WEEKEND reports of a mother having two children within nine months sounded all too familiar for a Loftus woman.

For Mrs Sylvia Swan had two boys within 266 days and she feels the births should have gone into the Guinness Book of Records at the time in 1956.

Proudly showing off the birth certificates for her sons Ronald and Stephen, aged 44 and 45, she said: "For anyone to do this is most unusual, but particularly in those days when there was not the same level of medical help as there is now."

Ronald was born on March 4, weighing 5lbs 4oz and a full-term baby. Stephen arrived on November 25, weighing 4lbs and two months premature.

Mrs Swan also had a daughter, Carolyn, in 1960.

But this year is especially poignant as its dates are parallel to those of 1956, so the boys' birthdays are on the exact days as when they were born.

Mrs Swan, who lives in Tyne Street, says that in the years following, she encountered various problems.

"The births caused quite a bit of trouble. I was often accused of filling in forms wrongly because no-one believed the boys' ages," she said. "I had to get their birth certificates as proof.

"Back then it was most unusual for two babies to be born so close together and survive. It is more normal now."

Mrs Swan is now 65 and widowed, with three grandchildren. Ronald lives in Saltburn and Stephen and Carolyn are in Redcar