Mirror twins turn 90 and reflect on a wonderful life
Two spitting-image sisters have had identical lives for 90 years – sharing the same jobs, same holidays and even their wedding day, complete with the same bridal dresses.
Born 15 minutes apart, identical twins Maureen Newton and Gwen Jones even pretended to be each other to confuse people, including their own husbands.
The inseparable duo shared their big day and tied the knot at the same time – saying their vows in unison.
Maureen and Gwen were walked down the aisle by their proud dad, Alb Sadler, a bookmaker, who held one twin on each arm.
The sisters wed in September 1950, holding the same bouquets and wearing identical £3 10 shilling wedding dresses for the big day in front of 100 guests. They now live just seven miles apart in Newport, south Wales, after lives spent working in the same factories and going on the same holidays.
Gwen said: “Our mum, Rosie, had no idea she was expecting twins and then I popped out! We have always loved being identical twins. It was impossible to tell us apart – on our first day at school we had our initials, ‘M’ and ‘G’, pinned on to our clothes so the teachers would know which one of us they were speaking to.
“Even Dad would get me confused with Maureen all the time. We thought it was very funny.”
At school the girls were in the same class and were inseparable – and their favourite games were skipping, hopscotch and marbles.
Gwen said: “When we left school we started work and got jobs in the same factory. And when it came to boyfriends we loved nothing more than pretending to be each other. Mind you, it didn’t always go down too well with the boys!
“We both loved reading magazines with glamorous stars like Rita Hayworth and Ava Gardner.
“We knew a dressmaker, and we’d show her photographs of what the stars would be wearing and she’d whip up exact copies for both of us. We’d go out dressed up in our matching outfits feeling like film stars.”
The pair then both fell in love – though not exactly at the same time. Maureen met Johnny when she was 19, and Gwen met her husband, Mel, when she was 22.
But when the twins accepted offers of marriage there was only one way to go – a joint wedding.
Maureen said: “Gwen went shopping with our mother and came back and said to me, ‘that’s your wedding dress.’ When we got married our dad walked us down the aisle holding one of us on each arm. There was quite a crowd outside the church to welcome us because it was unusual for a double wedding to happen.
“We said our vows together and our husbands-to-be wore the same suits as each other.”
Maureen said that after they got married together and went on honeymoon to Blackpool they even bought matching nighties that had blue bows on them.
Maureen married John Newton, who died aged 65, after meeting him at a dance, and went on to have two sons – John and Paul.
Gwen married Melvin Jones, now also 90, who she met while working at a factory, and went on to have daughter Linda Stevens.
Melvin, a machine operator, would wait with a bag of toffees at work to give to Gwen in the mornings – but would get confused and give them to Maureen.
Gwen says: “We all loved going dancing together – jiving and jitterbug were two of our favourites.”
The nonagenarians have seven grandchildren and eight greatgrandchildren.
Gwen said: “Just recently we celebrated our 90th birthday together. In 90 years we can honestly say we have never fallen out once.
“I can’t imagine our lives without each other. We really are two halves of the same whole.”
> Twins Gwen Jones, left, and Maureen Newton. Inset, Gwen and Mel, left, and Maureen and Johnny on their wedding day and, right, celebrating their 90th birthdays