margate youth club. They married in All Saints’ Church, Margate in 1948.

The newlyweds lived in Cliftonville, before moving to Nash Road in 1956, and number 49 remained the family home until after Alec’s death in 1999.

Joan worked in Thanet all her life, in the laundrette at Margate Hospital; as a clippy for the East Kent Road Car Company; as an usherette at the Winter Gardens and as a children’s escort for Thanet District, Kent County and Hillingdon Borough councils.

Mayoral duties at the Golden anniversary of the Dreamland Cinema in 1985 Photo Dreamland Heritage Trust

In 1984, Alec was elected Mayor of Margate and Joan served as his Mayoress, saying they “never dreamt” that they would ever become the town’s first citizens. They raised thousands of pounds for local charities during their term of office, including for Margate Ambulance Corps, Margate Sea Cadet Corps and the Thanet Lions. They even helped pull an old-fashioned telephone kiosk from Cliftonville to Canterbury to raise money to help Margate Samaritans’ pay its phone bill.

During office, Joan also served as President of the Margate Ladies’ Lifeboat Guild, President of the Margate Central Evening Townswomen’s Guild and was an honorary member of Margate Inner Wheel. She was mother to Barbara, grandmother to Kelly, great grandmother to Cora and Aine, and friend to many.

Her life will be celebrated at Thanet Crematorium on Friday, October 4 at 11.30am.

Floral tributes welcome, C/O Hogben and Partis Ltd, Stone Street, Faversham.

Tribute written by Kelly Regan-Mears