ONE of Balsall Common’s oldest residents celebrated his 100th birthday on Thursday.
Joseph Goodrem moved to the village 54-years-ago, when it was a fraction of the size it is now.
Born in London, Joseph was a bona-fide Cockney and got his first job at the gramophone company HMV.
Marrying his sweetheart Margaret during the Second World War, the couple moved to Balsall Common in 1957.
“It was love at first sight,” said father-of-seven Joseph. “I saw her in the office one day and thought that’s the girl for me.
“Her supervisor wouldn’t tell me her name, but I found it out and we were married the next year.
“Being in the Army, we did things a lot more quickly in those days.”
Husband and wife moved into a new-build, in Clive Road, when the village was just starting to expand.
“It was still a lot smaller back then, though there was a greater choice of shops in the centre,” said Joseph.
“We even had our own cinema in those days, the Cameo, which is where Barclays Bank is today.”
Daughter Janine Stevenson said: “We reckon dad might be the oldest person still living in the village.
“It’s incredible how it has grown over the years.”
Margaret died four years ago, aged 87, but Joseph still gets regular visits from his extended family.
He has 18 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren.