The theme for this week’s #52Ancestors is Sisters. I have struggled with this one but then I thought as we have just celebrated Mother’s Day in the UK, I would celebrate my mum and her twin sister and take the opportunity to share some of the many photos I have collected of the pair. A photo of the ‘Pilbeam Twins’ always had the same conversation, “Which one is which”?
The twins were born on 9 September 1943 at Worthing Hospital. Davina Mary came first and Hilary Margaret second. The lived at Punnetts Town, where their dad, Ron Pilbeam worked on the family farm at Three Cups and mum, Edith looked after the four children, Neville and Enid born before the twins and helped at the Dairy.
They attended the village school at Punnetts Town where their Auntie Eva Pilbeam was a teacher and where now, my mum’s grandsons attend. After that they moved to Heathfield Secondary School.
Mum tells many stories about helping Grandad on his milk round in the late 50s early 60s especially the hard winter of 62/63. She also tells stories of the fun they used to get up to pretending to be each other for boyfriends, teachers etc.
Mum married my dad in September 1964 at the Rest Gospel Hall at Cade Street and Davina or as she was known, Auntie Beana married Philip Greenacre in 1968 at Oulton Broad, Norfolk. They lived in Lowestoft. I have some faint memories of the wedding. My grandad took me out of the service, at the age of 2 1/2 I was probably restless and we went and woke the ducks up on the Broad.
Mum and Dad had 3 children, me and a younger sister and brother and Davina and Philip had two children, a boy and a girl. At some point in the early 70s Davina and Philip divorced and she came back with my cousins to live in Sussex and they attended the same school as us in Hailsham.
Sadly Auntie Beana died in May 1998 and she is missed for the fun we used to have with her as children. Mum had a stroke in 2016, survived and carries on to this day.
Looking at my family tree I am surprised at the number of sets of twins that appear on both sides of the family. I found one family in the 1600s that gave birth to two sets of twins but sadly I don’t think any survived to adulthood. I wonder how many of the twins on my tree were known for being identical like mum and her sister.