A WOMAN who campaigned for social justice and was an Isle of Wight magistrate for more than 20 years has died at the age of 91.

Joan Shaw was born a twin in East London in 1929 and, together with an elder sister, were raised in the military town of Aldershot, with their father a captain in the army.

She was evacuated to the village of Street in Somerset during the Second World War.

She won a scholarship to her local grammar school, and in spite of being bedridden with diphtheria for almost a year, she played hockey and tennis at county level.

She gained a degree in geography from Southampton University, where she made lifelong friends and met war hero Robert (Bob) Matthews at the rowing club in 1951.

They married and had five children over 16 years, living in Woking in Surrey, Cowes, and Shorwell. Mr Matthews worked for Decca Radar in Northwood.

Mrs Matthews’ career began in the housing department at the London County Council, where she was involved in the building of the Blackwall Tunnel and the rehousing of the eastenders who were displaced.

Relocating to to the Island, she taught at several primary and secondary schools, including Freshwater, Wroxall and East Cowes.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Joan Matthews receiving the key to her renovated house in Lugley Street, Newport in 1995, where she spent 25 happy years.

Later she taught at Upper Chine Girls' School where she was very popular and kept in touch with ex-pupils for many years after they left.

Mrs Matthews was a magistrate at Newport Guildhall for 24 years — voluntary work she enjoyed immensely.

She also worked with the IW Credit Union and the IW Housing Association.

She belonged to Shorwell Drama Club, and Newport's Apollo Theatre.

She was also president of Shorwell Women’s Institute, then became chairman of Forestside WI.

At her 90th birthday party, guests included WI and local Labour Party members, who presented a certificate thanking her for 50 years of service.

Fit and strong for most of her life, Mrs Matthews swam three times a week up until her mid 80s.

She tended her town garden and enjoyed spending time with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.