Bond still strong between twins, 90

editorial image

TWINS who have lived inseparable lives are celebrating their 90th birthday today.

Betty Beesley and Phyllis Drinkwater have lived together in Duston for the past 24 years since both became widows but both have strong connections to the city, with Phyllis working at Bletchley Park where she collected codebreaking messages during the war.

The pair, who said they were only complete in each other’s presence, believed their constant companionship and contentment was the key to a long and happy life.

Betty, who has three children, said: “I’m the quiet one, you have to have a quiet one, and Phyllis is the outward going one. She can tackle anything, I love her very much. There is a special bond between twins, twins are special.

“Often I go to do something at the same time Phyllis thinks to do it.

The girls were dressed the same until their teens, when their individuality first started to come through. But the identical twins have regularly had to correct people on who is who.

Betty added: “I remember one time my husband answered the door ‘hello, darling’ and it was Phyllis, but we never meant to trick people.”

Betty met her husband Walter before the war, and recalled once hiding from a bomb which they saw drop from an enemy fighter plane above Bradwell.

The pair were married on his return from Burma in 1945.

Phyllis, who worked at Bletchley Park collecting coded messages during the war, went on to marry in 1964 and has two stepchildren.

Phyllis added: “I can’t believe the number of years that have gone by.

“I very much enjoyed being part of the war effort; even though I didn’t know what the messages said I knew it was important.”

She added: “We keep ourselves fit and healthy and have wonderful family and friends around us.

“We get great companionship from each other, and we enjoy a little sherry.

“We get on so well, it really is lovely.

“Betty is the most affectionate person I have ever met.”

The pair celebrated with a family party last weekend .

Betty’s daughter, Felicity Bignell, aged 54, said: “The pair of them really are quite a legend.

“They really make people laugh wherever they go.

“Together they really are quite comical.

“Their special bond has always been so obvious.”