Britain’s oldest identical twins celebrate 100th birthday after moving in together during lockdown

‘Nobody has got this old in our family before’, says Dorothy Sivyer

Sarah Young
Friday 28 August 2020 11:21
Britain's oldest identical twins celebrate their 100th birthday

Britain’s oldest identical twins are celebrating their 100th birthday together.

Dorothy Sivyer and Kathleen Whitehead, who call themselves “The Twinnies”, were born in 1920 and moved in together at the start of lockdown to keep each other company.

Dorothy, who lived in Tunbridge Wells until recently moving to Rochester, said: “I came up here because of the lockdown to be with my sister and now we’re both turning 100 together. It’s been nice living together during lockdown. We haven’t come to blows or anything.

“I don’t mind turning 100. Nobody has got this old in our family before.”

Kathleen added: “We’ve had a lovely time together. It’s been good and we want to say thank you to all those people who have made our birthday so happy and nice.

“Being together has kept us positive whilst staying inside – and eating chocolate. We play cards together and just chat a lot.

“We can’t do much about turning 100, can we? It just kind of comes, doesn’t it, I don’t really want it – I’d rather go back the other way.”

The sisters are celebrating the milestone occasion with morning coffee and a socially distanced garden party due to the coronavirus.

Dorothy and Kathleen are celebrating their 100th birthday (SWNS)

Kathleen, the eldest twin by a few minutes, worked as a radar operator during the Second World War while Dorothy was a radiographer who treated soldiers returning from the Normandy beaches.

Despite their different personalities, the sisters say they have “never quarrelled”.

The sisters were born in Chatham, Kent, in 1920 (SWNS)

“We’ve always got on very well. Never quarrelled, very close,” Kathleen said. “We buy the same things and we share everything. Even when we are miles apart, we do the same things and buy the same handbags.

Dorothy added: “I bought a pair of shoes once and she bought the same in a different colour. We’re not friends – we’re closer than that. Real sisters, real close, we are. Always have been.”

Dorothy was married with three children but her husband has since passed away and while Kathleen was once engaged she decided not to marry.

The twins say the secret to their long, happy lives is down to balancing wine and chocolate with exercise and healthy food, and having a big group of female friends.

“I used to cycle every day to the hospital and we still go out walking a few days a week when life is normal,” Dorothy said. “I have a lot of good girlfriends. Every week, I play cards with one of my lady friends.”

Kathleen added: “We’ve always been active – we would cycle and walk a lot, we even cycled to Guilford on the hottest day of the year. We do have naughty food but we also eat very healthily as well. We’ve never smoked but we do have the occasional glass of wine.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in