Double birthday celebrations at Yoakley House as two more residents join the home’s 100 Club

Yoakley House 100 Club from left to right: Betty Thompson (102), Ruby Holmes (100), Vera Broom (soon to be 100), Betty Farrant (soon to be 100), Ruby Oakes (100), Mary Grieves (102), Lily Stokes (103)

This weekend (20th/21st May) at Yoakley House care home in Margate there will be 100th birthday celebrations for residents Vera Broom and Betty Farrant.

This brings the total number of residents in Yoakley House’s 100 club to seven, including Ruby Holmes who still lives independently in one of the almshouses at Drapers.

Vera was born in London and trained in secretarial work- shorthand, typing and accounts. She lived in Hastings and Wales before moving to Cliftonville. She enjoyed travelling and had many holidays abroad. She is very close to her daughter Sheila and has two stepchildren.

Betty was also born in London and trained in secretarial work. She was in the ATS during the war. She was married to her husband Stuart for 70 years and spent many years of her life in Uganda. She has two children and loves golf, badminton and bridge.

Julie Wickenden, Executive Manager, said: “Yoakley House is home to 28 permanent residents so this is a good percentage of centenarians. We are very proud of our staff and the excellent care they deliver.”

Michael Yoakley’s Charity was established in 1709 and consists of beautiful historic alms houses, gardens and a Quaker meeting room where Elizabeth Fry worshipped in 1845. The residential home was created in 1980 to provide care for almshouse residents who could no longer look after themselves independently.

Mr Yoakley, the founder, was an impoverished farm boy from Margate who went to sea, made his fortune, then returned to give back to his community. Find more on the history at

The year Vera and Betty were born -1923

King George V was on the throne.

The Prime Minister was Bonar Law (Conservative) and the Stanley Baldwin (Conservative)

26 April – Wedding of Prince Albert, Duke of York, and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (the future King George VI and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother) in Westminster Abbey

31 July – Liquor Act makes it illegal to sell alcoholic beverages to under-18s.

31 December – the BBC broadcasts the chimes of Big Ben for the first time.


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