Saturday, 29 August 2009
The chances of identical twins both living beyond the age of 100 are about 700 million. But the Chavasse twins were said to be determined from an early age to reach 100.
Neither sister married but both had distinguished careers. Marjorie worked for the Dr Barnados charity setting up children's homes. May became a nurse and cared for wounded soldiers in France during World War I. She subsequently received a military honour for her work.
Marjorie still lives in her own home in Windsor, Berkshire while May lives in a home for retired nurses in Buckinghamshire.
The twins came from a distinguished family in which their elder brothers were twins. One of them, Noel. was a war hero and one of only a few men to twice be awarded Britain's highest military honour - the Victoria Cross. The other twin brother Christopher, followed in their father's footsteps by becoming a Bishop in the Church of England.
May Chavasse died before her 101st birthday but Marjorie lived to the age of 103.
According to the Guinness Book of Records the worlds oldest female twins were Kin Narita and Gin Kanie of Japan who celebrated their 107th birthday in 1999. Kin the elder by 20 minutes died the following year.
If you wish to watch the twins celebrating their centenary with a birthday bash, click on the following link:
The festivities last for a week and feature music, parades, dancing and fire works. On the night before the tomato fight participants of the festival compete in a paella cooking contest. It is tradition for the men to wear no shirts and women to wear all white. The festival started in a casual way in 1945, but wasn't officially recognized until 1952. Shopkeepers cover their store fronts prior to the commencement of the messy battle that follows.
The first event of the 'Tomatina' is to climb up a greased pole with a ham at the top. While this is happening the participants work up a frenzy singing and dancing whilst being showered with hoses. Once the ham has been released from the pole trucks haul the bounty of tomatoes into the town centre, Plaza del Pueblo. The tomatoes come from Extremadura, where they are less expensive and are grown specifically for the festival. they are poor quality, not considered good enough for consumption. The fight is started by the firing of water cannons, lasts for one hour, and is finished by a second firing of water cannons. Competitors are urged to wear safety goggles and gloves and tomatoes must be squished before being thrown to make them softer. Following the fight fire trucks move in to hose down the streets, with water provided from a Roman aqueduct.
The festival is in honour of the town's patron saints, St Louis Bertrand (San Luis Bertran) and the Mare Deu dels Desemparats (Mother of God of the Defenseless) a title of the Virgin Mary. It is not certain how the festival started, but one theory suggests it arose out of disgruntled townspeople attacking city councilmen with tomatoes during a town celebration. The holiday was banned during the Spanish State period under Francisco Franco for having no religious significance, but returned in the 1970s after his demise.
DO YOU REMEMBER WHEN
Basically we were in fear our lives, but it wasn't because of drive-by shootings, drugs, gangs etc. Our parents and grandparents were a much bigger threat! But we survived because their love was greater than the threat.
As well as summers filled with bike rides, cricket, hula hoops, skate hockey and visits to the pool, and eating lemonade powder or liquorice sticks.
Didn't that feel good just to go back and say "Yeas, I remember that"?
01 I was born 28 November 1953.
02 My place of birth was Hendon, London.
03 I was educated in Kirkaldy, then Loretto School, Musselburgh.
04 I later attended Aberdeen University.
05 I was a supporter of the International Marxist Group.
06 In 1978 I became a solicitor.
07 I entered parliament at the 1987 General Election in Edinburgh Central.
08 In 1996 I became Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury.
09 My wife's name is Margaret Vaughan.
10 I have a son Calum and a daughter Anna.
Well! Can you believe your eyes? Unfortunately not. Whilst this may be an incredible and exciting video, the truth is, it is a fake. The sequences wer filmed separately and cobbled together to create what looks like a genuine video clip. There is an old saying that says; "Believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see." What a wise old adage that is!