Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

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

47 minutes ago

New Natural England powers give trust authority to remove otters from English fisheries

Read more
52 minutes ago

Fourth Project SEARCH programme organised with Petroc for young people gets underway in North Devon

Read more
09:52

Cross country race starts and finishes at Lynmouth on October 9

Read more
Yesterday, 15:29

A surprise extra trio brings the iconic ‘I’d rather be in North Devon’ fleet up to five

Read more
Yesterday, 12:58

Casualties described as ‘walking wounded’

Read more
Yesterday, 12:36

Beach operators have revealed the mystery behind strange black patches which have appeared on Saunton Sands.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:23

Police have released pictures of Bideford mugging which took place in Honestone Street - can you help identify the two suspects?

Read more
Yesterday, 09:58

An ex-fire fighter from South Molton is speaking out about mental health and living with paranoid schizophrenia, as part of our Let’s Talk About It campaign.

Read more
Wed, 17:51

Police call for victims to come forward after 21-year-old had to be carried home unconscious after just three drinks...

Read more
Wed, 15:21

Police are looking for information regarding the assault, which occurred on Sunday.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 9°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

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
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

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

Newsletter Sign Up

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications