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Grantham veteran Joan Briggs, 100, praises documentary that explores her life





A 100-year-old veteran is delighted following the premiere of a documentary that explores her life.

The documentary, looking at the life of Joan Briggs, former mayoress of Grantham and Royal Navy veteran, premiered at the Savoy Cinema on Sunday (April 21).

The film - produced by Grantham College students and lecturer Steve Healey - sees Joan recount her life, including starting her service in the Navy at 17 years old, meeting her husband former mayor Ron Briggs and her time as mayoress when she met the likes of the Queen Mother.

Joan Briggs (middle) with Steve Healey (left) and student Kayleigh (right).
Joan Briggs (middle) with Steve Healey (left) and student Kayleigh (right).

Joined by her family, alongside students and representatives of South Kesteven District Council, Joan said she is “still coming down from cloud nine”.

She added: “It was fantastic. The mayor met me and my family and it was absolutely lovely.

Members of the audience listening contently before the premiere of the film at the Savoy Cinema in Grantham on Sunday, April 21.
Members of the audience listening contently before the premiere of the film at the Savoy Cinema in Grantham on Sunday, April 21.

“My son got up and gave a speech of thanks to the college and everybody for coming.”

Steve first came up with the idea to film a documentary about Joan after she was pictured in the Grantham Journal on Remembrance Day last November.

He said: “The night went really well. It was really positive and Joan got quite emotional throughout the documentary.

“It was nice to see her and her family's reaction. They thoroughly enjoyed it.

“It was also nice for the students to see something they produced on the big screen.

Members of the audience listening contently before the premiere of the film at the Savoy Cinema in Grantham on Sunday, April 21.
Members of the audience listening contently before the premiere of the film at the Savoy Cinema in Grantham on Sunday, April 21.

“Initially, Joan said she was quite nervous but after she said it exceeded expectations.”

In the middle of the film, Joan talks about an engraved ship in a bottle she was given during her Royal Navy days, but reveals how she accidentally knocked it over a few years ago.

At the end of the film, Joan was presented with a new ship in a bottle, but she was told by Steve to “not drop this one”.

Left to right: Mayor of Grantham Coun Mark Whittington, Joan Briggs and Deputy Mayor of Grantham Coun Charmaine Morgan.
Left to right: Mayor of Grantham Coun Mark Whittington, Joan Briggs and Deputy Mayor of Grantham Coun Charmaine Morgan.

Joan said: “In the middle of the film I told them about the ship in a bottle, when I dropped it and that I was really down about it.

“When I was presented with another, it was lovely. I said I will keep it in my glass cabinet.”

On the evening, Steve had also arranged with SKDC to feature a silhouette cut out of Joan at the cinema, which was featured on Remembrance Day last year.

Steve added: “She posed by it with people and felt like a celebrity!”



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