After 35 years a golden oldie turns up his fins: Britain’s oldest goldfish, Splash, loses lifelong tank buddy, Splish.
When his children brought two goldfish home from the fair in a water-filled plastic bag, Richard Wright thought they might survive for a few months.
But for 35 years, Splish and Splash proved him wrong … until this week, when Splish sadly departed this world for that great big fishbowl in the sky.
It means Splash, believed to be Britain’s oldest living goldfish, is alone for the first time since 1977.
Mr Wright, 68, said: ‘I found Splish floating dead in the bowl. Splash looks as if he is coping fine and he’s just swimming around as normal.’ ‘It was actually quite sad to see him go, because we’d known him for so long… more than half my lifetime.’
He and his wife Ann had looked after the two fish ever since their children Hayley and Matthew, then aged six and nine, won them at the fair.
Mr Wright, a retired human resources consultant from Brockworth, Gloucestershire, said: ‘We certainly didn’t expect them to live this long – it’s incredible. The children eventually grew up and left home but Splish and Splash stayed put with us. The kids are in their forties now.’
Splish and Splash shared the same bowl for more than two decades. Around ten years ago they moved house – into a new tank equipped with a filter, which Mr Wright nicknamed the ‘Old Fish Home’.
Common goldfish normally live for between five and 15 years. Those kept in small tanks, like Splish and Splash, are not generally expected to live for more than ten.
But Splash still has a long way to go to beat the world record holder – Tish, a goldfish which died at the grand old age of 43 in 2005.