TWO sisters have earned their place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s oldest siblings.
Dorrie Richards, who is 108 years and five months old and her sister Marjorie Ruddle, who turned 105 last month, received their certificates during an emotional reunion yesterday.
They had not seen each other for more than two-and-a-half years because it is difficult to transport them between the care homes where they live.
Dorrie is a resident at Whitefriars in Ryhall Road, Stamford. Yesterday two carers from Whitefriars volunteered their time to accompany Dorrie to Park House nursing home in Peterborough to visit her sister and collect her certificate.
Dorrie’s son Philip, who lives in Lonsdale Road, Stamford, said: “It’s been absolutely brilliant. Auntie Marjorie didn’t know that Mother was coming today. The look on their faces was amazing.
“They struggled across the room and gave each other a big hug and we were all in tears.”
Simon Marsden, who is married to Marjorie’s grandaughter Alexandra, applied to Guinness World Records to see whether the sisters were record-breakers. He presented their certificates yesterday.
He said: “It was a bit of a snowball actually. There had been conversations in the family for years about how remarkable it was.”
Dorrie was born on December 15, 1903, just two days before the Wright Brothers made man’s first powered flight.
Marjorie was born on April 21, 1907.
The two girls grew up in Northampton with their sister Hilda and two brothers Bernard and Ross, who died aged just 49.
On October 29, 1927, Dorrie married Stanley Richards. They moved to Stamford in April, 1941, with their two young sons Graham and Philip, and their third son Martin was born in the town in 1943.
Stanley took over a opticians business in St Mary’s Street, Stamford, where he remained until his death at the age of 58 in 1961.
Dorrie ran a pottery shop in St Mary’s Hill.
Marjorie moved to Peterborough in the 1930s. Her husband James Robertson Wills was a doctor in Peterborough and she worked in his surgery.
James died in 1949 and a year later Marjorie married architect Alan Ruddle.
Marjorie’s daughter Pat Comber, who lives in Barrowden, said: “It is a remarkable achievement and my family and I are very proud of them.
“Both Marjorie and Dorothy are very active and on the ball for their ages. They certainly know what’s going on.
“I’m not sure if they have secrets for living for so long but just that they’ve tried to stay ﬁt and active.”
Mrs Comber added: “We’ve always wondered whether Dorothy and Marjorie were the oldest sisters around and last year decided to ﬁnd out.
“We contacted the Guinness World Records and it took them several weeks to do their research and conﬁrm it.
“To be honest I would have been surprised to ﬁnd any siblings older than them and I think it may be a long time before their record is broken.”
Carer Kerry Chalkley gave up her time to accompany Dorrie to Peterborough, along with her colleague Adele Hawkins.
She said: “We did it because we love her. She keeps us all in line.
“She’s a pleasure to look after and she’s like a mother hen keeping us in order.”