By Liam Waite


Tributes have been paid to a former Workington GP who cared for generations of families in the town following his death at the age of 74.

Dr Ken Joy
Dr Ken Joy

Dr Ken Joy was born in India but achieved his dream of becoming a family doctor in Workington, spending 22 years as a GP and caring for hundreds if not thousands of West Cumbrians.

He leaves his wife Ann, children Santosh, Sanjay and Sheela, daughters-in-law Lindsey and Maxine, son-in-law Michael and grandson Mikey.

Dr Joy was born in Cherai in India on May 18, 1942, with four brothers and five sisters.

After completing his medical training in India, Dr Joy moved to Belfast in the early 1970s, where he met his future wife.

Mrs Joy said: “One thing we laughed at often over the years was that he passed the exams to go to America but he thought it was too dangerous so he ended up in Belfast during the troubles.”

The couple married in 1975 in Northern Ireland then moved to England at the end of the decade, where Dr Joy worked in different hospitals before deciding to become a GP.

His first GP job was in a large group practice in Humberside, but he wanted to be in a small or single practice so applied for a job in Workington.

Driving past Bassenthwaite Lake with his wife for the interview, Dr Joy believed the beautiful surroundings would make competition fierce for the position and thought he would be unsuccessful.

He was happily proven wrong and relocated to the town, working in John Street.

Mrs Joy added: “It was quite antiquated and the toilet was outside but over the years he changed things and then moved the practice across the road to the corner of Roper Street and it grew.

“He loved every minute of being a GP. He wanted to be a family doctor and he was.

“He saw several generations of the same families and if he could go to funerals of his patients, he would. He also visited mothers of newborn babies.”

Dr Joy was part of the West Cumbrian branch of the British Association for Immediate Care, an early emergency response service before paramedics became common.

Dr Joy was also a member of West Cumberland Lions between 1981 and 2006, including a stint as club president in 1986 and 1987.

Treasurer Keith Miller said: “He was an absolute gentleman.

“He was a great Lion and well respected by everybody he met, including his patients.

“He had a great sense of humour.

“He was a great sportsman, very competitive but well liked.”

Secretary Ken Russell added: “He was a gentleman of the first degree, a good friend and a wonderful man to know.”

A passionate sports fan, Dr Joy was unlucky to miss out on playing hockey for India in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

He was team doctor at Workington Town, a member of the United Club snooker team and a fan of cricket and badminton, playing both into his 50s.

Another of his hobbies was clay pigeon shooting, which he did at Tallentire.

After his retirement in 2002, the couple moved to Spain but missed family so much that they returned to England and settled in County Durham.

Mrs Joy added: “He was a really sociable person and he loved having friends and family round.

“He was very fond of West Cumbria and our three children were born there. We really loved being part of the community.

“He never regretted for a moment taking that job.

“If we went into town to do any shopping, we often couldn’t move, even after he retired, because he knew so many people.

“He had a smile that would warm a room and was a very big personality.

“He found it easy to talk to people and I think people found it easy to talk to him.”

Thursday, May 11, 2017 at 6:19PM
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