Landlady sees double

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What the landlady saw: two Margarets and two Mr Holmans. Derick is inset

When checking into a B&B in Keswick, their old home town, Derick and Margaret Holman of Rye were dumbfounded to be asked if they had inadvertently booked twice. Two bookings for similar periods existed, both in the same surname.

At breakfast next morning Tracey Baker, the landlady, stopped serving her guests to introduce the Holmans to the Holmans. After a few words Derick and Victor realised that they were first cousins. Over the past 50 years, they calculated, they had met for a total of three hours.

Derick and Margaret Holman own and operate Past & Present in the High Street, Rye; Victor and his wife, also called Margaret, live in Brandon, Suffolk, and own a carpet-fitting business.

Trying to calculate the chances of members of the same family checking into the same accommodation for the same period of time must be in the thousands or millions to one. Whatever the odds, Tracey of Hall Garth B&B was relieved that both bookings were needed.

Photo: Derick Holman