Guinness World Records recognises 'oldest' siblings
- 7 June 2012
- From the section Cambridgeshire
Two sisters have been officially recognised by Guinness World Records as the oldest siblings in the world.
Dorothy Richards is 108 and her sister Marjorie Ruddle is 105.
They were born and brought up in Northampton before attending colleges in London and eventually returning to the East of England to look after the family home when their mother died.
The sisters celebrated their record with a tea party at the Peterborough nursing home where Mrs Ruddle lives.
A spokesperson from Guinness World Records confirmed the sisters had the "highest combined age of two living siblings".
The aggregate age of the sisters is 213 years, three months, and 27 days.
Marjorie Phyllis Ruddle, a resident at the Park House Nursing Home in Peterborough, was born on 21 April 1907.
Dorothy Richards lives at Whitefriars Care Home in Stamford, Lincolnshire and was born on 15 December 1903 - two days before the Wright Brothers made the world's first successful powered flight.
Mrs Ruddle's daughter Pat Comber, who attended the party, said she had been amazed by the attention her mother and aunt were attracting.
"Really, all we wanted was to get the two of them together," she said.
"They haven't seen each other for three years because my mother has a slight disability and my aunt is quite frail.
"We're getting my 108-year-old aunt across to the nursing home to spend an hour or so with my mother.
"It will be a treat for both of them," she added.
The sisters grew up in Northampton where their father ran a men's shoe factory, GT Hawkins.
After school, Mrs Richards left the city to study at a physical education college in London.
"My mother went to London as well, to the Buckingham Palace College of Domestic Science," Mrs Comber said.
"But their mother sadly died and their father wanted them home to look after the household, so neither of them actually worked at what they had trained for."
Mrs Ruddle married her first husband, Dr James Robertson Wills, in Northampton in 1932.
The couple later moved to Peterborough where he had a practice in Lincoln Road. The couple had three children - a girl and two boys.
Five years after her husband died, Mrs Ruddle remarried. Allan Ruddle was an architect with a practice in Peterborough.
Mrs Comber described her mother as formerly a keen member of the local tennis club whose other interests included flower arranging, gardening and sewing.
Before moving to the Park House Nursing Home in July last year, Mrs Ruddle had lived in her own home with full-time carers.
Her sister also married and had a family. She and her husband, an optician, brought up their three sons near Stamford, where Mrs Richards had a small gift shop.
Mrs Ruddle's granddaughter's husband, who was interested in the family's history, worked with researchers at Guinness World Records to verify the sisters' record claim.
The Guinness World Records spokesman said the organisation had only recently started to monitor the "combined age" category and confirmed the record was the first entry on its files.
He added: "We would like to congratulate Marjorie and Dorothy and welcome them in the Guinness World Records family."