Twins' joy at surprise meeting on special birthday

Twins Arthur Hepburn and Lilian Thompson had a “wonderful surprise” as family organised a 90th birthday lunch so they could meet each other in person for the first time in two years.

Tuesday, 9th November 2021, 12:51 pm
Arthur Hepburn and Lilian Thompson in the Widdrington Inn.

The duo were born in Sunderland on November 4, 1931. Today, Arthur lives in Widdrington Station with his wife Audrey and Lilian lives alone in Stockton-on-Tees.

They had not seen each other for many months due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, a surprise lunch was arranged at the Widdrington Inn by Graham Thompson, Lilian’s son, with the co-operation of Arthur’s daughter Lynne on their 90th birthday last Thursday.

Arthur trained as an engineer and had a career at sea, then changed to social care and worked in this field for 30 years.

This saw him live in Stannington and Longhirst, and he has been in Widdrington Station now for 35 years.

The final 12 years before he retired were “fantastic days” as he set-up a centre in Cramlington to support people with learning disabilities and certain physical issues.

He added: “I speak with Lilian every day, but it was a wonderful surprise to see her in person for the first time in two years. It was a lovely day.”

Graham said: “They are both extraordinary people – full of vim and vigour, as bright as anything, and full of beans.

“There is clearly something in their genes, as their mother was well over 100 when she died, and she was also incredibly bright, funny and lucid till the very end.

“We had a great lunch at the pub. We went to Arthur's house after the meal and celebrated with champagne and birthday cake.”