Toasting their 99th birthday, these twin brothers are living proof the secret to a long life is all in the genes.
Eric and Herbert Walton celebrated their milestone in style surrounded by family and friends at Herbert’s home in Longhirst, Morpeth.
It is believed the milestone could make them some of the oldest male twins currently living in the UK.
But while male twins reaching such an impressive age might be a rare occurrence, celebrating these birthdays are not new for the twin’s family.
“Their mother Mary Walton, nee Rogers, lived to 98,” said Eric’s son-in-law John Bates, who married Eric’s eldest daughter Ruth.
“I think they have good genes, their grandmother also lived to 99 and there was another Walton who lived in Jesmond who lived to that age as well.
“The thing is you don’t often hear of male twins who both live to 99, it seems quite unusual,” he added.
Eric and Herbert were born in Gateshead and grew up in Burt Terrace close to the old North Durham Cricket Club.
The twins, who were born in 1914 were raised by their mother Mary after their father George was killed during the First World War on June 27, 1917, aged 25, serving for the Royal Army Medical Corps.
Eric, a great-great-grandfather, worked as an engineer with Wills and had daughter Ruth with his first wife Winifred before she died at the age of 28.
He married his second wife, Mary, and had a son Chris and another daughter Jennifer.
Herbert, a grandfather-of-one, became a teacher and served as head teacher at Lindisfarne Primary School in Gateshead for many years. He married Martha and had a son Everard.
The twins have been widowers for around 20 years.
“They are both close despite Herbert being in Morpeth and Eric in his care home in Gosforth,” said John.
“One of the things said at their birthday party was they understand each other well,” he added.
Growing up the pair developed separate interests with Eric being an avid Newcastle United fan while Herbert enjoyed music and art.
“They have lived very full lives and both are very active Christians and have been active church members all their lives,” said John.
“Eric was a very keen gardener and photographer, anything practicable.
“Herbert was good artistically and he still uses the computer and speaks to his son in America every day by Skype.
“Herbert also served in the Second World War in the army.
“Both of them are still very sharp and it was only two years ago that Herbert stopped driving,” added John.
Staff at Eric’s care home, Eothen Home in Gosforth, also organised a celebration for his 99th birthday.