Identical twins celebrate 100th birthday in Barnstaple

09:30 07 May 2014

Identical twins Doris and Freda Latham, of Barnstaple, are pictured on their 100th birthday. Picture by Guy Harrop

Identical twins Doris and Freda Latham, of Barnstaple, are pictured on their 100th birthday. Picture by Guy Harrop

Guy Harrop

Could Freda and Doris mark remarkable milestone with family party spanning five generations.

Freda and Doris Latham (nee Smallridge) when they were young.Freda and Doris Latham (nee Smallridge) when they were young.

A FULL double century of candles was required on Monday as identical twins from Barnstaple celebrated their 100th birthdays.

Freda and Doris Latham celebrated their milestone with their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren at Barnstaple Hotel.

It is thought they could well be the country’s second oldest living identical twins and they both still live in their own homes in Barnstaple after spending their whole lives in North Devon.

Always inseparable, the pair even married brothers Gordon and Wilton Latham, so not even their surnames can separate them.

Born five minutes apart in South Molton on May 5, 1914, just three months before the outbreak of the war, Freda and Doris – or ‘Doll’ as she is known – moved to Arlington at a young age.

Both went to Arlington School and went to work as teenagers ‘in service’, with Freda working as a cleaner at Arlington Rectory and Doll at Arlington Court for a time, before working for Arlington’s last owner Rosalie Chichester at her home in Woolacombe.

Later Doll worked at East Down House, then at the village school in Shirwell, while Freda went on to work at The Warren, also in Shirwell.

A chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce took the twins to a birthday party spanning five generations.

And despite arriving in similar coloured outfits, the sisters said they’d never noticed telepathy experienced by some twins.

“I’ve read about it in the paper where some twins say they have felt the other’s pain but we’ve never had that,” said Freda.

“We’ve always been together though – all of us sisters have always been close.”

Freda said she put the sisters’ longevity down to their dad’s home-grown vegetables.

“We came from a farming family and there was not a lot of money around,” she said.

“But our dad loved his garden and there were always plenty of fresh vegetables on the table – and they were always organic.

“We were lucky to have had a very good start in life”, she added.”

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 13:00
Lydia, Jodie and Millie Cross have welcomed the news a meningitis vaccine will finally be introduced.

The Cross family, whose daughters were both hit by the disease, welcome the news a vaccine will soon be given to all babies in the UK.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:50
Take part in our General Election survey.

We want to know YOUR views ahead of the General Election - take part in our survey here.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:00
Westward Ho!

Village parade will take place on Saturday in Westward Ho! with families asked to take part.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:31
Fire engines2

Three fire engines were called out to Hobbs Hill this morning (Tuesday).

Read more
Yesterday, 07:30
Volunteers and trustees from the NDCCCT handing over the cheque for £300,000.

Final cheque for £300,000 from North Devon Cancer Care Centre Trust brings Chemo Appeal to its fundraising total.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:00
Katy Quick with two of the young girls she met in Palestine.

Science teacher Katy Quick spent a week visiting children in the West Bank and is now fundraising for Edukid.

Read more
Mon, 17:12
The loss of Zebedee has hit staff at Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park hard.

Staff distraught as long term resident Zebedee dies aged 29

Read more
Mon, 15:14

Fire fighters called out to assist with unstable scaffolding on Arlington Hotel.

Read more
Mon, 13:24

Developers seek to turn part of the pub into housing with new application

Read more
Mon, 11:35
Gale force winds are forecast for the festive week ahead.

Region can expect strong gusts in exposed and coastal areas through tonight (Monday) and tomorrow.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 7°C

Most Read News

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition today E-edition



North Devon's trusted business finder