ALMOST NINE decades together and twins Norma and Sylvia are still as competitive as ever – with their latest contest deciding the best artist.
The 89-year-old sisters, who both live at Ingleby Care Home, on Lamb Lane, Ingleby Barwick, brought their sibling rivalry to an art workshop held by the care home staff.
Norma Wilson and Sylvia Wheeler were tasked with drawing a vase of flowers, with the winning picture decided by a panel of fellow residents.
Norma said: “I thought I would give it a go and see if I was any good at it.”
Sylvia added: “I missed a lot of art classes in school due to having rheumatic fever, so I didn’t attend for a long time.
“Norma used to bring my work home for me to do and I used to send it back with her.
“I thought I would give it a go to see if I was any good at it still, which obviously I was.”
The sisters moved to the care home within six months of each other, Sylvia first in July 2021, and Norma followed in February 2022.
Neither had pursued art as a hobby or career during their younger years, but they were handy with a sewing needle, having learnt to make their own clothes from their mother as teenagers.
When the care home’s art competition was announced, both were keen to take home the prize – a box of Thornton’s chocolates.
It was Sylvia’s black and white line drawing of the flowers that received the most votes and was named winner.
She said: “I enjoyed drawing the different pictures. I think our next class we should draw a fruit basket.
“When we were girls, anything to do with baking Norma was very competitive. If it was anything to do with art or creativity, such as making clothes, then I was the competitive one.”
Norma added: “I really enjoyed the class. I thought it was therapeutic. A bit like when I cook. I find that therapeutic, hence the reason I went to Kirby College to study catering.”
Kirsty O’Connor, activities coordinator at Ingleby Care Home, said: “I thought I would try doing something different and the art competition turned out to be really popular.
“From the concentration on the two ladies’ faces, you could see they were there to win it from the start. They have asked next time we do a fruit bowl, so I’m sure they’ll be back at the drawing board soon.”