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Leeds twin sisters reunited on 95th birthday

Family celebrate the 95th birthday of twins Lily Poolman and Muriel Stancliffe (in wheelchair)  at The Devon  pub in Leeds.
Family celebrate the 95th birthday of twins Lily Poolman and Muriel Stancliffe (in wheelchair) at The Devon pub in Leeds.
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TWO sisters who may be the oldest surviving twins from Yorkshire were overjoyed to be reunited on their 95th birthday.

Muriel Stancliffe and twin sister Lily Poolman met for the first time in more than three years tonight (Weds June 27) before a party with family and friends at the Devon pub in Crossgates, Leeds,

The twin sisters, who grew up in East End Park, Leeds, were inseparable as children and young adults and trained as hairdressers together at Woodhouse Lane College.

They both joined the Women’s Land Army as 19-year-olds during the Second World War in 1942.

It was the only way the two sisters could help the war effort and stay together after Women’s Land Army bosses agreed not to split them up.

They worked on farms in Wiltshire for four years before working together as hairdressers in Leeds.

Lily, who has six great-great grandchildren, met her late husband Reg in Wiltshire and the couple later ran a farm in Swindon area, while Muriel stayed in Leeds.

Muriel, whose husband Joseph died aged 52 in 1973, has three great-grandchildren.

Muriel said she felt stomach pains and could not sleep when Lily was giving birth to her first child Carol, now aged 71.

Muriel, who later worked as a sales assistant at Woolworths in Crossgates, said after the party: “It was lovely to see her again, we were delighted.”

Lily said: “I was thrilled to see her – I just wanted to hug her.”

Muriel’s granddaughter Jane Stancliffe, 37, said: “They are very close. They used to spend a lot of time together and still speak to each other all the time.

“Grandma used to travel to Swindon a lot but she has been unable to travel more recently due to mobility issues.”

Jane said the sisters’ mother Ethel lived to 104, adding: “They are up there with the oldest surviving twins in the UK.

“I have done some research and can’t find any older twins in Yorkshire.”

Muriel’s eldest son David, 69, said: “They absolutely love each other to bits.”