Triplets celebrate 80th birthday

Triplets, left to right, Mary Beal, Muriel Chipperfield and Margaret Beal celebrate their 80th birth

Triplets, left to right, Mary Beal, Muriel Chipperfield and Margaret Beal celebrate their 80th birthday. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

They were the first all-girl triplets in Sheffield to survive. Now, 80 years later, they have come together in Salhouse to celebrate a very special birthday.

Triplets Mary Beal, Muriel Chipperfield and Margaret Beal celebrate their 80th birthday. Pictured wi

Triplets Mary Beal, Muriel Chipperfield and Margaret Beal celebrate their 80th birthday. Pictured with their mum Eva when they were born.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Back on May 12, 1936, Eva Beal thought she was having twins. It was only after Margaret and Mary had emerged that she realised a third baby, Muriel, was also on her way.

Margaret and Mary are identical twins, while Muriel is non-identical, and the trio were local celebrities, with milestone birthdays and events marked in Sheffield newspapers.

Their mother was not keen on seeing the triplets split up, but Muriel moved to Norwich in 1959 after her marriage to Roger Chipperfield, three years after they literally bumped into each other at the fair in Great Yarmouth.

Mrs Chipperfield, who lives on Norwich Road, Salhouse, said: 'We went on the bumper cars. We bumped each other. He was tall and the other one was smaller. My friend thought she would go with Roger, as she was tall. They followed us to our lodgings. The next day we went back to see them again. That's how it started.'


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It was a long and happy marriage, and the couple had four children. Mr Chipperfield died last year at the age of 80.

Neither Margaret nor Mary married, and they have lived together in Sheffield for the past 80 years.

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Sometimes, sharing a first initial, surname, date of birth and an address can cause difficulties. A bank computer once put all their money in one sister's account, leaving the other's empty, and they have problems getting two prescriptions from the chemist, rather than just one.

Their birthday celebrations included a trip to Spain, and today they will have friends around to celebrate.

Do you have a special anniversary? Email jemma.walker@archant.co.uk

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