By Daisy Baker
June 14, 2017
Well-known Bridport twins June Gillespie and Colin Lovegrove celebrated their 80th birthday on Sunday in the company of more than 100 family and friends.
The twins and their seven siblings were raised in Bridport, where they have resided all their lives.
Mrs Gillespie said she enjoyed growing up as a twin and has had a close relationship with her brother since they were young.
“We’ve always got on pretty well and our families have always been pretty close,” Mrs Gillespie said.
“It was wonderful growing up together. You don’t see [such close families] very often anymore.”
With 55 children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren between them, there is no shortage of company.
Mrs Gillespie said her house is often full of children and grandchildren, especially the grandchildren who enjoy staying with her during school holidays.
“You couldn’t ask for two better families. All our family and all of June’s – It’s just brilliant,” Mr Lovegrove said.
The twins said they have fond memories of trips to the beach close to their childhood home, where they would collect periwinkles to cook and eat. Mrs Gillespie says they were delicious.
They also enjoyed riding their billycarts down Emma Street, which they said had far less traffic in days gone by.
As a young woman, Mrs Gillespie worked at the Bridport Hotel until she got married.
“I was married at 18 and had seven children. I have 20 grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren and there are more to come this year,” she said.
“Her husband and I were like brothers,” Mr Lovegrove said fondly.
Mr Lovegrove said he began his working life working at Oscar Jones’ farm at Ferny Hill.
“After that I worked at Jim Wadley’s mill and then they moved it up to where it is now at Gillespie’s Mill,” he said.
“I also worked as the lands department officer at Barnbougle for 22 years.
“When I first started working there we were renting a house along the Scottsdale Road near where the sale yards were. I used to walk to work (I never had a bike) through the wet paddocks out to work every morning and I was getting five pound ten a week and we were paying two pound a week in rent.”
Congratulations to the twins on 80 eventful years!