Celebrating 5 generations of Fylde coast family as they meet together for first time after pandemic lockdown

For one Fylde coast family, the ending of the lockdown restrictions meant the eldest and youngest members were finally able to meet for the first time.

By Rebecca Beardmore
Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 12:43 pm
Updated Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 5:49 pm

The introduction of a new baby in the family is always a heartwarming occasion, but especially so for one Fylde family celebrating their fifth generation addition.

Joyce Swift, 95, met her great-great-grandaughter Romi Isabella Norton, who was born on June 29 at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, last week.

But the introduction of baby Romi was made extra-special by the fact her birth marked the beginning of the fifth generation in the family.

Dave Swift, Rhianna Taylor, Joyce Swift and Julie Swift get together to meet baby Romi Isabella, the fifth generation member of the family. Pic: Daniel Martino/JPI Media

Joyce's, who lives in Grizedale Court, has two sons, Michael, 73 and Dave, 67, plus daughter Elaine, 71.

Dave, of Brompton Road in Poulton, was a firefighter for 32 years and dad to Julie Swift, 43, who has worked for Blackpool Carers Centre for nine years and lives in Blackpool.

Julie's daughter, Rhianna Taylor, 24, works for British Independent Utilities and recently moved to Warton with her fiance Oliver Norton, where they welcomed baby Romi Isabella in June.

Rhianna said she had been waiting for the first meeting between her great-nanna Joyce and newborn daughter Romi, as she was unsure when the lockdown would be lifted to allow the five generations to meet.

Joyce Swift, 95, meets her newborn great-great-grandaughter Romi Isabella for the first time. Pic: Daniel Martino/JPI Media

Rhianna said: "When my great-nanna met Romi for the first time she just looked so happy. We couldn't tell her we were having Romi in person because of the lockdown, so we had to tell her over the phone.

"It's very rare to have five generations in a family, and it's really special that it's happened with my great-nanna here. Hopefully now restrictions have lifted they'll be able to spend more time together."

Joyce, 95, was born in 1926 and served in the Women's Royal Naval Service (Wrens) during the second World War, before opening up a bakery with her husband Harry.

A two-times survivor of cancer, Joyce has also raised tens of thousands of pounds for Macmillan over the years.

Rhianna Taylor with baby daughter Romi Isabella. Pic: Daniel Martino/JPI Media

During her birth year, a general strike in England took place for just over a week in support of the coal miners' strike, after mine owners vowed to decrease miners' wages by 13.5 per cent.

A year later, the Trade Disputes and Trade Unions Act was put in place to prevent another strike.

Meanwhile, 1926 was also the year Scottish inventor John Logie Baird gave the first public demonstration of the television, and Gertrude "Trudy" Ederle became the first woman to swim the English channel.

Joyce missed the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918, which killed almost 50 million people worldwide, by eight years - but 103 years later baby Romi was born during the Covid pandemic.

To date, 4.1 million people worldwide have lost their lives to the virus.