Oldest sisters in Britain reach 311

Between them they have already had seven telegrams from the Queen Photo: ITV News

Not many people get to celebrate their 108th birthday, which is why so many friends and family joined Hilda Greening in Tewkesbury for her big day. Among them was her sister Mary, who herself is 98.

Sadly their third sister Jean couldn't be there, but between the three of them they have a combined age of 311. They have seen off 19 Prime Ministers, five monarchs and two world wars.

And the secret to their long life? Milk, apparently!

Youngest sister Mary says, "It must have been the country life. Our father worked as a farm labourer. We had the run of the farm. When he was milking the cows we used to go and get a cup and drink the milk straight from the cow - and I think that's what it was!"

Mary, Hilda and Jean grew up in Winchcombe in Gloucestershire and all three left school when they were 14 to go into service as maids. Their family put their longevity down to hard work and a peaceful nature.

Hilda's daughter Elizabeth Sallis says: "I think they're so patient, none of them lose their tempers, they're so laid back. They've worked hard all their lives in service, they've brought they're families up and they're still going."

She's not planning on taking after them, though. "I hope not, I don't want to live that long!"

Hilda has 12 grandchildren, 26 great grandchildren, and 17 great great grandchildren. The youngest, Corby, is just two weeks old. Judging by his family history, in a hundred years, he too will be getting the 22nd century equivalent of a telegram from the Queen.

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