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Seeing double in Oban may not be a trick of the eye.
It seems the town has a bigger than average number of twins, with at least 15 sets under school age – and a midwife at Oban hospital is also a twin.
Oban has about 40 sets living in and around the town; Mull has twins and so does Ardfern. A busy Argyll Twins Facebook page has more than 30 members.
Mums Laura Campbell, Kristeen Macleod and Sheobn Campbell all lived in the same Glencruitten street before they had their twins. Laura’s grandmother was a twin and her partner Lee’s sister also has twin girls – her own girls Hailie and Hollie are nine months old.
Margaret Campbell-Black, also from Oban, has two sets of twins with a 10-year gap between her non-identical twin boys and identical girls Nicole and Demi who are eight months old.
Once a month, on the first Tuesday, Park Family Learning Centre flings open its doors to Oban Twin Club, giving tots the chance to play and parents an opportunity to share chat, stories and experiences.
‘The twin boom seems to come in waves _ every two to three years or so in Oban. Maybe they should put out a warning not to drink the water! We’re due another boom in about 18 months time,’ said Kristeen, mum to 16-month-olds Sarah and Campbell Macleod.
‘Even the twin consultant in Glasgow has picked up on it and made a comment about the water!’ added Kristeen.
Having twins came as a complete shock for Ailidh Campbell whose three-year-old son Eachann likes to tag along to twin club with his younger siblings Rowan and Somhairlie.
Twins Sarah and Campbell Macleod were born eight weeks premature and had to spend five weeks is neo-natal care before they could come home. The pair, who were separated for the first time when Sarah was airlifted to hospital in Glasgow last December, have a real bond but are different characters.
‘Sarah is the wildest, she’s the real wildchild of the family but that’s because she had to fight when she was born. It was because of her that they had to come early,’ said mum Kristeen.
‘Coming to twin club is good to catch up with others. It’s different having twins compared to singletons, so it’s nice to spend time with people who understand just what it’s like. It might be double trouble sometimes but it’s also twice the fun!’she added.
Oban Twin Club was started by mums in 2015, the group nearly folded when numbers dwindled but the last boom bought it bouncing back.
Elaine Munro, who runs Park Family Learning Centre said: ‘It’s lovely seeing them all grow. It’s not easy parking up multiple numbers of double-buggy prams in town for the mums to meet up so here’s a good place for them all. They can even go at the end and leave me to clear up!’
According to the NHS, one in every 65 births in the UK today are twins, triplets or more. Back in 1984, one in every 100 births was a multiple birth.
More than 5,000 miles flying distance from Oban, Cândido Godói in the south of Brazil with a population of about 7,000 inhabitants has a phenomenal number of twins. The rate is 10 times higher than the national average and no one knows why despite a team of geneticists working with the community for a number of years trying to solve the mystery.