Golden Oldies: WRVS Power list

Wednesday, 29 June 2011 12:40

The Queen joins Mick Jagger on list of the nation's powerful Golden Oldies

Based on WRVS Power list (see bottom of page to download full report)

At first sight, the Queen, Sir Alex Ferguson, the manager of Manchester United, and Rolling Stone Sir Mick Jagger do not have a great deal in common.  But at age 85, 70 and 67 respectively all make a newly–published ''gold age power list'' of the country's most influential pensioners.

The list aims to challenge stereotypes and misconceptions about older people. It was compiled by the charity WRVS (please see the full list attached), which said the country's ageing population is too often seen as a ''looming disaster''.

Others featured on the list of 66 men and women aged over 66 include Doris Lessing, 92, the writer, Michael Eavis, 75, the Glastonbury festival founder, Richard Dawkins, 70, the scientist, and Delia Smith, 69, whose book How to Cheat at Cooking was the fastest selling cookery book of all time.

The list was divided into six sections – arts and literature, business, entertainment and music, public service, sciences and academia, and sport and adventure. The judging panel then selected a winner in each field.

The Queen, who carried out more than 444 engagement last year, topped the public service section. The list of honour also includes 11 non–celebrity ''local heroes'' who are helping their communities.

The 66–year threshold was chosen because it is the year at which people can claim their state pension and also because the baby boomers, born in 1945, turn 66 this year.

Lynne Berry, the chief executive of WRVS, said: ''A measure of society is how it sees old people, and in the UK there are too many negative assumptions about being old – that older people are a drain on society or a burden for the next generation. But this is simply not true.

''Our list demonstrates the extraordinary social and cultural contribution older people make and it was incredibly difficult to agree a final list of 66 people, as there is such a wealth of talent, contribution and impact older people are making in the UK.

''We want to help make Britain a great place to grow old, with a society that has a positive view of older people and recognises values and capitalises on the contribution they can make – and we hope this list plays an important role in changing outdated attitudes towards older people and encouraging even more people to volunteer for organisations like ours.

The list 66 big–hitters over the age of 66

Arts & Literature

Winner Diana Athill, 93 David Hockney, 73 John Le Carre, 79 Doris Lessing, 92 Germaine Greer, 72 Jilly Cooper, 74 Lucian Freud, 89 PD James, 90 Richard Rogers, 77 Ruth Rendell, 81 Simon Jenkins, 67 Tom Stoppard, 74

Business

Winner Delia Smith, 69 Ann Gloag, 68 Anwar Pervez, 75 Jack Petchey, 85 Philip Harris, 68 Terence Conran, 79 Vivienne Westwood, 70

Entertainment & Music

Winner David Attenborough, 85 Billy Connolly, 68 Bruce Forsyth, 83 Colin Davis, 83 Ian McKellen, 72 Judi Dench, 76 Mick Jagger, 67 Paul McCartney, 69 Tom Jones, 70 Vanessa Redgrave, 74

Public Service

Winner The Queen, 85 Michael Eavis, 75 Carol Black, 71 Mary Warnock, 87 Richard Harries, 74 Ruth Deech, 68 Sally Greengross, 75 Shirley Williams, 80

Sciences & Academia

Winner Robert Winston, 70 Dorothy Rowe, 71 James Lovelock, 91 Jane Goodall, 77 Magdi Yacoub, 75 Patrick Moore, 88 Richard Dawkins, 70 Stephen Hawking, 69

Sport & Adventure

Winner Michael Palin, 68 Alex Ferguson, 70 Anita Lonsborough, 69 Bobby Charlton, 73 Chris Bonington, 76 Connie Adam, 83 Henry Cecil, 68 Mary Peters, 70 Ranulph Fiennes, 67 Stirling Moss, 81

Local Heroes

Eunice Belgrave, 76 Alice Cleland, 70 Marion Cornick, 70 Ted Cowling, 91 Raymond Davies, 72 Pat Goodwin, 88 Doris Long, 96 George Mabon, 70 Bill Morris, 79 Jean Munro, 77 Anne Seymour, 76

Published in the Telegraph, 26 June 2011