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Shoreham family values key to longevity as five generations celebrate
Spanning almost 90 years, these five generations of women believe they have discovered the secret to long life – a close-knit family.
From one-year-old Darcy Edwards to her great-great-grandmother Georgina Hermans, 87, the family from Shoreham are rarely far apart.
The others making up the quintet are Darcy’s mother Jordan Edwards, 20, grandmother Melanie Edwards, 39, and great-grandmother Val Eason, 58.
Mrs Eason told The Argus: “A lot of people have said how unusual it is to have five generations of women all together like this and we certainly enjoy it.
“We just have to make sure the men don’t feel left out!”
However it is not the first time the family has experienced five generations of women.
Mrs Eason said: “Twenty years ago, when Darcy was first born, we had a picture of her, my daughter, myself, my mum and my nan Ethel Manley, who was 94 at the time.
“It is really nice to have the same thing happen again.”
The mothers have combined their years of knowledge to support each other, but Mrs Eason says there have been many changes over the years.
She said: “When my daughter was little you would think nothing of leaving her in a pram outside a shop while you popped in to get something. You would never dream of doing that now.
“Obviously you also have disposable nappies now which weren’t around years ago.
“Even food is different. My great-granddaughter has organic meals which was something we never would have thought about.
“She also goes swimming and is a member of a Tots that Rock group. There are so many things available for them now.”
Despite the changes, there are also some similarities.
Mrs Eason said: “Basically the way I am to my grand-daughter and great-daughter is the same as I was to my daughter and how my mother has been to me.
“We are a very maternal family and enjoy spending time together.
“I was taught crochet and knitting by my mum and that knowledge has been passed down to my grand-daughter as well.
“Darcy has blankets that have been crocheted by the family and so that tradition is continuing.
“The best thing about such a large and extended family is that we have a network and support system and can chip in and help out.”
The family are now looking forward to seeing what the next two decades will bring.
Mrs Eason said: “There is also a history of longevity in our family. My nan lived until she was almost 104.
“I think that is down to the fact we are all there for each other and can help ease the burden in difficult times and make things less stressful. That has got to have a positive effect on your health as well.”
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