Ivy Bean's tweets documented fish and chip dinners, friendship with Peter Andre
Ivy Bean, 104, began tweeting last year from her residential home in the outskirts of Bradford in northern England, and amassed over 56,000 followers with posts telling of food, family visits, and even an invitation from Gordon Brown to meet the then Prime Minister in Downing Street.
Ivy had fallen ill last month, and her followers had been kept updated by Pat, the manager of Hillside Manor, over the last few weeks. It was Pat who bore the bad news on Wednesday.
“Ivy passed away peacefully at 12.08 this [Wednesday] morning,” she wrote just after 10 a.m., adding: “I'm sorry it took me so long to tell you but it was a very difficult thing to do.”
Ivy had originally become an internet sensation through Facebook, before switching to Twitter last year.
Her insights into life in a care home warmed the hardest social media user, as she explained the nuances of northern English bakery products — clarifying that parkin “is like ginger cake,” wished tweeters happy birthday and kept readers updated on her consumption of her favourite meal: fish and chips.
The great-grandmother even struck up an unlikely friendship with Peter Andre, meeting him last year and again last month — describing the singer as “wonderful” and One Foot in the Grave actor Victor Meldrew (“a right laugh”).
Followers had perhaps been braced for the worst after a six-day silence from Ivy in early June was broken by Pat informing tweeters that she had been taken ill.
The care home manager kept followers updated as Ivy suffered from jaundice in hospital — updating that a staff member from Hillside Manor had sneaked her in some fish and chips, earlier this month, before writing last Friday that Ivy had returned to the care home.
A further post promised Ivy would return to tweeting this Monday, but the message proved premature, and Twitter's oldest user passed away in the small hours of this morning.Despite Ivy having been unable to post for almost two months, the sight of “Ivy Bean” trending worldwide less than an hour after the announcement of her death seemed a fitting tribute to a woman whose warmth and simple enjoyment of life proved such a draw to so many. — © Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2010