By Lucy Notarantonio
A tech-savvy elderly couple – with the combined age of 175 – have racked up 140k followers after sharing their day-to-day life on Instagram.
Great grandfather-of-ten, Geoffrey Walker, 89, originally set up the account to keep in touch with his family in 2016 – but his comical videos have since become a hit with people all over the globe.
From fruit cake tutorials, weather updates, food shopping, knitting and even hanging their laundry on the washing line, Pauline, 86 and Geoffrey, from Coalville, Leics, have gained a huge fan base by sharing their daily lives.
The former plumber says he receives thousands of messages a day and it would like a ‘full time job’ if he was to reply to them all.
He said: “Young people find it fascinating that we are on Instagram, but I have always been good with computers ever since they were invented.
“We have three children, five grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren – it seemed Instagram was the easiest way to contact our family and keep them up to date with what we are doing.
“We had about 80 to 90 followers who were friends and family but a young woman from the village put our Instagram on her twitter and the next day we had 18,000 followers.
“I must admit I thought I had been hacked; I had no idea what had happened.
“And now we are officially verified and have made many friends from America, Germany and New Zealand, it is amazing.
“We couldn’t possibly reply to all messages as sometimes I wake up and there’s about 3000, I delete them and then there’s another pile.”
Geoffrey says they call all of their Instagram followers ‘friends’ as they enjoy speaking to them all on a daily basis.
He added: “We don’t call them followers, we call them friends.
“I taught myself how to use social media as I have always been good with technology ever since computers were as big as my whole living room.
“I now have a Motorola smartphone, iPad and two Apple Macs.
“I usually wake up an hour before Pauline, so I read the bible then scroll through Instagram for an hour before making her a cup of tea and breakfast.
“We have been married since 1951 and I tend to receive messages from young men asking for marriage advice.
“The answer I give them is simple; just say ‘sorry, it’s my fault’ and then there will be no problem.
“Pauline always tells people to ‘never go to bed on an argument’.
“We have a host of Instagram grandchildren who comment to ask if we can be their grandparents, we say yes of course but don’t forget our birthday presents.”
It has been a great tool for Geoffrey to kick start his writing career as he wrote a book called ‘Parted by Conflict’ – which includes love letters between Pauline and himself whilst he was serving in World War II – and has been able to sell it through their social media platform.
But despite some profits from the book, the couple say they have turned down paid influencer opportunities and instead choose to promote their local community.
Pauline, who is a retired arts and crafts teacher, said: “We receive some lovely messages and many people say we have brightened up their day which is great to hear.
“We are aware you can get paid online by posting advertisements, but we don’t need money, we are happy in our house and garden.
“We like to fundraise for our community and charity only.
“We have a handful of people who we speak to every other day, I have even knitted a lovely blanket for one’s new-born who is on the other side of the world.”
Geoffrey encourages the elderly to communicate with their family through Instagram but admits it is ‘worrying’ at times.
He said: “I think social media is great if it is used correctly, some people use it for the wrong reasons like trolls or scamming.
“We have had a few nasty messages, but I just delete them.”