Rhymes prove a life-long love for word­smith Joyce

Macclesfield Express - - CHARITY ROUND-UP - DANIELLE ROPER

ATERMINALLY ill am­a­teur poet has re­vealed her life­long dream to achieve fame through her writ­ing.

Joyce Hen­ders, 80, a pa­tient at East Cheshire Hos­pice, has an in­cur­able ro­dent ul­cer, a type of skin can­cer.

The Mac­cles­field born and bred for­mer nurse and army clerk, who lives on the We­ston, has writ­ten hun­dreds of ro­man­tic and quirky po­ems and songs, a few of which have been pub­lished in an­tholo­gies.

She even wrote and sang a song about the town for a com­pe­ti­tion run by the Mac­cles­field Ex­press in the 1980s.

But although the nurses at the hos­pice en­joy Joyce singing her daily dit­ties, the great-great-grand­mother has never gained the wide au­di­ence for them that she dreamed of.

Daugh­ter Irene, 56, said: “She is an amaz­ing poet and song­writer. Her po­etry is on the front desk at the hos­pice and the staff there all love her po­ems.

“Even on her first day at the hos­pice she was singing the lit­tle dit­ties she makes up to the nurses.”

She added: “Mum and I used to do prod­uct slo­gan com­pe­ti­tions to­gether.

“And even though she has ter­mi­nal can­cer, she still sings ‘Good­night Irene’ by Hud­die Led­bet­ter to me.”

Joyce, who has three daugh­ters, Irene, 56, Tracy, 47, and Diane, 49, seven grand­chil­dren, 11 great-grand­chil­dren and one great-great grand­son, has lived on her own for 40 years af­ter di­vorc­ing her for­mer hus­band, Michael.

Irene said: “She has al­ways been very in­de­pen­dent and strong-willed and has al­ways been there for ev­ery­one, tak­ing in chil­dren from prob­lem fam­i­lies.

“She has al­ways been very car­ing.”

The lyri­cal whizz cel­e­brated her 80th birth­day in May with a karaoke party at the Pack Horse Bowl­ing and So­cial Club on Abbey Road and although un­able to stand, sat on the stage to give a ren­di­tion of John Den­ver’s ‘An­nie’s Song’.

Irene said: “Ev­ery­one was cry­ing their eyes out.

“You don’t for­get my mum.”

The artis­tic gene has passed down to her daugh­ter Irene too, a mem­ber of Mac­cles­field Cam­era Club who has had her photos pub­lished in the Ex­press.

Irene said: “We look at the pa­per to­gether at my photos.

“I am strong-willed as well but even if we have a dis­agree­ment she says: ‘I’ve al­ways been proud of you’.”

●● Joyce Hen­ders (cen­tre) with her best friend Irene (left) and sis­ter Pat on her 75th birth­day

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