Ellon’s “grand old ladies”

Evelyn Middleton, left, and Edith Ritchie celebrate their 104th birthday at Bonnyton Care Home in Ellon.
Evelyn Middleton, left, and Edith Ritchie celebrate their 104th birthday at Bonnyton Care Home in Ellon.

It was a special day for the world’s oldest twins when they celebrated their 104th birthday at an Ellon care home.

Evelyn Middleton and Edith Ritchie were visited by relatives and friends at Bonnyton home last Friday.

There were fears Mrs Ritchie would miss the amazing milestone after being confined to hospital with a hip injury.

But she was allowed back in time for the celebrations.

Mrs Ritchie’s son Nat, 78, said it was a relief.

He told the Times: “We really thought that they would be spending their birthday apart, but mum was allowed out of hospital on Thursday.

“There was a concert on but she cannot manage downstairs so we all gathered upstairs where the staff brought my aunt to be with her.

“It was a really nice day and the staff were very good.”

Nat said his mother is still full of surprises.

He added: “She sometimes doesn’t remember something you told her half an hour ago, but then she can recall people who lived near her when she was young.”

Bonnyton manager Louise Fraser said: “We had a lovely day. There was a great atmosphere and we were delighted that Evelyn was allowed to return in time for their birthday.

“They seemed to take it in their stride and did not seem up nor down.

“We organised a concert for all the residents as part of the celebrations.”

The twins, whose maiden name is Rennie, were born on November 15, 1909, when King Edward VII was on the throne.

They were born near Foveran, where their father was a farm worker and later went to school at Barthol Chapel and Udny Green.

From the age of 13 the twins worked on local farms until they married.

Mrs Ritchie married her late husband Nathaniel in 1929 and had a family of four, nine grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.

Her husband died in 1987.

Mrs Midddleton and her late husband William, who died aged 99, had four children, 12 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

The twins’ mother, Mary Rennie, lived to the age of 101.

They have always been close, living within 40 to 50 miles of each other, and now spend most of their time together in the same corner of the sitting room at Bonnyton.

In February of last year, Mrs Middleton and Mrs Ritchie were officially named the world’s oldest living twins.