MEET Robyn and Scarlett Atherton – identical twin girls born on different days.

The newborns came into the world just 18 minutes apart either side of midnight — and despite sharing many things throughout their lives they will never share a birthday.

Mum Deb Atherton enjoyed an "easy pregnancy" before being induced when she suffered pre-eclampsia at 36 weeks.

She went on to have the twins naturally 12 hours later — Robyn first at 11.55pm on Sunday, November 9, then Scarlett at 12.13am on Monday, November 10.

Proud parents Deb and husband Stuart say the pair are doing well and cannot bear to be apart from each other — cuddling up together when they can for comfort.

Mrs Atherton, of Deane Court in the town centre, said: "As it got towards midnight we all joked in the delivery suite that the babies might come on different days — and then it happened.

"It doesn't matter to us though. It might be that as they get older they want to celebrate it on the same day — or they might want to have their own identity. It's up to them.

"They're so placid and happy together. It feels like they are most comfortable when they are next to each other. If I pick one up to feed and leave the other they get a bit upset like they are missing her sister — then they are happy again once they're back together."

Older sister Robyn was born at 4lbs 5oz while her younger sister was slightly heavier weighing 5lbs 11oz

Mrs Atherton said: "I have a lot of twins in the family so I guess there was always a good chance I would have them.

"I have sisters who are twins, cousins who are twins and aunties who are twins.

"I have always wanted two children though so when I found out I was pregnant with twins I was really happy as it meant only one pregnancy.

"It was a bit overwhelming at first but I was really lucky because I had an easy pregnancy.

"I had no morning sickness, no horrible side effects.

"But then I had pre-eclampsia and I was on a drip before they induced me, so it wasn't all plain sailing. I just took it in my stride the best I could and thankfully managed to get through it with the help of my family."

Deb and her husband Stuart, both aged 35, are now putting together a memory box for their daughters, which will include keepsakes like hospital name tags, first bibs — and a copy of The Bolton News.

Mr Atherton, a trainer for a medical legal company, said: "It's a shame that Robyn was born on a Sunday as there is no Bolton News out on that day, so they will have to share the Monday paper.

"I made the memory box for my two other children and it is a really nice idea to add different keepsakes from their lives as they grow up.

"The twins are sharing one so even though they don't share a birthday they get to share their memories."