Nine siblings over 70! The remarkable longevity of the Pardon family

Eight of the nine Pardon siblings at Wensum Valley Golf Club

Eight of the nine Pardon siblings at Wensum Valley Golf Club. They are Dorreen, Peggy, Colin, George, Raymond, Graham, Sylvia and Helen - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

Nine siblings, all over the age of 70 - and every single one still going strong! 

It's fair to say Norfolk's remarkable Pardon family boasts a longevity that few can rival. 

Growing up together in Hockering, near Dereham, living arrangements for the siblings were, naturally, a bit cramped. 

The Pardon family from Hockering: Dorreen, Peggy, Colin, George, Raymond, Graham, Sylvia, and Helen

The Pardon family from Hockering: Dorreen, Peggy, Colin, George, Raymond, Graham, Sylvia, and Helen - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

But the tight squeeze left them with little option but to get along, and their bond remains close to this day.

On Sunday, as they now do every year, all but one of the siblings gathered at Wensum Valley Golf Club in Taverham to celebrate what would have been their parents' 100th birthdays. 

George Pardon, one of seven to still live in Norfolk, said: "We have all had our differences and arguments over the years but, at the end of the day, we stick together.

"We are just thankful that we are still alive."

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Helen Smith, the eldest sibling at 84 years old, added: "We've always stayed in touch and love to do this every year.

The four sisters of the Pardon family: Helen, Dorreen, Sylvia and Peggy

The four sisters of the Pardon family: Helen, Dorreen, Sylvia and Peggy - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

"We have always been a family that gets together and we will always continue. We are still only a few miles away from each other."

Growing up at Street Farm with very little money, the family can remember walking four miles to Weston Longville to visit relatives at Christmas. 

"We never had much at all, but what we had we enjoyed," said Mr Pardon. 

The children were left shattered when their father, Victor, died aged 39. 

But they were fortunate their mother, Irene, remarried John Cubitt, who took the youngsters in as if they were his own. 

"John was really brilliant with all of us," added Mr Pardon. "He was part of our lives as well.

"He took us in and it cost him a lot of money to do that."

The siblings recall with fondness catching the bus to go on their annual day trip to Wells, where they would find cockles to take home and eat for tea. 

They also earned their keep by helping with fruit picking during the summer months. 

Asked the secret of the family's longevity, Mr Pardon said: ""I wonder whether it was butter off the farm!

"Dad was a herdsman and would bring butter for us. We used to live off the farm. 

"During our lives we have all worked outdoors in jobs to do with horticulture and agriculture; maybe the fresh air has helped."