After 90 years of eating the exact same meals, dressing in similar clothes and having the same hairstyle, two non-identical twins decided enough was enough and agreed to go their own separate ways.
Living eyeball to eyeball, shoulder to shoulder and cheek by jowl with the same person for 90 years is not something most of us will ever have to experience.
Yet for devoted twins Joan and Jessie Baker, it’s a way of life. For 90 years, the sisters from Pelsall, West Midlands shared the same home, the same wardrobe, the same food, and even the same hairdresser.
They were quite simply inseparable from one another.
So after nine decades together, why did Joan and Jessie decide to make the leap and live apart?
Jessie, the younger sister by 20 minutes, admits that, although they’ve always liked one another’s company, they fancied a change.
“We’ve always liked being together. We just wanted somewhere different. We fancied a change and a move. But I wanted a bungalow and Joan wanted a ground floor flat so we thought we would try separately.”
Speaking to The Daily Mail, Jessie confessed that although they now live apart, they’re only five minutes away from one another and not a lot has really changed.
“Although we don’t live together any more – we’re not really apart. We still have lunch and dinner together every day and it’s not that different.”
Born in 1918, just a few months before the end of the First World War, from day one Joan and Jessie wore the same clothes and even the same underwear thanks to loving mum Alice.
During their identical childhoods, they did everything together and pined for one another when they were apart.
When they both came of age at 21, the two twins didn’t go far. They moved into their own shared home on the same street as their parents.
After sharing the same class in school, the two twins started work in the same jobs. First Joan and Jessie made purses and belts in a leather factory, and then, during the Second World War, they both worked in a munitions factory where they spent their days polishing shells.
Post-war employment pressures entailed that the two twins worked apart for a brief spell, but Joan and Jessie were soon reunited as shop assistants at a chemists, where they worked for 15 years.
Neither twin married or had children, and in 1970, they moved into the same flat which they shared up until six years ago.
Now in their 90s, the twins have the same carer who prepares for them the exact same meals, and the twins still insist upon having the exact same grocery shop lists as one another.
For some people, living on top of one another for 90 years may feel like a life sentence, but for the twins, it’s a dream come true.
“We love being as identical as we can be. We didn’t get married because we wanted to stay together – we were too busy being twins. We’ve had a busy life. If someone asks me what I’d like from the shops, I don’t need to think, I just ask: ‘What’s Jessie having? Get me the exact same thing.”
And as you’d expect, Joan mirrors her sister Jessie’s sentiments perfectly.
“I would say she’s the bossy one, and that she talks the most, but she would say the same about me. We’ve always just been called ‘The Twins’ – when we were younger we were always getting into mischief and it was ‘The Terrible Twins’. But Jessie is the best sister I could ask for – she’s lively, funny and she’s always there when I feel down.”
Now that’s what you call a match made in Heaven.
[Image Via expressandstar.com]