Saturday, July 31, 2010


by Alex Millson

Thousands of Twitter followers were in mourning July 28 after the world's oldest Tweeter died at the age of 104.

Ivy Bean, who passed away in her sleep July 27, had been unwell for a number of weeks and staff at the care home where she lived had posted Twitter updates about her condition.

The centenarian had clocked up an astonishing 56,300 followers on the social networking site, and another 5,000 on Facebook.

Mrs Bean, who sent her messages to the world from the care home where she lived in Bradford, counted Peter Andre as one of her celebrity fans.

The pop star was in daily contact with the care home after hearing Ivy was unwell. He spoke to the great-grandmother on the phone and sent flowers just a few days before her death.

On July 28 morning a series of posts, written by the manager of Ivy's care home, appeared on her Twitter account which read: 'Hello all of Ivy's Twitter friends. By now you will have heard about our dear friend. I cannot explain how we are all feeling here.

'Ivy passed away peacefully at 12.08 this morning.'

'I'm sorry it took me so long to tell you but it was a very difficult thing to do.'

Sarah Brown led tributes to Ivy with a Twitter message which read: 'Sad to hear the news of Ivy Bean's passing. A great spirit and sense of humour; highly respected senior Ambassador for Twitter.'

On July 27 care home staff revealed that Ivy was seriously ill, but had been 'sleeping like a baby'.

Manager of Hillside Manor, Pat Wright, said Ivy had a tumour that had not been detected.

Earlier in the week they revealed how Ivy had looked like she was on the road to recovery after being admitted to hospital on July 14, before she took a turn for the worst.

Tributes to the centenarian started to appear on the site, with John Prescott becoming one of the first to pay his respects.

He tweeted: 'So sad to hear Ivy Bean has died. An inspiration to tweeters young and old and proof you don't stop learning after 65! Rest in peace Ivy.'

During her high-profile Tweeting career Ivy was invited to No. 10 to meet then Prime Minister Gordon Brown, after which she Tweeted that she had used the private toilet in Mr Brown's study.

She was also delighted to meet Peter Andre, who planted a kiss on her head, and counted DJ Chris Evans and Calum Best among her followers.

Ivy, a former mill worker, first hit the headlines as the oldest person to embrace technology when she joined Facebook at the age of 102, quickly clocking up several thousand followers and giving her celebrity status

When Ivy was born in 1905, the quickest method of communication was the telegram, and it was not until seven years later that the first national telephone work was established.

One of eight children, Ivy Asquith worked in a mill from the age of 14 and then married Harold Bean, a soldier in the Royal Army Service Corps. After the Second World War they worked in service for the Lord and Lady Guiness at Greens Norton Hall in Northampton.

Ivy retired at 73, a few years after her husband passed away, aged 75. She is living at Hillside Manor care home in Bradford which she moved to at the grand age of 101 after her last care home closed down.

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