Why Colyton residents live longer

COLYTON and Lyme Regis have been named among the top ten places in England for longevity.

COLYTON and Lyme Regis have been named among the top ten places in England for longevity.

A pension expert named Colyton as fifth and Lyme Regis as sixth in a nationwide poll to find the towns and villages where you are likely to live the longest.

Colyton was beaten to the top slot by Monacute, in Somerset.

The towns were among six south west towns and villages to make it into the top ten.

Compared to the West Country, parts of the north scored poorly in the poll.

Bootle in Merseyside, and areas of Glasgow, achieved low marks.

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The study was carried out by international business consultancy Watson Wyatt.

Insurance companies and pension fund bosses are keen to learn the areas where people live longest.

COLYTON residents Peggy Voysey, Susan Hay and Roger Bagg, put the town's long life down to the community spirit.

Brainwave volunteer Ms Hay said: "I have lived here all my life. It's good news. People are friendly, and I think that helps. There's also a good standard of living."

And Ms Voysey, who turns 90 this week, also welcomed the news. She said: "I think it's because we are all being looked after so well. It's so different from what it used to be like - with medical advances - and now everybody lives on pills!

"It's lovely here. People are so friendly."

Mr Bagg, 70, said: "I think everybody seems to be happy. There's a good community spirit. I think most people know each other and I suppose the quality of life is good and relaxed."

He added that there were many social activities for older residents, which helps keep them mentally and physically active.

Butcher Anton Bolton, 44, was less concerned by the findings. He said: "Hopefully, I've got a fair bit of time to go yet. I think it [long life] must be down to the meat!"

Charles Lulham, 67, was more sceptical about the findings. He believes the town's residents' longevity is another example of the north and south divide.

He pointed out that the top 10 were south of the Thames, and the worst were south of the river Humber.

"I don't think it's just a lifestyle issue," he said. "I think it's the north/south divide. I think it's a combination of economy and weather.

"People tend to gravitate to the south when they retire, and when they have got money. So people here tend to be more affluent.

He also questioned if it was simply about a healthy lifestyle.

He said: "You can make statistics make out what you like. They're trying to promote healthy living.