That’ll be two pints of Guinness please! Double celebration as Swaffham twins John and David Smith mark 95th birthdays with their favourite tipple
PUBLISHED: 15:50 30 May 2017 | UPDATED: 15:50 30 May 2017
They have done everything together all their lives and that always includes celebrating their shared birthday with a pint of Guinness at their local.
But as identical twins John and David Smith have now reached the grand old age of 95 and are living together in the same care home, the pub had to come to them.
Thought to be the oldest surviving twins in Norfolk, the brothers, the youngest of six children to Joseph and Frances, were the toast of Westfields Care Home in Swaffham as they downed their pint brought to them by Joanne Briscoe from The Greyhound.
David, the younger by a few minutes, moved to the home from his sheltered housing in April and John joined him a few weeks later.
They now eat all their meals together, sit outside together, and listen to the Norwich City games on the radio together.
But the pair have never been far from each other’s side.
They were born in Coney Weston in Suffolk before moving to Kilverstone, near Thetford, and then to Swaffham in 1939.
They followed in their father’s footsteps by working on the land, primarily on farms at Weasenham, Cressingham and Bodney. David became a proficient sheep shearer and his brother was catcher and wool winder (fleece roller).
They spent much of the war years breaking in young horses for the Land Army girls.
They clearly adored their mother, a midwife who died in 1982, just weeks from her 100th birthday.
“She was a marvellous woman,” said David. “She helped hundreds of women have their babies. She never walked past a beggar on the street either.”
John married in 1966 to Dorothy who had two daughters Carol and Sheila from a previous marriage.
“Nobody would have me,” joked David, but even with his new family John included David on their holidays, enjoying coach trips to the Isle of Wight.
“They have always been close,” said Carol. “David is the more outgoing but I think they have probably seen each other or spoken to each other every day of their lives.”
Care home manager Jo Bolton said the brothers had “made a real impact” since they took up residence. “They have a very dry sense of humour,” she said.
Drinking buddies from The Greyhound also turned up to the birthday party. Debbie Norris said they were “characters” and everyone in the town knew them.