Stockport twins celebrate 103rd birthday – and share secret to long life

Elma and Thelma were born in Stockport on 3rd August 1919, and are thought to be Britain's oldest twins

Sisters Elma Harris and Thelma Barratt, who were born in Stockport, got together this week for a party to celebrate their 103rd birthdays.

Thought to be Britain’s oldest twins, the pair also shared the secret to their long lives with BBC North West Tonight.

“Well, I like my food, put it that way” Thelma told the programme.

“I like a brandy at night,” said Elma. “I have a brandy and lemonade at night.”

The sisters were born in Stockport on 3rd August 1919, with Elma arriving about half an hour before her sister, and they both attended Alexandra Park School.

At the age of 14, the pair started working as packers and labellers at the nearby Smiths Crisps factory.

Then they both got married and started families, having two children each, followed by a number of grandchildren.

Photo: Family handout, via BBC North West Tonight

“It’s lovely to be together because we don’t get together very often,” Thelma, who now lives in Kirkham, Lancashire, told BBC North West Tonight.

“It’s so wonderful. I didn’t expect all this. It feels great. I’m happy,” said Elma, who still lives in Stockport, Greater Manchester.

Tony Barratt, Thelma’s son, told the BBC programme that it was even nicer to bring the pair together this year, seeing as the coronavirus pandemic had kept them apart for recent birthdays.

And the Mayor of Stockport David Wilson, who attended the celebrations with the sisters and their families, described the milestone as “incredible”.

Happy birthday, Elma and Thelma! We’ll raise a glass of brandy and lemonade to you.


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