Names on the buses

708 Daisy and Violet Hilton

Connections with Brighton and Hove : The world’s best known Siamese or conjoined twins last century, Daisy and Violet Hilton, were born and bred in Brighton. Their mother was a single woman. Kate Skinner, who worked as a barmaid. Born in 1908, they were joined at their hips and buttocks and were fused at the pelvis. But they shared no major organs. Skinner’s employer, Mary Hilton, who ran the Queen’s Arms in George Street, Brighton, helped deliver them and took over their lives. She advertised them extensively and displayed the girls in a back room to anyone prepared to pay for the privilege. With the proceeds, Mary and her husband Henry were able to buy a bigger pub called the North Star. She also took them on a nationwide tour and billed them as the United Twins. Mary Hilton, who was extremely strict with the girls, took them to the USA with her daughter and husband who became managers. In 1931, after Mary’s death, the twins successfully sued their managers for damages and gained their independence. They stopped side shows and went into vaudeville. Both the twins married and had affairs. They wore different clothes so that they could be told apart. They starred in films including one called Freaks. They settled in Florida but as interest in them declined, they were forced into dead end jobs, the last in a grocery store. They died from flu in 1969.

708 Scania Omnicity - carried name since delivery in December 2008 in Metro 5 livery. Repainted into standard livery April 2013. Route 27 branding added July 2013.