This family arrives two by two

FOUR sets of twins spanning three generations means that for one Shellharbour City family, seeing double is almost par for the course.

When Taryn Kingcott gave birth to twins Chaise and Levi Hockey earlier this month, it continued a rare family tradition, but one which brings considerable joy.

The twins' father, Shellharbour's Jack Hockey, is a twin to his sister Amelia, also of Shellharbour.

Their father Noel Hockey has an identical twin, Neville.

Jack and Amelia's mother Julie Sowerby, 56, has a fraternal twin of her own, Peter.

Shellharbour resident Julie said she was stunned to learn that her 22-year-old son was to be the father of twins, born on January 10.

"[Regarding her own children], I was always told it would skip a generation," she said.

"I was very surprised.

"But I was floored when Jack told me they were having twins."

Julie's mother Margaret was raised in West Wyalong, while her father John hailed from the city.

The pair moved from Sydney with their children to Shellharbour 40 years ago.

Neville and Noel are the sons of former long-time Shellharbour councillor Keith Hockey and wife Ena.

Of the four sets of twins, they are the only identical ones.

"Noel [jokes that] he thinks you have to be identical to be a twin," Julie said.

"Peter and I are fraternal, and that's very different.

"We have to say we're twins, whereas you just look at Neville and Noel.

"Peter and I had the same friends, and we were the eldest of eight kids."

Neville lives in Barrack Heights, and thoroughly enjoys the twin experience.

"I reckon it couldn't get any better," he said.

"As you get older, you get closer."

During their early years the pair - "mad keen league players and swimmers" - enjoyed playing tricks on unsuspecting folks.

"We even swapped in a rugby league game once, a representative game, and no-one noticed," Noel said.

The identical twins still enjoy a spot of banter, and remain close.

"We still meet every Wednesday night at Warilla Bowling Club, with our younger brother," Neville said.

While they largely dismissed the oft-suggested extra sensory perception (ESP) that allegedly occurs between twins, Thirroul resident Peter somewhat embraced it.

"One day, Julie had been attacked by a dog, and I could just sense something was wrong, so I jumped in the car and went to her place and was the first one there," he said.

"This was before the time of mobile phones.

"It's a special bond between the twins."

Jack said there were plenty of ups and downs while growing up as a twin, but "as you get older, we've become very good friends".

"It is something special; people always ask if we can sense each other," he said.

"It should be a special family bond for them to grow up with," he said of his newborn children.

Julie was pleased that the successive generations remained tight-knit.

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