Britain's oldest twins, 102, say 'the simple life' is the key to living longer

·Contributor, Yahoo Life UK
·3-min read
Twins Edith Dumbleton (with glasses) and Dorcas Tobin (without glasses) have celebrated their 102nd birthday. (Fred Dumbleton/SWNS)
Twins Edith Dumbleton (right) and Dorcas Tobin (left) have celebrated their 102nd birthday. (SWNS)

Britain's oldest twins, who this week celebrated their 102nd birthdays, say "the simple life" is the key to living longer.

Edith Dumbleton and Dorcas Tobin were born 45 minutes apart on June 28, 1920 at their family home in Banbury, Oxfordshire.

The non-identical pair are believed to be the third oldest twins in the world and the joint oldest in Britain, having lived through 25 prime ministers and four monarchs.

The sisters, who live 76 miles apart, are still inseparable and every Tuesday Tobin travels two hours each way from her home in Banbury to see her sister, Dumbleton in Leominster, Herefordshire.

Between them the sisters have five children, nine grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren.

To mark their joint 102nd birthday this week, the siblings met up for a paired-back lunch of cheese sandwiches and teacakes.

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The twins celebrating their 101st birthday last year. (Fred Dumbleton/SWNS)
The twins celebrating their 101st birthday last year. (Fred Dumbleton/SWNS)

Commenting on the milestone Dumbleton, the older twin, says: “It’s marvellous we’ve got to this age because we don’t know anyone else near 100, so for us it’s been incredible.

“We’re still going strong and get the best out of it we can.

“We never had a lot so we couldn’t lose a lot and it has left us quite stress-free.

“What things we did have we appreciate and got the most out of.”

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Tobin adds: “I’m very thankful that although we’ve had frugal lives there’s been a lot to enjoy throughout it.

“We have had bad times but we’ve managed to get plenty of good times in and enjoy our lives.

“I’ve got a little greenhouse and do a bit of gardening and that keeps me happy.”

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Twins Dumbleton (left) and Tobin (right) aged 21. (Christine Bemand/SWNS)
Twins Dumbleton (left) and Tobin (right) aged 21. (Christine Bemand/SWNS)

Daughter Christine Bemand, 68, who lives with her mum Dumbleton, says the bond between the twins is still strong.

“They spend a lot of time thinking about each other and I think there is that thought-bond there," she says.

"They have both been a little bit unwell, but we made the decision to get them down to see each other on Sunday and they are both incredibly different having seen each other.

"It was very low key, they had a cheese sandwich and a reminisce.”

Twins Edith and Dorcas aged 16 with their brother and sisters. Left to right - Dorcas, Fred, Muriel, Edna and Edith. (Christine Bemand/SWNS)
Twins Edith and Dorcas aged 16 with their brother and sisters. Left to right - Dorcas, Fred, Muriel, Edna and Edith. (Christine Bemand/SWNS)

Bemand says the secret of the siblings incredible longevity has been enjoying a “simpler life.”

“Mum always says the same thing when I ask her - they didn't have a lot, but what they had they really appreciated," she says.

"And I think it is that bit about a slightly simpler life, where you value what you have got and you don't fret for the things you haven't got."

Dumbleton was married to her husband, Frederick for 50 years until he died aged 89 in 2006.

They had two sons Frederick and Kenneth, and daughter, Christine.

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Tobin (left) and Dumbleton (right) say 'the simple life' is the key to living longer. (Fred Dumbleton/SWNS)
Tobin (left) and Dumbleton (right) say 'the simple life' is the key to living longer. (Fred Dumbleton/SWNS)

Tobin had two sons with her husband-of-33-years, Horace, a career firefighter, who died aged 80.

"Edith and I are both very well actually for our age, but my sister is losing her sight some," Tobin adds.

“I've always been active. I've just got on with life. You know you have your ups and downs, but you just get on with it.

"I don't eat anything special. We eat what we want, and we eat when we're hungry."

Additional reporting SWNS.

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