Bideford twins celebrate 40th birthday

Darren Hedden (left) with daughter Allanah and Wayne Heddon with son William. Darren Hedden (left) with daughter Allanah and Wayne Heddon with son William.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013
2:00 PM

The last twins to be born in a Bideford Nursing Home are celebrating their 40th birthday on Thursday.

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Twins Darren and Wayne Hedden were the last babies to be born in Grenville Nursing Home in Meddon Street.Twins Darren and Wayne Hedden were the last babies to be born in Grenville Nursing Home in Meddon Street.

A SET of twins who were the last babies to be born in a Bideford nursing home will turn 40 tomorrow (Thurs).

Darren and Wayne Hedden were born on November 21, 1973 at Grenville Nursing Home in Meddon Street, which has since been demolished.

Jenny Hedden said she and her husband Geoffrey had no idea they was expecting twins but were delighted when the identical brothers were born.

Mrs Hedden, 66, told the Gazette she was ‘spoilt rotten’ at the nursing home because she was the last mother in there to give birth.

“I think everyone at Grenville was just as surprised as me when I found out I was having twins,” said the mother-of-three.

“The last time twins had been born there was 13 years before - normally you would have to go to Barnstaple.

“In those days you spent 10 days in there after giving birth and the babies would be looked after in the nursery until they needed feeding, when they’d be brought to you.”

Mrs Hedden, who grew up in Bideford but now lives in Weare Giffard, still visits her midwife, Alice Johns, who is 98 and lives in Rose Hill Rest Home in Bideford.

“She still asks me how the boys are, and I bring her photographs,” she said.

Darren and Wayne, who went to Great Torrington School, have both moved away from the town now and have families of their own.

Wayne lives in California with his wife Monica and three children, and Darren lives in Dublin with his wife Pauline and their three children.

“They were very close but never used to dress the same,” said Mrs Hedden.

“It would always been great fun when they played cricket and no one would ever know when they had changed ends.

“I remember when they both passed their driving test on the same day and they even made it into the Sun newspaper.”

The two brothers will return to Bideford for Christmas to see their parents and their younger brother Ross, who also has three children.

“It will be so lovely to have the family together again,” said Mrs Heddon.

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