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Plenty of kisses and pocket money for Bradwell youngster with eight grandmothers

PUBLISHED: 11:15 09 March 2014

Theo Gowing (3) who has two great great grandmothers - both of whom are 100 years old.
Pictured with his mother Zoe Simm.

Picture: James Bass

Theo Gowing (3) who has two great great grandmothers - both of whom are 100 years old. Pictured with his mother Zoe Simm. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2014

Little Theo Gowing is the latest green shoot on a very tall family tree.

100 year old Ivy Ryan celebrating with family at her Blofield home. Photo: Steve Adams100 year old Ivy Ryan celebrating with family at her Blofield home. Photo: Steve Adams

It means the lucky two-year-old, from Bradwell, has more than his fair share of grandparents to fuss over him including an astonishing two great great grandmothers who are both 100 years old and live nearby.

Having such extreme old age on both sides means his eight grandmothers are not the oldest in his family as is more usual.

And while having a gap of five generations is relatively common it is the longevity of both his great great grandmothers that makes his situation remarkable.

“I think for Theo it just means there are a lot of nannies around,” said his grandmother Amanda Mills, 51. “I do not think I have ever heard of anyone else in his position.”

Doris Frost is pictured with her great great grandson, Theo Gowing and great grandson Ryan Gowing on her 100th birthday in November 2013. Doris Frost is pictured with her great great grandson, Theo Gowing and great grandson Ryan Gowing on her 100th birthday in November 2013.

Her grandmother Doris Frost is a resident at St Augustine’s housing with care scheme in Gorleston where she is a manager. “He gives her a kiss and she give him pennies for sweets. She has a great awareness and is fascinating to talk to. She really loves Theo and calls him her little blue eyes.”

Mrs Frost, who was 100 in November, cooked for herself and other residents until recently and although frail she remains in good health.

Not being able to do as much as she did has come as a blow, but knowing she has lived long enough to see Theo gives her a boost, she added.

Although neither of the great great grannies have ever met they do know of each other, Doris expressing “shock and amazement” that there was another like her related in the same way to Theo.

Their frailty and age meant getting Doris and Ivy Ryan, a resident of Westview Road, Blofield - the other great great grandmother on Theo’s mother’s side - together would be too much of a stretch.

Ivy celebrated her 100th milestone last month and was joined by friends and family from across all five generations, including her only grandson Tim, 52, who travelled from New Zealand to toast her special day.

However, while for most of us our great great grandparents are nameless and distant Theo will have a wealth of information and stories about his large family, where two old ladies have been able to connect with their children’s children’s children’s children.

Theo lives with his parents and former school chums Zoe Simm a hairdresser and Ryan Gowing a lorry mechanic, both 23, in Kings Drive, Bradwell.

His mother said: “It is special for him. Although he does not really know much about it, it will be lovely for him to look back on.”

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