Two identical twin sisters marked their centenary milestone, with one expressing that she perceives no notable difference between her current state at 100 and her feelings at the age of 50.
Anne Brown and Florence Boycott reunited after years apart to commemorate their 100th birthdays at Mrs. Boycott’s care home in Barnsley, the South Yorkshire town that has been their lifelong residence.
The celebration, held at The Firs residential home, was attended by an assembly of friends and five generations of their family. Mrs. Brown remarked, ‘It doesn’t feel any different from when I was 50.’
She also recalled that even in their childhood, their father struggled to distinguish between them.
Mrs. Brown reminisced, saying, ‘They couldn’t tell us apart. My dad was hopeless. He could not tell us one from the other. We were very close. We were always together, never one without the other.’
She shared her belief that the key to a long life is simply “getting on with it” and ensuring early nights. Mrs. Boycott emphasized, ‘We’ve just crawled on year after year and we’ve got to a hundred.’
Mrs. Boycott’s daughter, Kathy Lindsay, provided insights into the twins’ upbringing, revealing that they were two of 10 siblings in a two-bedroom house, comprising five boys and five girls. Despite the challenges of a crowded living space with outside toilets and tin baths in front of the fire, the twins were well taken care of.
Reflecting on their youthful appearance, Mrs. Lindsay mentioned that they looked absolutely identical, making it easy to confuse them. She shared a humorous anecdote, saying, ‘My auntie Anne once walked into the house and I thought it was my mum. I said “What are you doing here, mum”, and it was my Auntie Anne. I’d get them mixed-up on the phone as well. Their voices were the same.’
Mrs. Lindsay went on to mention that the twins used to swap boyfriends if one didn’t like theirs. When asked about the secret to their long life, she attributed it to good genes, noting that neither of them has faced serious illnesses. While one aunt had a knee replacement, Mrs. Lindsay highlighted that her mother has not undergone any operations. She concluded, “I think they’re just lucky. They’ve lived a nice life and behaved themselves.”
Mrs. Lindsay shared that the twin sisters had a long history of working together, spending many years at Sugden’s shirt factory in Barnsley after completing their schooling. Her mother, Mrs. Boycott, had a diverse work experience, taking on roles at a bakery, a dairy, and serving as a school cleaner.
Highlighting her aunt’s incredible work ethic, Mrs. Lindsay mentioned that her aunt continued working into her mid-90s, operating a sewing stall in Barnsley Market, and still maintains an independent lifestyle. She praised both women, saying, ‘She’s done all sorts my mum, she’s a Trojan. They’ve both been workers. My mum’s worked really hard, as well as bringing us up, and my auntie’s been a worker. And they both loved their bingo.’
Mrs. Lindsay revealed that her mother was even asked to reopen the local bingo club a few years ago, becoming its oldest and longest-serving customer.
Providing family details, Mrs. Brown has one daughter, while Mrs. Boycott had three daughters, one of whom passed away. Mrs. Boycott is also a proud grandmother to seven, great-grandmother to six, and great-great-grandmother to three.
Expressing gratitude to The Firs for organizing a wonderful party for the twins, Mrs. Lindsay remarked, ‘It’s absolutely brilliant, I can’t thank them enough. We always said my mum will make a hundred and she has, bless her.’