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    In a heartwarming celebration of life, Thelma Barratt and Elma Harris are believed to be Britain’s oldest twins. They are now celebrating an astonishing 104 years at Pear Tree House Care Home in Wesham, Lancashire. As their laughter filled the air, they shared their secret to a long life. It includes a cherished “drop of brandy” before bed and a love for nourishing food.

    Thelma & Elma enjoy a glass of Brandy on their 104th Birthday

    The Early Beginnings of Britain’s Oldest Twins

    Their journey began on August 3, 1919, in Cheadle Heath, Stockport. This was the start of Thelma and Elma’s remarkable life adventure. The sisters fondly recall their school days at Alexandra Park Primary School. Even then, their youthful spirits and zest for life were already evident.

    Britain's Oldest Twins old school photograph

    Britain’s Oldest Twins’ Journey of Resilience

    Their journey into adulthood began at the age of 14. It is when they took on roles as packers and labelers of Smiths crisps. The sisters’ determination led them to inquire about job vacancies on their way home from school. This initiative kickstarted their career with a weekly wage of eight shillings. Thelma reminiscences, “It wasn’t much, but it kept us going.”

    Britain's Oldest Twins old photo

    Britain’s Oldest Twins Through War time Challenges

    With love and marriage gracing their path at the age of 21, Thelma and Elma embarked on the next chapters of their lives. Elma’s heart found its match in Bill Hewitt, a skilled joiner, while Thelma found companionship in Joseph Barratt, a hatter. Yet, the challenges of war time tested their love, as they were separated for nearly four years due to the turmoil of the era.

    Thelma and Elma's old photo

    Strength Amidst Chaos: Recollections of War

    As the sky lit up with planes and shadows of conflict, Elma recollects, “Planes were flying overhead, and you could see the bombs dropping over Manchester.” Thelma fondly remembers her mother’s resilience during those trying times, a beacon of strength amidst the chaos. “Our mum was as hard as nails. She would go to bed and forget about it [the bombs].”

    Old war photo

    Contributions and Legacy

    Amidst the tumultuous backdrop of World War II, Elma contributed her efforts to the Fairey Aviation factory, working diligently to create ammunition for soldiers at the Heaton Chapel location. Today, Thelma and Elma’s legacy continues through their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, with more than 20 members gracing their vibrant family tree.

    world war 2 photo

    Aging Gracefully: The Secret Ingredients

    Thelma attributes her longevity to a diet of nourishing food, while Elma playfully winks and acknowledges her nightly ritual: “a drop of brandy” and a splash of lemonade before bidding the day adieu.

    A Remarkable Journey in Reflection

    As the world celebrates the incredible lives of Thelma and Elma, their journey serves as an inspiration, a testament to the resilience of the human spirit, and a reminder that a sprinkle of brandy and a dash of joy can truly stand the test of time. Raise a glass to these remarkable twins, who have woven an extraordinary tapestry of life, love, and laughter over the span of a remarkable 104 years.

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