Woman has lived in the same house for 96 years

In 1914, King George V was on the Throne, World War I broke out and Britain was a naval and industrial superpower with a huge empire.

That was also the year that Muriel Joyce moved into her home - and she has been living there ever since.

Mrs Joyce is now 100, but was just 4 years old when she moved into the home in Romsey, Hampshire, just ten days before Britain declared war on Germany, helping to start a devastating war in Europe.

And how things have changed in Britain in almost 100 years. Mrs Joyce can remember a time when it was safe to go out and leave your empty house unlocked; when people were much more polite; and when children respected their elders. And the house, which costs £225,000 today, cost £500 in 1914.

Muriel, whose first job was as a typist when she earned £1 a week, says that in 1914 the home was lit with paraffin oil lamps and candles. Heat was generated from paraffin heaters and a coal range, which was used to cook.

The family had an outdoor toilet, built over a stream in the garden, and bathed in a tin tub.

And during World War II, when American troops came over and tried to steal our women whilst their men were away undertaking the little business of fighting the Nazis, Mrs Joyce knocked out a US soldier by hitting him with a milk churn.
Home sweet home for pensioner who has lived in same house for 96 YEARS

By Daily Mail Reporter
17th March 2010
Daily Mail

Just ten days before Britain declared war on Germany in 1914, Muriel Noyce’s family – including her ten siblings - moved into their new home.

Ninety-six years later and the 100-year-old is still living at the two-bedroom terrace property – which has gone up in value from £500 to £225,000.

Miss Noyce, known as ‘Moo’ to her friends, has seen the end of two world wars as well as vast changes to society, all from the comfort of her modest home in Romsey, Hampshire.

Muriel Noyce in her two-bedroom house where she has lived for 96 years and (inset) getting ready for Romsey Carnival at the age of 13 in 1923

And she can recall the times when ‘you never had to lock your door’ and ‘people were much more polite to you’.

Her father, William, who worked at the city docks, started renting the house for just ten shillings, when she was four years old.

The youngest of 11 children, Miss Noyce, who was born in Southampton, admits it was a bit of a squeeze when it came to going to sleep.

She said: ‘Mum and dad had the back bedroom and I used to sleep in their room with four of my siblings - we slept top to toe on a double bed.

Muriel's father, a docker, moved in with his wife and 11 children four days before war was declared with Germany in 1914

The Romsey street today in which the terraced two-bedroom home (indicated in red) stands

And then... The same street pictured around 1914 when the family moved in

‘In the other bedroom another six of my siblings slept top to toe.’

However, the former typist and cinema usher, who now lives with her three cats, is the only family member left as her last sister, Elvira, passed away five years ago.

What was happening in 1914?

King George V was on the Throne and the Liberal Party (known as the Liberal Democrats since 1988 ) were in power with Herbert Asquith the Prime Minister..

World War I broke out on 28th July.

British actor Charlie Chaplin makes his film debut in the comedy "Making A Living."

Burnley beat Liverpool 1-0 in the FA Cup Final. It was played in front of the King, was the first time that both teams reached the FA Cup Final, and was the last FA Cup Final to be played at Crystal Palace. It remains Burnley's only FA Cup win.

The Colorado National Guard attacks a tent colony of 1,200 striking coal miners in Ludlow, killing 24 people.

The mighty British fleet was inspected by the King at Spithead.

Pope Benedict XV succeeds Pope Pius X as the 258th pope.

The HMHS Britannic, the sister ship of the Titanic, was launched at the Harland & Wolff Shipyard in Belfast.

Proving that war mostly isn't personal, on Christmas Eve, British and German troops facing each other at Ypres called a temporary ceasefire. The Germans started singing Christmas carols, after which the British also sang. The two sides then shouted greetings at each other, before meeting in No Man's Land to exchange gifts such as food, tobacco and alcohol, and souvenirs such as buttons and hats. On Christmas Eve the following year, the Germans and British suspended hostilities and had a game of football in No Man's Land, the Germans winning 3-2.

She said: ‘I never left home and married because I had to look after my parents.

‘And when I finally had the opportunity to leave I didn't meet “Mr Right” so I decided to stay.’

Over the years Miss Noyce has gradually updated her home.

The fireplace, with a picture of the Queen above it, has remained unchanged since the day Muriel and her family moved in

A bookshelf which has been hanging on the wall of Muriel's Romsey home in Hampshire for the past 96 years

In 1914, the home was lit with paraffin oil lamps and candles. Heat was generated from paraffin heaters and a coal range, which was used to cook.

The family had an outdoor toilet, built over a stream in the garden, and bathed in a tin tub.

In 1948 electricity was installed for £50 and in the late 1950s the family rented a television which just had three channels. In 1960 a bathroom was installed in the house.

Muriel dressed as a court jester for Romsey's Carnival Pageant, aged 13, and at Romsey Church School aged six (right)

Miss Noyce recalls earning £1 a week at her first job as a typist, aged 18 - the equivalent today of around £45.

In her spare time Miss Noyce went dancing at the local halls and, during the war, occasionally attracted the advances of soldiers.

However, one night an American officer incurred Miss Noyce's wrath after becoming a little too frisky while walking her home.

She was so incensed by his advances she knocked him out with a milk churn.

Over the years Miss Noyce has seen many changes to her community.

Her street, once home to a butcher, baker, a coal yard and even a shop that treated corns, is now full of houses.

But it's not just the landscape that has changed.

A young Muriel at the house with her mother Louisa, and (right) aged about 24

Miss Noyce said: ‘In the old days life was hard but much safer and you had a better time.

‘You never had to lock your doors and people were much more polite to you.

‘More people went to church and were willing to give you the time of day.

‘Youngsters also respected their elders but nowadays they are quite disgusting.

Modest: Muriel now lives with her cats in the home which she originally shared with 10 siblings and her parents

‘They walk around smoking and drinking to all hours - even in the streets.

‘You can hear them swearing in public places and a lot of girls get pregnant before they are married.’

Social historian Professor Carl Chinn, of the University of Birmingham, said Miss Noyce living in the same home for 96 years was a ‘tremendous achievement’.

‘It just goes to show how important the sense of place and their roots are for some people,’ he added.

‘We are more prone to move these days but roots and kinship networks are still important, particularly to working class people like myself.

‘There are definitely more opportunities to move these days and work tends to take people further afield.’

Last edited by Blackleaf; Mar 21st, 2010 at 12:11 PM..
L Gilbert
We have a friend in the north of London whose family has lived in her house for longer than the USA has been a country.

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