BNC Text H4C

Nottinghamshire Oral History Project: interview. Sample containing about 16537 words speech recorded in leisure context

2 speakers recorded by respondent number C279

PS1Y5 Ag5 f (No name, age 72, retired midwife) unspecified
PS1Y6 X f (No name, age unknown) unspecified

1 recordings

  1. Tape 090801 recorded on 1980. LocationNottinghamshire: Burton Joyce () Activity: interview

Undivided text

(PS1Y5) [1] Yes.
[2] Well I was born, born at in nineteen eleven.
[3] So it's quite a long while ago and I've travelled round quite a bit since then.
[4] My father was a Methodist minister.
[5] So we moved round every three or at the most four years, and er we we've been up in Scotland and er Yorkshire, Lancashire, and down East Anglia.
[6] And er it wasn't until he came up to a, er in the Skegness circuit when I was eighteen that's when I started nursing.
[7] And erm I ca I came to [...] in the first place because it was the best teaching hospital in the Midlands at that time.
[8] And er it was near home as well so I, I should be able to get home for days off.
[9] That was the, the main thing.
(PS1Y6) [10] Oh was that, that was nice.
[11] Erm could you tell me about your father being a Methodist minister?
[12] He was, was he just moved on from time to time, or were they voluntary moves?
(PS1Y5) [13] No er in the Methodist er ci circuits they move them on, they're, they're invited for three years.
[14] Least they were at that time.
[15] And then at the end of the three years you were either invited to stay an, an extra year or s you were, you were sort of er you had an invitation from some other circuit.
[16] To go there.
[17] They used to send the stewards round and er you you'd suddenly see two new people in the congregation and they'd [laughing] come to hear the minister preach to see if he was a good preacher and then they'd go back to report.
[18] A and then he would either have an official invitation or should hear no more about it [] .
[19] But that was very difficult from th the children's point of view.
[20] There were, there were two erm boarding schools for Methodist ministers' children.
[21] There was for boys and for girls.
[22] Er and you could go to a boarding school but if you didn't you were moved round every three or four years at the most to a different school.
[23] Er and my brother went to a boarding school but I didn't.
[24] And I've, it was always a big handicap because the syllabuses at different schools were different.
[25] You'd go to a school where they'd been doing French or Latin for two or three years and you hadn't done any at all.
[26] It was very very difficult.
[27] So I, I can't really say my school days were the happiest days, they certainly weren't.
(PS1Y6) [28] Mm.
[29] Was there any reason why your brother was sent to a boarding school but you weren't?
(PS1Y5) [30] Well not really.
[31] Boys in those days they were always given the best education.
[32] Girls it wasn't nearly so important that they should be er er an and also I, I don't [laughing] think my parents thought I was really worth educating [] .
[33] They didn't think I was very bright or very brainy.
[34] I was a very er quiet child and er very little self confidence.
[35] I think that was a lot of it.
[36] And they didn't expect very much of me from my school reports and I thought, well if they didn't expect I you know I wasn't capable of it.
[37] And it wasn't really until I left school and er went into nursing that I thought, now this is something I'm starting on ev even with everybody else.
[38] Er and something I really wanted to do, and really enjoyed.
[39] Th that's where I, I really started in and sort of showed what I was made of.
[40] I could come out top in my exams then when I never did at school, I never did anything much at school at all.
(PS1Y6) [41] Do you think this was er special to your family that you were treated as you weren't a brainy one or do you think that was the way girls were generally treated?
(PS1Y5) [42] I, I think it was largely the way most girls were treated.
[43] Th you know it was just the sort of ... it, it all changed after the First World War and completely changed after the Second World War.
[44] Before then you, you were sort of, you were a girl.
[45] You stayed at home and helped in the home until you were old enough.
[46] Then you got married then and that was sort of the sum total of it.
[47] And it wasn't really until after the First World War when things really sort of er got started and er women sort of carried on and, and they do take jobs and occupations er that they sort of really came into their own.
[48] And certainly during the Second World War where they kept things going an and could prove that they were as [laughing] good as any man [] .
[49] But even ... until ooh when, I, I can remember my daughter when she er was going to university.
[50] There were certain subjects that they said, keep off, because it doesn't matter how clever you are.
[51] It doesn't matter how good a degree you get.
[52] It will go for nothing.
[53] If a man applies and he, even if he hasn't got as good qualifications as y as you've got, you won't have a, stand an earthly.
[54] The man will always get the job.
[55] Well that has changed a lot now and I think it i it, it is a good thing as well. [door knock]
(PS1Y6) [56] Do you think you were conscious as a child at the difference between the way your brother was treated and the way yourself?
(PS1Y5) [57] No.
[58] I think I just accepted it.
[59] He was younger than I was.
[60] Er he was a delicate baby and I was always the sturdy one and I was always expected to give in to him and sort of coddle him an an he, he, he was always sort of put first.
[61] I never minded at all.
[62] No.
[63] It didn't bother me.
[64] I think most people were the same in those days.
(PS1Y6) [65] Did you have to help around the house when you were a child?
(PS1Y5) [66] Not a great deal.
[67] We, we were expected, we did, we were expected to keep our own rooms tidy.
[68] And make our own beds but ... not, not a great deal.
[69] You see in those days i people i servants were so ... you could get servants so easily ev even if you didn't have somebody living in er you, you'd have a daily person.
[70] They saw to all the washing up.
[71] Er and that sort of thing.
[72] But no we weren't expected to do a lot in the house.
(PS1Y6) [73] Mm.
[74] So did you generally have a, a daily lady to come and help or
(PS1Y5) [75] Yes.
[76] We did.
[77] When we were about nine and ten and a half we had somebody living in because there were an awful lot of evening meetings that my father had to go to and usually mother went with him.
[78] Which meant we'd always got somebody in the house, sort of baby-sitting really.
[79] That, that's her main, she used to sort of look after things and baby-sit for us in the evenings.
(PS1Y6) [80] Ha have you got any particular memories of your earliest childhood?
(PS1Y5) [81] Not a great deal.
[82] I, I can remember we were at in Lancashire.
[83] That was during the First World War, I should be I suppose about five then.
[84] Er we er my father was chaplain to a big military hospital there.
[85] And it was always sort of open house and the nurses used to come in when they were off duty a lot.
[86] And oh the, the soldiers, the wounded soldiers, they used to come as well.
[87] You could always tell who they were.
[88] They had sort of er er rather pretty blue er suits they used to wear with white shirts and red ties.
[89] You could always tell they were, they were er they'd been wounded and, and they were i in hospital by their dress.
[90] And they used to come in a lot.
[91] An and I think of course we were made quite a fuss of too.
[92] Er and I, I don't know whether that was where I got my first idea of being a nurse.
[93] I never wanted to be anything else but a nurse.
[94] It was the one thing I always wanted to do.
[95] I never wanted to do anything, it never entered my head to do anything else.
[96] Er so whether I unconsciously got it from there, I, I don't really know, I may have done.
(PS1Y6) [97] Yes.
[98] Were there any other family infu influences at all in this line?
[99] I know on your wall here you, you have a lovely portrait of your grandfather and grandmother.
(PS1Y5) [100] Yes, yes.
[101] Th they influenced my life a, a lot.
[102] My mother died when I'd be about eleven.
[103] And er course summer holidays we always used to go and spend them with granny and granddad.
[104] They had retired and they lived down at Lowestoft so it was a lovely place to go for summer holidays.
[105] And we always used to go there.
[106] Er and they did, they influenced, they influenced er me a lot, a lot really and I suppose they did my brother as well.
[107] But er we, we could always ask granddad if we wanted to know anything.
[108] How babies were born or, or anything.
[109] We always go and ask granddad.
[110] And he'd never tell us, he, he'd never, he'd always tell us as much as he thought we could accept.
[111] He was very modern really for his age,fo for er the time he lived in really.
[112] Cos in those days they didn't.
[113] I mean it just wasn't talked about.
[114] You, you, you, you, girls used to get married in those days, and they were extremely innocent, they'd really no idea at all.
[115] And yo when I look back an and er and think of even when I first started nursing a lot of the girls we used to get in, they thought if they kissed a man they were going to have a baby.
[116] They were very innocent.
[117] But er [laughing] things have changed a lot these days [] .
(PS1Y6) [118] Yes.
[119] What kind of job did your grandfather do?
(PS1Y5) [120] Ah he was a, he was a headmaster at a Methodist school at in Yorkshire.
[121] And er he'd worked his way up as a teacher, then he, he was a headmaster.
[122] And even then I, I would have sa thought he, he was very up to date.
[123] He used to have very definite ideas of, of er how to treat children.
[124] I don't know whether the psychiatrists would have agreed with him.
[125] But I know I could remember being taken round his school and in the main hall he'd got a glass fronted cupboard, and he'd got all sorts of well really and truly they were just pretty pebbles.
[126] I don't think they were anything much more than that.
[127] But they were all for certain things and I, I, I remember one er was for anybody who stuttered.
[128] And he'd got a boy who did stutter and he always used to go to granddad before er he when he came to school, before lessons and he'd give him this pebble and he'd say, now you can put it in your pocket.
[129] But always hold it, keep it and if you're holding that stone you won't stutter.
[130] And he didn't.
[131] And he got so he could gradually do without it and he never stuttered again.
[132] ... Most [laughing] amazing thing [] .
(PS1Y6) [133] Did he
(PS1Y5) [134] Probably, you know, lack of self confidence or something like that.
[135] But it did the trick.
(PS1Y6) [136] Yes.
[137] Did he have other pebbles er which had other cures?
[138] Was this what the pebbles were for?
(PS1Y5) [139] He may have done.
[140] I really don't know, but I do remember that one.
[141] I remember him telling me about that, that stone.
(PS1Y6) [142] Mm.
[143] You said that your grandmother played quite a part in your upbringing after your mother died.
(PS1Y5) [144] Yes, yes.
[145] Well she taught me to knit and she taught me to do a lot of embroidery and that sort of thing.
[146] She did certainly influence me in, in that way.
[147] But erm I still do, I still do a lot of knitting.
[148] I can't do any embroidery nowadays but I do, I sti I'm never st er I've never er stopped enjoying knitting.
[149] It's always been a hobby with me.
[150] And then she did a lot of tatting.
[151] You don't hear that these days.
[152] Erm and we never knew how she did it, she never had told anybody how she did it, it died with her I'm afraid.
[153] But everything she, everything she did always had some embroidery on.
[154] She never did anything jus just plain.
[155] It was amazing really and even, she was eighty two when she died and even then she was knitting her own jumper suits.
[156] And embroidery.
[157] Even the canary cover had an embroidery [laughing] on it.
[158] It was amazing [] .
[159] She'd ge nothing everything she did she had to sort of beautify it and put some embroidery on it.
(PS1Y6) [160] I, I take it that she didn't have a job as well.
(PS1Y5) [161] No.
[162] No.
[163] No.
[164] In those days women didn't seem to take part time jobs or jobs at all.
[165] I think if they did anything it, it was sort of charity work.
[166] Er and they did a lot of sewing for bazaars at church and that sort of thing.
[167] But er I don't really remember erm people going out to work much ex except, I suppose you'd call them the lower classes, or not really the working classes because er, but the lower classes they would take in washing.
[168] Er or they'd go out doi charring and go you know work the we used to have a woman come in once a week to do the washing.
[169] She'd come in and do the washing in the morning, and if it was a nice bright day she'd iron in the afternoon.
[170] For the whole family.
[171] Er and other er women would you know you'd take it to them an and they'd do it in, in their own homes.
[172] And it would come back already done.
[173] But other than that I don't think, women didn't do much I mean even in shops, the men were the shop assistants nearly always.
[174] So you didn't get women going out, nothing like, not like they do these days.
(PS1Y6) [175] And when you went to school, can you remember what wh that was like?
(PS1Y5) [176] Well I was never very happy at school.
[177] I never seemed to be ... sort of up to the other scholars at all.
[178] But er it was, the discipline was very much stricter than it is er today.
[179] Er nowadays so many things are just accepted that in those days they wouldn't be.
[180] I can remember one, one girl, I mean the great sin was to steal anything, and er they'd found in her, her satchel somebody else's pencil.
[181] Now whether it had got there by mistake we never knew but there was no question she was absolutely just dismissed on the spot.
[182] Sent home and that was it.
[183] But er any pinching or anything like that ooh it was erm it just wasn't accepted at all.
[184] It was a terrible crime.
[185] Whereas now I mean it's a case of if you lose anything it's your own fault for putting it down.
[186] It's, it's a terrible [laughing] state of affairs really.
[187] It's not improved at all.
[188] And of course the discipline in the classroom er it was very strict.
[189] [cough] There was neve never any talking in class.
[190] I mean it was, you, you were sent out of the room.
(PS1Y6) [191] Did you as children think that that was fair?
(PS1Y5) [192] Oh yes we did.
[193] Yes, we went to school to learn and we were told not to talk.
[194] If we talked well we, we expected it.
[195] Er there wasn't anything like the, well not to the schools that I went to, the corporal punishment that there seems to have been since.
[196] Er it w I don't ever remember anyone you know getting the cane or anything like that.
[197] We did have lines, hundred lines, I must do not do this or something like that which was very negative really.
[198] [laughing] Be far better if they told us to do something sensible [] .
[199] But er i it took your time up when you know when you might have been enjoying yourself.
[200] But, but erm no we expected, we accepted the, the discipline.
[201] We were told not to do a thing, if we did it well you, you knew what you were up against.
[202] Er I think far more than they do now.
[203] They don don't seem to take notice of what the teachers said.
[204] Er and I think perhaps teaching I don't know whether it's different today but they seemed to instil in us the love of, of poetry and the, the love of literature and that sort of thing.
[205] I've always been grateful for that, that they did you know create th th this love of poetry.
[206] I've never lost it.
[207] And I still like a lot of the, the classics an and the good, the good English.
[208] But er nowadays they sort of, I don't know, it's different.
(PS1Y6) [209] Did you have the variety of subjects that children have today?
(PS1Y5) [210] Er well I suppose we did but they were different.
[211] I er we, we had Latin and French mainly.
[212] Erm then we had all the usual maths and English, erm history and geography.
[213] Er I think we learnt it probably in different ways, we learnt it more parrot fashion than they do today.
[214] But I, I mean when it comes to times tables that sort of thing I've never been sorry I learnt those.
[215] I think a lot of schools do still teach the t the children their tables which I think is a good thing.
[216] You never forget them.
[217] But erm there was not the handicrafts.
[218] You, you were taught plain sewing and that sort of thing but that was about all.
[219] To hem and an and to seam.
[220] But erm n n not, not the handicrafts that they teach them now at school.
[221] I say I should think really and truly er schooling today is more fun than it was.
[222] We'd, it was very serious in our day but now it's much more fun.
[223] They enjoy it more.
[224] They do all sorts of erm projects that we never did.
(PS1Y6) [225] Er were the boys taught different things from the girls in some subjects?
(PS1Y5) [226] Yes.
[227] They, I mean carpentry, they had carpentry.
[228] Th th only boys did it and cookery only the girls that did it.
[229] Er you, you sort of got a basic idea of cookery.
[230] And, and of course needlework, but erm they were mainly the, I suppose they were giving you a good er grounding as they'd call it in those days.
(PS1Y6) [231] Mm.
[232] ... Er can you remember when you were a small child erm what sort of things you did at playtime at school?
[233] The kind of games you played?
(PS1Y5) [234] Well I suppose w we, yes we used to have erm hopscotch,th different seasons.
[235] I can't remember the seasons now, the different seasons brought out different games.
[236] There was hopscotch, er and then all of a sudden everybody would start with hoops.
[237] You couldn't do that [laughing] these days, the traffic's too bad [] but we used to have wooden hoops or we'd have er iron hoops.
[238] Er and then skipping ropes, that was another thing.
[239] Er they, there were seasons for all these things and then erm balls, we used to used to play balls up against the walls.
[240] Er but er th th oh and tops, that were another thing.
[241] Yes, spinning tops.
[242] With whips.
[243] We used to, there used to be little wooden tops.
[244] And then we used to make crayon patterns of the top and then when they went whizzing round they used to look very pretty.
[245] And we used to see how who could keep them going the longest.
(PS1Y6) [246] And did both boys and girls play these games?
(PS1Y5) [247] They,everyb yes.
[248] Erm th tops.
[249] Girls mainly skipping, I don't remember ever seeing any boys skipping.
[250] The girls usually had the wooden hoops and the boys the iron hoops.
[251] Erm but other than that yes, they didn't,th they'd play more a sort of football, the boys would.
[252] We'd play just with ordinary er sort of tennis ball size, that type of ball.
[253] But other than that, yes we did more or less all play the same games.
[254] And we used to have long skipping ropes too.
[255] We used to be sort of er almost like a erm a clothes line.
[256] You used to go sort of right into the road, almost across the road, a side road.
[257] And you'd have two turning, one each end, and you'd get four, five, or even six people all skipping in the middle.
[258] [laugh] At the same time.
(PS1Y6) [259] Yes.
[260] ... Can you tell me about your brother?
[261] What did your brother go on to do later?
(PS1Y5) [262] Er well he, he went, he, he went er he was erm for quite a while he was er he had Chow dogs.
[263] He was breeding Chow dogs and then he went t on to erm er he went to a poultry farm, for a time.
[264] And then when the war came he er he was one of the first Bevan boys that, one of the boys that went down the mines to relieve the miners.
[265] Er well that didn't last very long, he wasn't really cut out for that sort of thing at all.
[266] He, he, he was more of a scholastic type.
[267] Then he went in for er for teaching afterwards.
[268] Er and then he, he went to Singapore, he was there for quite a long while after the war teaching the er the English children.
[269] They didn't mix in those days.
[270] The English were taught in a different school to the Chinese.
[271] So he was teaching there and then he came back.
[272] Er he's retired now, but he was teaching in an English school for a while.
(PS1Y6) [273] Could you tell me about when he became a Bevan boy?
[274] Was that something he volunteered for?
(PS1Y5) [275] Well er I, well yes.
[276] They were sort of given a choice er i either I, I think it was sort of either you go on the land or er y you, you go down the mines.
[277] And he decided he'd try down the mines.
[278] But it was very hard work.
[279] I it, it was, it was alright f for people wh who were used to that sort of thing but I mean they hadn't all the mechanization in the mines then that they have now.
[280] It was really very hard work and he used to come back absolutely smothered in coal dust, very dirty.
[281] So I think he was down for about six months before he left.
(PS1Y6) [282] Where was that?
(PS1Y5) [283] Er do you know, I don't know.
[284] It'd be in one of the, the pits.
[285] I don't remember which one it was.
[286] He was married by that time and erm living down at but I don't think it, it would be fairly near there.
[287] It wouldn't be too far out.
(PS1Y6) [288] Can we turn now then to your own career?
[289] You'd decided to go into nursing, and you've said you'd always wanted
(PS1Y5) [290] Mm.
[291] Yes.
(PS1Y6) [292] to go into nursing.
[293] So how did you
(PS1Y5) [294] Mm.
(PS1Y6) [295] eventually start in nursing?
(PS1Y5) [296] Well i it, it certainly never entered my head to do anything else and although several other things were suggested er I never er I never even considered them.
[297] Er even the headmaster said, he tried to put me off.
[298] He said, oh you know it's very hard work.
[299] You have to clean a lot of brasses, but I mean I wasn't gonna be put off.
[300] And it was er it, it, when I, I was eighteen in the March.
[301] And I started at the General Hospital er in on May the first nineteen twenty nine.
[302] So
(PS1Y6) [303] Why why do you think people were trying to put you off?
(PS1Y5) [304] I don't think they thought I was cut out or suitable for nursing.
[305] I don't [laughing] I don't know why they shouldn't [] .
[306] But whether they thought it was going to be too hard work, and, and it certainly was very hard work.
[307] But if you are doing something you, you like and want and enjoy doing er you, you don't mind working hard, at all.
[308] But it was very hard work.
[309] And of course it was very very poorly paid.
[310] We got er we, well after the first three months, the first three months we, we were s what they call student nurses.
[311] Er it was mainly lectures on erm hygiene, and biology,a and that type of thing.
[312] And er then we erm we, we, we went on the wards for about two or three hours a day and we just s sort of did what we were told, took out drinks and, and that sort of thing, and mouthwashes, and after er we'd been there for about six or eight weeks we were allowed to wash patients, if, if they couldn't wash themselves.
[313] Th this type of thing until the, after the three months we had to pass an exam.
[314] And if we passed the exam then we became er er p probationer nurses then.
[315] And started on the, on the wards.
[316] We started at seven in the morning and we finished at eight at night.
[317] And we had er two hours off during the day, er and twenty minutes for dinner and er about twenty minutes for tea.
[318] So we didn't get very much ti time off and by the time we got back to our rooms at night we were so terribly tired you just dropped into bed.
[319] I don't think I've ever been so tired before or since as I was just that, that first year when we were probationer nurses.
[320] We were on our feet the whole time.
[321] It, we never sort of slackened off at all and in those days there was so much brass to be cleaned and scrubbing to be done and cleaning.
[322] Everything was er so much more difficult than it, than it is today and er things were not sort of disposed of like they are now.
[323] They, they were all sterilized, thoroughly washed, and then st sterilized in, in the sterilizer, boiled in the sterilizer.
[324] And I and I don't know whether they still have the wooden lockers now but they used to be, have to be all scrubbed out every week.
[325] The outside polished.
[326] Er it, it was very hard work.
[327] There's no getting away from it.
[328] And when you were pros you did, you got all the [laughing] mucky jobs to do as well.
[329] They always used to call us mucky little pros.
[330] And for all for er for that er you got, you, you well you got your keep er and I don't really think there was anything wrong with the food, it was the way it was cooked.
[331] It was terribly badly cooked.
[332] And you just could not manage on the food that was provided.
[333] You either got tuck boxes from home or you had to supplement it with your own earnings, which, ten shillings a week.
[334] We got two pounds a month.
[335] And out of that you had to keep yourself in stockings, er and shoes for the ward.
[336] Er and you, you, you provided yourself with the uniform before you came as a student nurse so that was alright for the first year, so you'd no uniform to provide.
[337] But er I often wonder what the nurses today would think if they [laughing] if that's all they n they got [] .
[338] I know m money did go much farther in those days but there certainly wasn't very much to spare at all.
[339] Erm
(PS1Y6) [340] You kept so busy it seems a waste of time to ask you what your social life was like [laughing] as a student nurse [] ?
(PS1Y5) [341] [laughing] It was nil.
[342] Absolutely.
[343] There was never any time at all.
[344] And even when you got into your second years you did get erm two hours off one day and three hours the next, which was usually five till eight.
[345] But you had to be in by eight o'clock.
[346] So er I mean it wasn't much good if you [laughing] wa wanted to go out with anybody.
[347] Say, well I'm awfully sorry I'm off at five but I got to be back at eight.
[348] It [] , no, no.
[349] It was absolutely, it wasn't, it was absolutely n no social life at all.
[350] If you were lucky er and you had friends in , you could go out for tea and, and that's about all there was.
[351] And on the Sunday well you'd go to church or chapel because literally there was nothing else to do.
[352] There was nothing going on in the centre of .
[353] It was absolutely dead.
[354] You couldn't get a cup of tea or a cup of coffee anywhere.
[355] Of course no theatres open, no pictures open, no coffee bars.
[356] Absolutely nothing.
[357] It was as dead as anything.
(PS1Y6) [358] Were all the student nurses about the same age?
(PS1Y5) [359] Yes.
[360] Yo occasionally you got somebody who was a little bit older but [...] no we were nearly always, I don't think anyone much older [laughing] could have stood the pace actually [] .
[361] Er we did have one person who was in her early twenties but er she gave it up.
[362] Er you know she couldn't stick it, she, she gave it up, it was too hard work.
(PS1Y6) [363] And do you think they all came from the same kind of background as yourself or were they more working people?
(PS1Y5) [364] [...] .
[365] No, I think they were a real mixture.
[366] Er er they came from a good old cross section of life.
[367] I s I still even now occasionally see one or two that we, we all started together.
[368] We still keep up, we hear from one another at Christmas time.
[369] But erm no we there were, there were all sorts er there was, they used to come in of course from the country.
[370] Er there was a stationmaster's daughter there I remember.
[371] Erm no, no, we were a good old cross section I think really.
[372] In those days you know it, it was a vocation.
[373] You [laughing] certainly didn't do it for the money [] .
[374] Er you, you did it because you really wanted to and it, it, it was a satisfying job.
[375] And that's what I think it, it's, I'm wondering now if the nurses today get the satisfaction from the job that we got in those early days.
[376] It was very hard work but you felt, well I've done a good day's work when you'd finished.
[377] Because when you were on night duty, which you, you did, er i it was a twelve hour stint right through from eight at night till eight in the morning.
[378] And course you, other than the half an hour for a meal in the middle of the night er that was it you got no time off at all.
[379] So erm
(PS1Y6) [380] Where do you think your satisfaction came from in the job?
(PS1Y5) [381] Well I suppose you i i i th th the patients were very very grateful for anything that you did.
[382] We did get them [laughing] better a lot of them at any rate [] .
[383] Er and I think there w there was that satisfaction that you, you were doing something to help people get better.
[384] And they'd, they'd come in for surgery and you know you'd nurse them back again.
[385] Get them up on their feet.
[386] And there was a satisfaction about it although I always think in those days we had to work so fast that there wasn't the time to do what you'd really like to have done for the patients.
[387] It was a case of, I mean we used to start and wash them at three o'clock in the morning because t you had to start then because you'd never get it all done.
[388] You had to get everything done by the day staff coming on at seven.
[389] Er and if you didn't start at that early hour you'd, you'd, you'd never, they used to get, sit up in bed, have a wash, [laughing] then lie down again and go to sleep [] .
[390] [...] I mean I don't think they do, they do that these days, I hope not [laughing] any rate [] .
[391] But you just had to do that sort of thing, I, we used to feel awfully sorry for the patients but you had, they had do it because they wouldn't have got a wash otherwise, there was so mu so much to do.
[392] I don't suppose the unions would put up with it these days but er ha there weren't such things as unions for nurses in those days.
(PS1Y6) [393] Was there nothing that even the full er fully trained nurses could join?
[394] No union?
(PS1Y5) [395] Well,i i just towards the end of my training there, there, there was the er College of Nursing started.
[396] Now er that really started to look into the, the, the nur the, the er profession and also to sort of see if they couldn't improve the lot of nurses.
[397] And of course now a large number of, of nurses, certainly the older ones do belong to the er College of Nursing, were members of that.
[398] We, I was in it, we, I think we paid a shilling a week, a five P a we er a, a five P a month to belong to it.
[399] Erm so we didn't pay very very much but they certainly had, they did, er they tried to standardize the, the nurses.
[400] Because e even in those days er it, it wasn't, there'd be good training hospitals and not so good.
[401] Now, nowadays a good training hospital will, will want at least er a number of O levels and preferably two or even three A levels before they would accept a student.
[402] Er standards have gone up, there's no doubt about that.
[403] But erm
(PS1Y6) [404] Did you have to have any particular qualifications when you started?
(PS1Y5) [405] They liked us to have what in those days was the matric.
[406] And if you had the matric yes well i it did help you to get in.
[407] Er you, you s a lot of them people did apply but er they just didn't you know they didn't get in.
[408] They didn't, what it was they didn't consider that people were suitable to become a nurse.
[409] I think that's what it was.
[410] But other than that, yeah they did like you to have your matric.
[411] I, I did have it and erm that was a help.
[412] The standard, standard of, of exams were pretty high, there's no getting away from that they were pretty high.
[413] Because you'd sort of, they, they'd go up and then if, if you went any farther you'd go on to the doctors' lectures you see.
[414] So they were pretty high in those days.
(PS1Y6) [415] Now it was the General Hospital in where you did your training.
(PS1Y5) [416] That's it, yes.
(PS1Y6) [417] Erm, can you remember what it was like generally in terms of facilities?
(PS1Y5) [418] Erm it wasn't too bad.
[419] We had our own bedrooms and that was saying quite a bit, because er the, the nurses home had been built er for the er as a sort of war memorial for after the First World War which was [laughing] one of the most sensible war memorials I think anyone could have er provided [] .
[420] And we all had er our own bedrooms, which was nice.
[421] They weren't very big, but er they'd got a wardrobe, a be a single bed and er dressing table and drawers.
[422] Er and then we had about, ooh there'd be about ooh twenty of us to four bathrooms.
[423] And then we had er washrooms, about four or five washbasins in.
[424] Erm that, that, it, it wasn't too bad because people were coming on duty and going off duty.
[425] Er so I mean they were in use more or less all the time but er it was it wasn't, it wasn't too bad, better than a lot of hospitals had.
[426] Er ther there we did, we had a tutor sister who used to give us all our lectures.
[427] She did her best to try and in to make things a little bit more er interesting and she did start a tennis club up, which was nice because there was nothing at all before then.
[428] And we managed to get er two tennis courts which was very nice and we a we all used to play tennis.
[429] And she even managed to get us er somebody who would come and coach us a bit.
[430] So we, we th that, that was er another good thing they, they got going but there was very little for, for nurses to do.
[431] I think you were sort of there to, and then you see you, you've got to remember that all our lectures were taken in our off duty time.
[432] We didn't have time off for lectures we had to fit them in with our wi with our off duty.
[433] Er and often you'd come off duty at eight o'clock a and you'd have to go to a lecture between eight and nine at night.
[434] And, and even if you were on night duty you'd be on night duty for twelve hours, you'd come off at eight in the morning and have to go to a lecture at nine.
[435] And it was terribly difficult cos you'd just fall asleep.
[436] And many, and many a time tutor sister would rap on the desk and say, come on, wake up, [laughing] we've nearly finished [] .
[437] She was very good.
[438] Very [...] .
[439] But we used to have to take notes during the lecture a and then write the lectures up afterwards.
[440] So you could always borrow [laughing] somebody else's notes to write them up [] .
[441] But nowadays of course they have a day off for lectures.
[442] Er it's much better really.
[443] But we did get terribly tired.
[444] And we had one day off a month.
[445] And if you were on night duty you'd get two nights off, but when you came back you'd, you'd, you'd have to be on duty that night so you'd have to go to bed that day.
[446] But we neve we never complained, no we, we, you know, we, we did, I suppose everybody worked harder in those days.
[447] I, I mean they did on the farms.
[448] I su I suppose ... erm ... things are easier now.
[449] And of course nowadays there's so much er things that er we use, there are so much labour saving things now that which makes a big difference.
[450] I think they've all got their own washing machines on the ward and that sort of thing, whereas we had to do it by hand and then bundle it all up and send it down to the laundry.
(PS1Y6) [451] Were there things which the student nurses did complain about at all?
(PS1Y5) [452] No, we didn't.
[453] We wer were there because we wanted to be there.
[454] Erm and no, I don't remember.
[455] We, we might grumble a bit amongst ourselves but we, we'd never dream of, of making a, a sort of an official complaint.
[456] I [laughing] I don't think [] , we had a matron who was extremely strict and I don't think we would've [laughing] dared to say anything to her at all.
[457] She used to sit behind her desk looking very prim and proper, and er I don't, I don't quite honestly think we would've dared [laughing] say anything to her at all.
(PS1Y6) [458] What sort of things was she strict about?
(PS1Y5) [459] Er er the way we looked.
[460] We, we were not allowed to look er pretty on the wards or anything like that.
[461] We had to keep our hair right under our caps, look ver [laugh] very much the nurse.
[462] We were not there to look pretty at all.
[463] Er and er you, yes she was very very particular.
[464] We were not allowed to have any ladders in our stockings or anything like that, we had to look very smart.
[465] Er and always always clean and in those, even when you were, you had to behave yourself when you were not on duty when you were, even if you, she saw you out not looking er smart she'd soon tell you about it, er, no you let the hospital down when you, you're like that.
[466] And we were never allowed to go out in uniform, we always had to change er into mufti.
[467] But er n no, she was, she was, she was very particular even on the wards everything had to be just so.
[468] Er she used to start coming round the wards about ten o'clock.
[469] And er there were two nurses always detailed to go around about half past nine and tidy all the beds up and the patients had got to look like [laughing] patients [] .
[470] They'd got to sit up and lean against their pillows and their sheets had got to be turned down.
[471] Er very, very neat, very tidy.
[472] And er all, all magazines and papers had to be put away.
[473] It was alright when she'd done the round they could, they could er bring them out again then, but not until then.
[474] And she'd go round and sort of s say, good morning, good morning.
[475] Er very prim and proper, and [laugh] and er er she'd go all the way round and she'd soon tell you if there was, if the beds weren't tidy.
[476] Or if any, the locker wasn't straight, everything had to be very, very straight, very, very correct.
(PS1Y6) [477] Were the other senior nursing staff like her in their attitudes to prim primness and correctness or were some of them laxer than that?
(PS1Y5) [478] They were a bit laxer but a lot of them were very very strict.
[479] Mind you it was their ward and, and yo you were there to learn and they were there t to teach.
[480] And you did the job properly.
[481] Er which it wasn't a bad, a bad [...] .
[482] ... So sometimes the sisters would, would really sort of get it in for a nurse and she'd [laughing] [...] and they could make your life very unpleasant indeed [] .
[483] But on the whole they weren't too bad.
[484] They weren't too bad, not on, not on the whole.
[485] You certainly did learn, you learnt to do things properly.
[486] You see.
(PS1Y6) [487] Did any nurses ever get asked to leave?
(PS1Y5) [488] Erm, oh yes, yes.
[489] I mean if you weren't in at whe when you were in your third and fourth year, it was a four year er training, er in third and fourth years you were allowed to stay out till ten o'clock at night.
[490] But [laugh] if you weren't in by ten the doors were locked.
[491] So of course we used to sort of try and get in [...] in the nurses' home through a ground floor window.
[492] And if you were caught letting somebody in through [laughing] a ground floor window about eleven o'clock a night [] , that, that was it.
[493] You was, were dismissed on the spot, that was it.
(PS1Y6) [494] That was the ultimate crime was it?
(PS1Y5) [495] Yes.
[496] Oh it, it was, yes.
[497] And [...] I don't know wh I mean it was ridiculous even in those days, ten o'clock was very early.
[498] But er no you weren't allowed out.
[499] And even then er you had to ask for permission to stay out till ten.
[500] You, you weren't auto sort of automatically allowed out till ten you had to go to the office and say, please may I stay out till ten.
[501] I am going to do so and so, or I am going to the pictures or I, I'm going to so and so's for tea.
[502] Er and then you were allowed.
[503] But it er, when you're looking back it, it seems very ridiculous these days.
[504] They really did er [...] they commanded your entire life.
[505] You were there for four years and the they, they didn't just, if you weren't in by ten and you didn't get your proper night's sleep then you wouldn't be any good on the wards the next morning.
[506] That was their er the their way of looking at it.
[507] Er that you, you had to have your sleep otherwise you were, you weren't er you, you couldn't a attend to your lectures and, and do your work the next day.
[508] You had, you had to get your night's sleep and proper rest.
(PS1Y6) [509] Do you think that was an attitude to that was erm unique to nursing at the time or do you think erm that possibly girls in other walks of life had the same kind of experience of discipline and demands on them?
(PS1Y5) [510] Well I suppose probably [...] people li like nursemaids and er and er what they used to call in those days mothers' helps, who used to sort of be a general skivvy around the house and would look after the children, and, and, and they were the same, they had to be in I think at, at sort of ten o'clock at night.
[511] Erm and at that ti but other than that, mind you I su I suppose that if, if I'd been at home I should have [laughing] probably been expected [] to be in, but I don't think I should have been locked out.
[512] [laughing] I should have been allowed in if I was five minutes late [] .
(PS1Y6) [513] Yes.
[514] Were boys treated in the same way do you think?
(PS1Y5) [515] I suppose they probably were.
[516] I don't sort of, I mean in those days they had wh apprenticeships and, and that sort of thing.
[517] You were apprenticed.
[518] Er I, I suppose yes they probably were expected to be in by a definite time.
[519] I don't really think it did us any harm.
[520] Erm it, it was a bit restricting, er but I don't really think the, the, the discipline did us any, any harm you know.
[521] I, I, it probably gave us a good grounding.
[522] I've always grown up with the idea if I do a job, I'll, I'll do it properly or else I won't bother, I won't tackle it all.
[523] I think it instilled that into me.
[524] And of course if you are nursing you can't afford to make mistakes, it may cost somebody's life if you do.
[525] You've got to have your wits about you.
[526] If you're giving medicines or, or an and that sort of thing, drugs of any sort.
[527] Er if you give an overdose or forget something, not to give medicine or give too much medicine it, it can be very serious, the consequences could be serious.
(PS1Y6) [528] Mm.
[529] Yes.
[530] Quite.
[531] And when you finished your training erm that was, how long a training was it in fact?
(PS1Y5) [532] Four years
(PS1Y6) [533] Four years.
(PS1Y5) [534] and then if you'd been off sick at all you had to make that time up as well so it was about four years and six months I did there altogether.
(PS1Y6) [535] Mhm.
[536] And then you were a fully qualified nurse?
(PS1Y5) [537] Yes I was a State Registered Nurse then.
(PS1Y6) [538] Yes and did you stay on at the hospital then?
(PS1Y5) [539] Er no, I left then.
[540] For the last six months I did erm ward sister duties.
[541] She, she was off, off sick and er so for the last six months I did sister's duties which was very useful because er it, it, it gave me that little bit of independence, working on my own whereas before you'd always got either the staff nurse or the sister to fall back on.
[542] You know I was completely on my own I, I'd got to make my own decisions.
[543] So it really was, it, it was quite nice having that six months.
(PS1Y6) [544] When you'd got your qualifications was there a big difference between the status of the trained nurse and the student nurses?
(PS1Y5) [545] Oh yes, yes.
[546] The they er [...] even in the dining room you, you sort of, there were long tables, well when you came in as, as a student nurse you were right at the bottom of the table, and as you, you know, the second year, third year, fourth year, you gradually moved up and then the, the State Registered Nurses they all sat together.
[547] Now I think they have sep little tables now but in those days they were long, just long trestle tables.
[548] Yes you did you, you, you erm you, you were sort of treated differently, yes you were definitely.
(PS1Y6) [549] Did you get er different privileges as, as you became the fully qualified nurse then?
(PS1Y5) [550] Yes,y yes, you, you were, you'd sort of passed all your exams so yo th they sort of had to make it a little bit easier.
[551] You, you were allowed to, to stay out but erm you, you had to get permission.
[552] You weren't sort of allowed just in and out when you wanted to, you had to get permission to stay out late.
[553] They liked to [laughing] keep tabs on you even then [] . ... [break in recording]
(PS1Y6) [554] Did you stay at hospital after you'd finished your training?
(PS1Y5) [555] Er about six months.
[556] Just, just a mere six months.
(PS1Y6) [557] And then what did you do?
(PS1Y5) [558] Then I er decided I'd take my midwifery.
[559] Er so I went to , to the Nursing Home, I don't know whether it's still there.
[560] It's a, it's a training, it was training school for midwives.
[561] And erm I was there for about a year.
[562] You, you could take, if you got your General your State Registered Nurse you could take your midwifery in a year.
[563] And erm that, that, first of all it was lectures and helping, you did get er patients coming in.
[564] There'd be about ooh twenty beds I think.
[565] And then er after that you, you went on the, on the district.
[566] Er you were called out at night and of course in those days you went round on a bicycle and [laugh] you, you went round with your little black bag strapped on the back.
[567] And you'd, you'd, you'd be on call and the babies nearly always come at night.
[568] Er and you'd er they'd er just bang on the door and, and call you and you had to be downstairs in five minutes.
[569] Er and cycle to where it was.
[570] When you were a student midwife you went with a proper midwife.
[571] And er when you'd got on a bit you delivered the baby but the midwife was there to see you didn't make any mistakes and, and really to t teach you to do it.
[572] It was the practical side of it.
[573] But erm [...] yes [...] sometimes you'd, you'd get there in time but you see they'd just, I, there, there weren't the telephones about in those days so you, you, you couldn't, everybody didn't have a phone, they couldn't ring in an and say I'm in labour.
[574] It'd mean waiting till, often till the, the father came back from work and then he'd have to er sometimes come right up to the er to the nursing home er to tell you that, that they was, that she was in labour and would we please come.
[575] Er sometimes the police, if, if there was a police station near, they would phone a message through but er quite of quite often and then you'd, you'd get there and often you'd [laughing] hear the baby was born by the time you got there [] .
[576] But it, it erm it, it was hard work in those days.
[577] I, I can remember once I, I think it was Hill, or I think it was Estate, it was quite a new estate in those, in those days when I, when I was there.
[578] Erm and there was a hill out, that runs up to this housing estate out of, and it runs well through, really through the cemetery.
[579] There's a walled cemetery on one side and well in those days it had railings round the cemetery on the other side.
[580] I expect they all [laughing] went in the Second World War [] .
[581] Er but I can remember going cycling up that hill, [laugh] and the [laughing] midwife [] was there as well, [laugh] and there was a most awful scream came from this er this cemetery.
[582] It was moonlight too.
[583] [laughing] And I have never got up that hill so fast in all my life [] .
[584] And I, it wasn't until afterwards I realized it was cats caterwauling.
[585] It looked so weird in the moonlight and this scream coming up.
[586] Oh yes, I can remember that.
[587] You, you did get funny things like that that er that sort of rather lightened things.
[588] But er nowadays of course you don't get babies born in the homes like we did in, in, when I, when I was training.
[589] Er and often you'd go into a quite a poor home and you'd, you'd sort of er,th there wasn't the money about you see in, in those days.
[590] Nineteen twenty nine, it was in the nineteen thirties when there was the depression people just had not got the money to really provide for the baby as they would do, well they would do now.
[591] And you'd say, well now have you got a bowl.
[592] I shall want a bowl.
[593] And they'll say, well yes there's, there's this bowl.
[594] And you'd say, right, and you'd go the, after the baby was born you, you'd go back again to what we call the nur nursing, nursing up and you'd want the bowl again for the baby and you'd say wh where's the bowl and they'd say, oh well I think it's downstairs, we used it yesterday to make a pudding in.
[595] And so you'd have to go and find this bowl and sterilize it again.
[596] But you, you just had to fit in with things.
[597] And a lot of the mothers couldn't afford to buy the, the proper erm maternity er sanitary towels that they would have done nowadays.
[598] Er and er you'd say, well try and get on old sheet and wash it thoroughly and iron them the p cut it up and iron them with a hot iron.
[599] And that would more or less sterilize it, as sterilized as you'd, you know, you could ever get anything.
[600] You see there was no erm grants in those days like they have now, nothing, nothing at all.
[601] So they, they just had to try and save er from the, the man's wages and if, and, and if they weren't in work there was very very little money at all.
[602] And people did rally round.
[603] Er the people helped one another far more I think then than they do now because I suppose now it just isn't, it isn't necessary.
[604] People can manage.
(PS1Y6) [605] And in those days most people did have their children at home, didn't they?
(PS1Y5) [606] Yes, the majority of them did.
[607] Yes, the majority of them did.
[608] Unless er there was any er you know you, you were expecting any problems.
[609] Then of course th they would come in.
[610] But nearly always at home.
[611] Well I suppose th they felt it was the cheapest way of, of, of having them.
[612] Rather than co coming in to hospital.
(PS1Y6) [613] And er who were the midwives employed by?
(PS1Y5) [614] Er the County Council.
[615] Yes, they were appointed by the County Council so I sup and er I, I rather think that they, we never got paid but I rather think th they'd have to pay the Council something for the midwife's services.
[616] But er I don't remember that side of it at all.
[617] I didn't sort of erm I cer I, I certainly didn't touch you know any, any money at all.
(PS1Y6) [618] And when you were a student erm who was paying for your training?
(PS1Y5) [619] We had to pay for our own training in those days.
[620] Yes.
[621] The County Council er w would train you but you'd do your erm year's training and then you had to work for them for a year, I think it was a year or eighteen months.
[622] Er and er to sort of pay them back.
[623] And er you were on sort of reduced salary.
[624] They, they gave you enough to sort of live on.
[625] Er but er y they sort of got their money back that way.
(PS1Y6) [626] Yes so all this time were you still living in a nurses home?
(PS1Y5) [627] Yes, yes, yes.
[628] We were living on the, on the premises.
(PS1Y6) [629] Mhm.
(PS1Y5) [630] Yes.
(PS1Y6) [631] Can you remember any, any particular births either difficult ones or funny ones?
(PS1Y5) [632] [laughing] Yes, I can remember one [] ,i it er she, she was a stocky little woman too.
[633] And she came in and she had this, this baby, and it was her thirteenth baby and it weighed fourteen pounds.
[634] And honestly it wasn't like a baby at all, a new baby, it was huge.
[635] And we called it the bull because it didn't cry, it sort of bellowed.
[636] It was louder than all the other babies [laughing] all put together [] .
[637] And er during the, course in those days you stayed in bed for ten days, you were supposed to at any rate.
[638] And er all that, her other twelve children all came up to see her while she was there and they were beautifully kept, really well kept and well fed too.
[639] Er he was a bus driver.
[640] So she'd managed alright.
[641] I don't know whether she had any more, she said she hoped it was the last and [laughing] I should think she did, thirteen children to look after [] .
[642] But you know medicine was, was very different in those days.
[643] I, I can remember erm when we ever had women in from the country they'd say, oh yes,y y my mother told me always to take raspberry, raspberry leaf tea.
[644] It always gives you a, an easy labour.
[645] Now whether there was any truth in it or not I don't know but a lot of country women always used to have raspberry leaf tea during pregnancy.
[646] Er and it always, they always used to say, oh yes you'll have a much easier labour if you do.
[647] Whether there was any truth in it or not I've [laughing] no idea [] .
[648] But there wasn't the, the erm ante natal care that there is these days, I mean there were no erm when you went round to se if you were a midwife and you went round to see the prospective mother you'd say, now you are eating proper meals aren't you?
[649] Well that, that's as much as they ever got.
[650] You never said you know, are you eating fruit or are you taking vitamins?
[651] I mean nowadays everybody has vitamin pills whether they need them or not.
[652] They make quite sure they are getting enough vitamins.
[653] But in those days th they didn't.
[654] And er I mean there, there are not the relaxating exercises th that they have now.
[655] I don't know whether they [...] they, I suppose they really didn't have the time.
[656] See nowadays there's so much more in the way of erm labour saving devices.
[657] In those days the washing was done in a good old copper boiling on a Monday and light the fire underneath it and this sort of thing.
[658] Er I don't suppose they had much time for, for relaxing and sitting down.
[659] They used to say, well I try and get my er my legs up for half an hour in the afternoon, but that'd be about as much as th they'd get in the way of rest.
[660] They carried on just the same as usual.
(PS1Y6) [661] A at what point would you first erm see someone who was expecting a baby?
(PS1Y5) [662] Oh about six months as a rule.
[663] They'd, they'd, they'd sort of say, they'd, they, they were supposed to book a, a midwife you see.
[664] And, and er then that midwife would po call and see them perhaps one well they call at six months just to make sure ev ev everything was alright.
[665] And th they'd examine the mother.
[666] And er a and then they'd go, they'd, they'd, if the mother was strong healthy and everything was going alright they'd probably leave it another month before they went.
[667] Or if they were worried about it then they they'd go sooner.
[668] But you'd perhaps go three or four times before the baby was born and er just see everything was alright and you'd know which way the baby was lying a and which way it was going to er you know come and if you thought there was going to be any problems well you know then you, you would sort of let the doctor know and, and he'd decide then.
[669] But erm I, I think a midwife, a good midwife, is every bit as good as a doctor because [laughing] she's doing it all the time [] .
[670] And she er she, she [...] a lot of midwives were extremely clever in those days.
[671] And you didn't have the erm all the aids that they have now.
[672] I mean they put something round the mother's tummy and they can see the heart beat beating, whereas we, if we wanted to know if the baby was alright and er it wasn't getting distressed you'd just put a, a cloth on the mummy's tum and put your ear down to it and hear it that way.
[673] There were not the aids that there were now.
[674] Erm
(PS1Y6) [675] Would the er patients be seeing the doctor as well as the midwife during this few months before they were going
(PS1Y5) [676] No.
(PS1Y6) [677] to give birth?
(PS1Y5) [678] No.
[679] Not necessarily.
[680] No, you'd, you'd er you'd just if provided you, the midwife thought everything was going as it should, that was it.
[681] You, you ju just left it to the midwife.
[682] The doctors didn't come into it much at all.
[683] Er only if erm the mother was torn at all or, or if you didn't think the baby was coming as it should, there was problems there, then you, you would.
[684] You'd, you'd, the, the er the patient would have a d her own doctor.
[685] Well and you'd, you'd just send for the doctor.
[686] Or if she was torn then the doctor would come er and stitch her up.
[687] But that was another thing nowadays they, they just don't seem to bother at all if the mother gets torn, now in those days it was a terrible disgrace to g to er if you had a, had a delivery and the mother was torn.
[688] Er it just wasn't done and it was, it was bad midwifery, it was bad nursing to, to get a tear.
[689] Er and y you know if you sent for a doctor you were almost apologetic that the mother was torn.
[690] But nowadays they just don't seem to bother at all.
[691] It's just sort of a foregone conclusion.
[692] No it was erm I was going to say much more natural in, in those days, I suppose in a way it was more natural.
[693] I don't think the babies were any worse or the mothers were any worse.
[694] You see a working, well of course they do get them up nowadays, but in th you were supposed t to stay in bed for at least a fortnight after the mother was born but you [...] a lot of these mothers used to hop out of bed when the midwife had gone, and, and I mean if they'd got two or three children and a husband coming in and they hadn't got a mother or a neighbour or somebody to come in and do the cooking,i I mean she'd just get up and get on with it herself.
[695] They'd have to.
[696] I mean it wasn't done, and nobody knew about it, and no one said anything about it but it was.
(PS1Y6) [697] Were there any anaesthetics in use during childbirth?
(PS1Y5) [698] Erm no, they'd usually give an anaesthetic if the mother had to be sewn or if it was a forceps delivery, but that was all.
[699] Er it was hardly ever er a mother was just sort of given something to ease the pain.
[700] Er er the principle was that erm th the birth of a child is, it is painful but it's not a pain too much for a mother to bear, that was the, the id the principle that they went on.
[701] That it was erm er it, it, it was bearable.
[702] And n not, not many of them re really complained.
[703] They were usually glad when it was over.
[704] But other than that, no.
(PS1Y6) [705] I expect the conditions in some of the houses you went into were, were er pretty poor.
(PS1Y5) [706] Yes.
[707] Th they certainly were,i it er i it, they were very very poor,th they, you got into some of the poor poorer homes.
[708] Er clean, er th they were nearly always clean but there was just not er the things there to use.
[709] That was the trouble, they just couldn't afford to provide them.
[710] And you just had to make do best way you could.
(PS1Y6) [711] Do you think that this er affected the erm chances of the child living?
(PS1Y5) [712] Er, yes, I suppose, I suppose it, it could have done if you get a sickly baby and, and a sickly mother.
[713] Er the baby probably wouldn't stand such a, a good chance.
[714] Er and of course you, you'd get er, those days they didn't have cots the mother had the baby in bed with her.
[715] And I, I can remember a, a mother, she was a very big woman, she rolled onto her baby and, and suffocated the baby.
[716] Now I, I can't imagine any mother doing it twice, but the first time they said it was an accident.
[717] The baby [...] of course suffocated.
[718] Er er but the second time the police came and asked quite a lot of questions about it.
[719] When she did it the second time.
[720] But erm, no, it, it yo I think there were sickly babies.
[721] But the majority of them managed to, managed to thrive.
(PS1Y6) [722] Did you erm ever experience any babies born with deformities?
(PS1Y5) [723] Erm no, no, I didn't.
[724] They were er they were all fairly, fairly healthy babies.
[725] I only had one stillbirth.
[726] That was, that was the only, only time.
[727] Oh yes, we did, we did have one baby, yes, we did, in the er in the home.
[728] Erm and, and it didn't live very very very long at all.
[729] It was very badly malformed, the back of the head wasn't there at all.
[730] Erm the back of the skull er and it didn't last I think it lasted two or three weeks but that was all.
[731] But that was the only one.
[732] And erm I, when I was in, in hospital we did have triplets two of those lived alright though.
[733] But they were alright, they were just erm er sort o but you see in those days babies didn't live.
[734] Now if they said, if a baby was under five pounds it, it wouldn't survive.
[735] Er there were none of the incubators and this sort of thing for them like we've got today.
[736] And er th they just sort of, they jus just didn't, didn't live very very few of them did.
[737] And anything under five pounds well you didn't expect them to live.
[738] But er nowadays of course they do get a very much better chance.
(PS1Y6) [739] Were the families much bigger then when you were nursing?
(PS1Y5) [740] Yes, yes.
[741] I mean four, five, six children, yes.
[742] Erm ver very yes they were very much er much bigger.
[743] But now er with family planning and contraception er they are you know they're, they're far better really.
[744] Er the, the children are getting a better chance.
[745] They're erm sort of two or three in a family.
[746] Parents today are far more responsible, they're, they sort of say no erm we won't we'll only have the number of children we can give a good start in life to.
[747] Where which probably the parents when I was doing midwifery would have said the same thing but there was nothing they could do about it.
[748] There wasn't the pill in those days and there was simply er really nothing that the woman could do to stop herself getting pregnant.
[749] Er i it was alright if the man took precautions but if the woman didn't take precautions there was er I mean the man didn't, there was nothing the woman could do at all about it.
[750] So it was very very hard on the woman because it the the they just came one after the other.
[751] It was nothing five six you know children or even like that other one thirteen children.
[752] Erm but she, she was quite happy with her thirteen but I think a lot of the others w women, no,the they er it pulled them down terribly.
(PS1Y6) [753] Was it any part of your job to give such contraceptive advice as you could to, to
(PS1Y5) [754] Er
(PS1Y6) [755] families?
(PS1Y5) [756] not really.
[757] But I mean often women would say, what can I do, I don't want any more babies, what can I do?
[758] Well all you really could do was say, well you'll have to ask your doctor and get him to have a talk with your husband.
[759] Er that was really all the advice we could give.
[760] There was nothing very much we could do about it.
[761] Now of course I mean the the woman can do something which is, it's, it's a very good thing.
[762] And of course sterilizing er you know for a man to be sterilized or a woman to be sterilized er you just it, just wo nobody ever, even considered it.
[763] It was never th not a, never even thought of.
(PS1Y6) [764] Was family planning any part of your training at all?
(PS1Y5) [765] No, not really, no.
[766] No it wasn't.
(PS1Y6) [767] Erm ... were you as a midwife ever approached about abortions?
(PS1Y5) [768] Er n no.
[769] We, we were you know sort of asked, is there anything I can do to get rid of the baby?
[770] But er not really seriously because you see in those days it, it was illegal for anything like that.
[771] Th that was the, the hard part, there was nothing they could do about it at all.
(PS1Y6) [772] Did people find ways of having abortions?
(PS1Y5) [773] Yes.
[774] There were, there's always been the illegal er abortionist.
[775] And erm there used to be shops where they would, they'd sort of say, we can give you pills to bring it on, but I, I don't think they ever really did.
[776] Sometimes they'd, they'd try taking a good dose of Epsom Salts to see if that would start things you know but er there was very little, very little they could do.
(PS1Y6) [777] I, I wonder do did doctors erm attempt abortions at all?
(PS1Y5) [778] Erm not, they, they did a bit erm if, if it was you know really a medical, if it was really detrimental to the mother to have another one, er then they would.
[779] Or if sort of they started they'd, they'd always have them in hospital and, and finish it off properly.
[780] Erm but not very often no.
[781] You, if, if, if you, you, you got yourself pregnant that's it.
[782] Erm but it, it, it was very hard, very hard on these families because they worked really hard and the children kept on coming.
[783] It, it was very difficult.
(PS1Y6) [784] After the babies were born a part of your job would be to help mothers erm train the babies.
(PS1Y5) [785] Yeah, yes.
[786] Erm
(PS1Y6) [787] What was the view of what a well trained baby should be?
(PS1Y5) [788] Well we didn't do a lot of that er except gi giving advice wh when we just sort of er going round as a midwife.
[789] But after that I did take up private nursing.
[790] Erm and then you went for a whole month which was, you could do something in that time.
[791] You'd go er before the baby was born and then you'd look after the baby for the fi for a whole month.
[792] Er and you then you, you'd try your best and usually we, we could er get them to sleep the, the whole night through.
[793] They'd have the ten o'clock feed and then it, it'd sleep through till, till the six o'clock the next morning for the next morning feed.
[794] That's what you'd try to train him to do.
[795] Er but usually you'd have to give [...] perhaps a drink of erm er water just, just warm water.
[796] Er just in the middle of the night.
[797] You, you had to in those days you had to sort of er use your common sense because if you had a big healthy baby it's a long while to go right through ten o'clock at night till six o'clock the next morning.
[798] But usually that's what you tried to do, that's what you aimed at doing.
[799] At giving the baby his last feed at ten and putting him down and hoping that he'd stay asleep till well half past five to six the next morning.
[800] So that when you left er the mother had had time to, to get up she hadn't had any bad nights.
[801] Er she'd got herself reasonably fit again er and then if she'd car take over the mo the baby you'd, you'd get, you'd train her if she didn't know, if she ha if it was the first baby.
[802] Er you, she'd take, you, you'd teach her to bath it and, and, and this sort of thing and look after him.
[803] Er and then you'd er say, right now you're on your own now, er and, and if you'd got the baby sleeping right through the night it was so much easier for her.
[804] She'd just er put him down at ten and, and that, that was that.
[805] In those days th there was a great do about babies sleeping in a room on their own.
[806] Well i i and if it cried well you let it cry, you just let it go on crying until it was so tired it went to sleep.
[807] Erm I, I never did [laughing] agree with that very much really.
[808] I don't think I could have stood it crying for hours on end [] .
[809] Er usually if a baby cries it's usually trying to tell you something er and if, if by the time three or four weeks is up er you, you find out wh wh you know if there is anything wrong.
[810] But er usually a baby will be contented if it's being fed properly.
[811] Erm an and it's, it's er it's kept dry and it's comfy.
[812] Usually it'll be, it'll sleep from one feed to the next. ... [break in recording]
(PS1Y6) [813] Could you tell me how you came to move from midwifery into private nursing?
(PS1Y5) [814] Yes.
[815] Well it was when I'd finished my midwifery training I certainly stayed on a little while in er in doing a bit of district work.
[816] s the only one I did do after we were married.
[817] I had my first bab theonly one I did do after we were married.
[818] I had my first baby oo and there were about ooh I should about think twelve nurses in the association.
[819] And we were either on call or, or we were sent out very quickly.
[820] All over the place we went really, not just in , all round and er farther afield as well if they were short of private nurses.
[821] And then of course I, I did quite a lot of children's nursing then, er but also general nursing as well, a bit o a bi some midwifery and er mainly ge general nursing.
(PS1Y6) [822] Did you choose to move away from midwifery in that way or did er or was it just that er a job came up?
(PS1Y5) [823] No.
[824] Erm I liked, I liked a bit more variety.
[825] [laugh] It was a, I think if you really did midwifery er when you were doing it privately there was always a doctor there i sort of in charge as well.
[826] Er but if not, if you are just doing midwifery I, I think you er really need to stick at it and just do that because it's, it's the more practise and the more babies you bring into the world the better you get at it.
[827] You know you sort of er get I think ... yes I th I think you were sort of better at the job the mo the more practise you got, and the more you did it.
[828] But I liked er general work, it, it brought all sorts of things in.
[829] Different er different kinds of nursing.
[830] Er medical and then sometimes people with a lot of money if they needed a not a particularly dangerous operation they'd have it done in their own homes.
[831] Sort of fix a room up as a theatre and bring the, some nursing staff in.
[832] And then you'd stop on afterwards to er nurse them back to health again.
[833] Used to get all sorts.
[834] Erm I liked the children's nursing, I was always you know fond of children.
[835] We used to get all sorts of things.
[836] I could remember one case I had, er he'd be about eight.
[837] And er they said they wanted a nurse, this child had been very sick and they didn't quite know what was wrong with him.
[838] But he was very sick so er they wanted somebody to stay with him overnight at any rate so I, he wasn't sleeping, and I, he said what, I said to him, what do you think made you sick?
[839] So he said, well you won't tell mummy or daddy will you?
[840] I said, no, no, I won't tell them, not unless you say I can.
[841] He said, well you see I've been smoking.
[842] I smoked one of daddy's cigars.
[843] [laughing] And that's the reason he was so sick [] .
[844] He soon got better again, but I, I never told his parents.
[845] They'd no [laughing] idea why they'd been so sick [] . [laugh]
(PS1Y6) [846] [laugh] Was it better paid whe in private nursing than in midwifery?
(PS1Y5) [847] Erm yes.
[848] But if you erm went to an ordinary general case it was three pounds a week you got sal er for your er salary.
[849] But you did get your keep you see th you, you more, you usually, usually you lived with the family.
[850] But if it was a very posh place er you'd probably have your meals with the housekeeper, which we used to enjoy [laughing] better really [] .
[851] Er and then for midwifery you got four, four guineas a week.
[852] And out of that we paid half a crown ou in every guinea to the association because they got the jobs for us.
[853] So it was the er , Miss 's Nursing Association that we, we belonged to.
[854] And it was a fairly, fairly high, everybody was fully trained.
[855] It was erm, I used to enjoy it.
[856] Used to go for sometimes two or three weeks, sometimes if it was a maternity a month, but I used to enjoy it.
[857] It, you, you used to meet a lot of different kinds of people and er not only that you travelled about quite a bit as well.
[858] It was very interesting.
(PS1Y6) [859] And you stayed in that kind of work until you got married, [...] ?
(PS1Y5) [860] That's right yes I did.
[861] Yes [...]
(PS1Y6) [862] How, how did you meet your husband?
(PS1Y5) [863] Well I, I met him actually through er I was nursing erm a baby, she was only three months old and she'd had, she'd caught, from her older sister she'd caught whooping cough.
[864] Er that's why I was there.
[865] And he was friendly with them, and I met him there.
[866] [laughing] That's how I first met him [] .
[867] So er we were introduced and the first time he took me out er he proposed to me but it, it, it [laughing] took me six months to make my mind up [] .
[868] But er that's how I met him.
(PS1Y6) [869] Did you get much free time to go out at all?
(PS1Y5) [870] No, very little.
[871] Er very little.
[872] If, if er if you were on a case er well if you could get out for a, for an hour in the afternoon for a walk, but that was about all.
[873] You were re really on call all the time.
[874] But erm it, it, I don't know, it we ne we never seemed to think anything about it at all.
[875] We, we perhaps would have a week or ten days in between cases.
[876] And then of course we could go out and er as much as we liked then.
[877] We, all of us had er a bed-sitting room of our own which we kept on between cases cos we had to have somewhere to live and erm and then of course we, we'd come back there and make [laughing] up for lost time really [] .
(PS1Y6) [878] Did you share a, a bed-sit or flat with someone else then?
(PS1Y5) [879] No, no.
[880] I had, I had one of my own.
[881] It, it wasn't a very big one.
[882] It was a Put-U-Up bed and I think I paid, I think it was a guinea a week for it.
[883] It wasn't, you know, it wasn't very much [laughing] not in [] in those days.
[884] Er and then of course you erm you shared a kitchen, we shared a kitchen.
[885] There were one, two, three, three bed-sitting rooms and one kitchen between us.
[886] And we used to sort of arrange it when one wasn't cooking the other one would be you know and this sort of thing.
[887] We used to have quite a good time.
(PS1Y6) [888] So were the, the people in the other bed-sits also nurses like yourself?
(PS1Y5) [889] Yes, they were.
[890] They were, which was, well it was quite useful really because er you, you know you had to be, you were called out to a case suddenly er there was always somebody just to make sure you hadn't left any food you know in the kitchen that was going to grow whiskers until you got back.
[891] Er yes, it was, we, we were all very friendly together.
[892] We were all actually on the er same association so we were alright.
(PS1Y6) [893] So then you got married then.
(PS1Y5) [894] Yes, I did, yes.
(PS1Y6) [895] And you gave up nursing.
[896] Was it immediately you got married?
(PS1Y5) [897] Erm yes.
[898] I, I only took one case on after I was married er and that er that was a maternity case I'd been to the first baby.
[899] And they said, would I go er for the second, and I said, yes I would.
[900] But that's the only one I did do after we were married.
[901] I had my first baby ooh about ooh fourteen, fourteen or fifteen months after we were married, but I lost, I lost my first baby at three months.
[902] But then I had another er one within er two years and I had them both fairly quickly.
[903] So I had two now, a boy and a girl.
[904] Er and they're both married now so er they're, they're quite off hand.
[905] But no in those days if you had children er young children at any rate you, you, you never expected to go out to work at all.
[906] That you, you looked after the home and the children.
[907] They always sort of came first, they were the sort of centre of the family and everything rotated round them.
[908] Whereas now of course er they, they seem to grow up more quickly.
[909] And even during the Second World War er mothers with their children under the age of five er they weren't expected to do any war work at all.
[910] It wasn't until they were er sort of six or seven years old that er you'd, you'd took a part time job.
[911] But you were always allowed home when the children were not at school.
[912] It was far more the usual thing, women didn't go out to work very much, not after they were married.
(PS1Y6) [913] Not even in jobs like midwifery?
(PS1Y5) [914] Erm not unless there was a reason for it.
[915] You know if there were no children then probably th th they would, they might do then.
[916] But er ther there'd have to be a good reason for it if, if, if erm the nurses did go out, er afterwards.
[917] Sometimes they did when the children were grown up, or at least well off hand.
[918] Sort of left school.
[919] Er they night go back to it then if they really wanted to, or usually there was a reason for it.
[920] The husband had either died or something of that sort, or the husband was unable to work, then the mother would have to work to keep things going.
(PS1Y6) [921] So the reason was always that people really needed the money rather than they just wanted to work?
(PS1Y5) [922] Yes, I think they did.
[923] Yes I think that was the main reason.
[924] It, it was er, women in those days were quite content to s sort of stop at home.
[925] Er and just be a home-maker unless as I said if there was a reason for it, if they needed the money.
[926] Or some reason like that.
[927] Another would sometimes go back to work er if their son or dau well mainly the sons went to university and they needed the extra money for that.
[928] Er they probably would go back to, to work then, but it was usual for a married mother to stop at home.
(PS1Y6) [929] Did you ever feel after having your own children that er you would have made a better midwife erm this experience than when you were single?
(PS1Y5) [930] Er I think I should certainly have made a better nurse, yes, yes I think I should.
[931] Er I [laugh] when we were midwives we used to say that was the way to bring a child up but w when you'd had your own you sort of bent the rules a little bit more [] .
[932] Er and I, I think I, I should have said if er la you know after I'd had my own, enjoy your babies while they're young because they grow up so quickly, whereas before it was a case of, don't pick them up when they, you know, if they cry leav let them cry.
[933] They're alright, they, it won't do them any harm.
[934] Whereas you know when mine began to cry it was a good excuse to [laughing] give them a bit of a cuddle [] .
[935] [laugh] You looked at things differently, yes certainly you did.
(PS1Y6) [936] Mhm.
[937] ... Do you think that this sort of attitude is probably true today, that the kind of things we learn about child rearing are not the things we put into practise when we actually have children to bring up ourselves?
(PS1Y5) [938] Yes, I'm sure it is.
[939] Yes.
[940] I, I think now er having brought my own up and now they've got children of their own and I've got grandchildren er yes my attitude is, is quite different.
[941] I can understand them far better now than I did then.
[942] I can enjoy them far better.
[943] And I, I think that is a very important thing really.
[944] Because I think that's where grandparent are important to children, specially these days when mothers do go out to work.
[945] Er you, you, you'll find that children will, grandchildren will tell their grandparents thing that they won't tell their own parents.
[946] Now I, I can remember doing that myself when I was young.
[947] I could tell my grandparents things that I wouldn't tell my, my father or my mother.
[948] But er I could always tell granny and granddad.
[949] And I'm finding now that my grandchildren are just the same.
[950] Their attitude to me, they'll tell me things, because they, they know that you, you, well won't repeat it, you won't tell on them.
[951] Unless you think it's really necessary and then you may drop a hint.
[952] But er yes I, I've certainly find, find that.
[953] I, I think grandparents have a very important part in a, in a growing child's life.
[954] Very important.
[955] In fact my grandchildren feel very deprived because they [laughing] they haven't got a grandfather.
[956] They've adopted one.
[957] Somebody [] somebody who lives quite near, they're a very nice old couple.
[958] So they said, well they didn't really want another granny but they, they wanted to adopt a granddad. [laugh]
(PS1Y6) [959] Yes, when was it that your husband died in fact?
(PS1Y5) [960] He died eighteen years ago, so of course he never saw
(PS1Y6) [961] He never saw them.
(PS1Y5) [962] he never saw them at all, no.
[963] So they, they, they do, they do miss him.
(PS1Y6) [964] What did your husband do when he was alive?
(PS1Y5) [965] Well he was a photographer.
[966] Er he used to do, we used to have a round each morning and collect all the films from the chemists and then we developed and printed them and took them back at night.
[967] Er ooh we had quite a round [...] er in and , all the, all the way round the centre of .
[968] Er and also he had a studio, he specialized, he was very fond of children, he specialized in children's photos.
[969] So we were kept pretty busy.
(PS1Y6) [970] Did you help him in this work?
(PS1Y5) [971] Yes, I did.
[972] I used to do all the bookkeeping, before I lost my sight.
[973] I did all the bookkeeping.
[974] And er all the ordering and dealt with the auditors and the bank and that sort of thing.
[975] I did all that, he hated that sort of thing.
[976] In fact he didn't [laugh] understand it at all.
[977] Which left him free to do all the practical work which he really liked.
[978] He also did weddings as well.
[979] Now he, he liked doing that sort of thing.
[980] And he was very, he was artistic too.
[981] But that was where the trouble came when I lost my sight he was left with both the practical side and the er bookkeeping as well which he didn't understand at all.
(PS1Y6) [982] Yes.
[983] Where did you live when you first got married?
[984] Did you
(PS1Y5) [985] Erm
(PS1Y6) [986] have a place of your own?
(PS1Y5) [987] Yes, we did.
[988] We had a little erm er house up in Grove, just er on the er edge of Park.
[989] Er and then when the Second World War started er we, we had to leave there and come down to the er sh to the sh shop really.
[990] It was a lock-up shop.
[991] Er and we lived above the shop then.
[992] Well we lived there er yes the whole, whole time, all our married life.
[993] He did move away for a while er and had er workrooms away from the, from the house and I just ran the, the shop.
[994] But erm when I lost my sight then he had to close that down and come back so we were all under one roof [laughing] again [] .
(PS1Y6) [995] Mm.
[996] Where was it that you had to move from [...] during the War?
(PS1Y5) [997] Well it, it [...] I expected that he would have to go and I should have to manage on my own and it was quite er er a, a way to come down to the shop.
[998] We had a shop as well.
[999] Er and it was much easier to be living on the premises, that's what we felt at the time.
[1000] Erm I think perhaps it was a good move in a, in a, in a way, I was, when the children did come along i you know I was, we were al I was all together under one roof.
[1001] The business was there and, and I was there when he went.
[1002] So it, it was it turned out for the best.
(PS1Y6) [1003] Did he go into the army?
(PS1Y5) [1004] No, he didn't go into the army.
[1005] Erm he, I think what he really must have had was er a sort of mild form of polio when he was young and he'd got a shoulder, not completely paralysed but it was partially paralysed.
[1006] So erm they wouldn't take him in the army but he, he was in the more or less he was, he was in the map making department.
[1007] Which was we well rather up his er his you know his, his own work ph photography.
[1008] It was all tied up together.
[1009] He went down to and trained here and then he came back and they made all the maps there.
[1010] They always knew where the next offensive was because they were making maps for them.
(PS1Y6) [1011] And meanwhile you were still running the business during the war?
(PS1Y5) [1012] That's it yes.
[1013] I kept all the connections up.
[1014] We couldn't do an awful lot because it was er er classed as a luxury business er and so we, we couldn't get an awful lot of photographic paper or films or anything of that sort but we managed to keep the connections up with what we could get.
[1015] Er it wasn't too bad, it was there when the war ended.
[1016] There was something to start building on again which was a good thing.
(PS1Y6) [1017] So do you mean that your husband was able to continue with this a bit as well as working for [...] ?
(PS1Y5) [1018] Yes.
[1019] Just a bit, yes.
[1020] He did he didn't do very much but I'd already learnt the business by then.
[1021] Er I could er print and do the enlarging and develop the films.
[1022] Erm so really and truly i i you know with what we'd got it was sort of carrying the business on in a very sort of low way and instead of going round collecting the work it was all done through the post.
[1023] It was all postal work then.
(PS1Y6) [1024] Did people want any special kind of photos during the war that they hadn't asked for previously?
(PS1Y5) [1025] Yes.
[1026] It was all er er sort of er er yes mainly snapshots we used to get of er new babies, children and this sort of thing.
[1027] Er you see but the men a a at the front the that's what they wanted.
[1028] Snaps to send to the er the fathers and er boyfriends er at, at the front, that's what they really wanted.
[1029] Er anything special you know that sor children growing up and you know fathers not seeing them or wives having babies wh which you know they hadn't seen perhaps till they were two years old.
[1030] So there was a lot of er, in fact we used to try to keep the films for er young couples with, with children.
[1031] It was sort of, so few came through it was very much [laughing] sort of under the counter [] .
[1032] You, you kept them and you tried to sort of let people have them who you felt deserved them you know most.
[1033] [laughing] It was very difficult [] .
[1034] But it was very difficult for these for young, young couples with the er er men at the front and perhaps they'd only just got married before the war and it was very hard lines on them.
[1035] I often think er and then of course you see if, if they er the airmen, their wives used to try and get er digs near where the aerodromes were so they could see their menfolk.
[1036] Er and I always used to think it must be extremely, they'd hear them going out at night and you know then count the planes coming back.
[1037] I often think I wish you know we could capture some of those again I think it would jolly well [...] I, I, I wish government could, could really sort of kn know what it was like.
[1038] I don't think they'd be so anxious to [laughing] go to war if they did [] .
[1039] It was the young people th th that I think were hit the most.
[1040] It was ver very hard on, on them.
[1041] And er
(PS1Y6) [1042] Can you remember any particular incidents that happened during the war?
(PS1Y5) [1043] Erm no, well we were very lucky in , we didn't have an awful lot of air raids, we had it over the lace market and er and near.
[1044] But er we, we didn't have any really bad air attacks at all.
[1045] We were very fortunate but I do remember the guns used to go off and I, when my so [laugh] my son was born the, the guns were going off all the time from the castle.
[1046] They, they we they had some guns on the castle and they were [...] , I suppose there must have been enemy planes over.
[1047] You could always, you, you always used to say we could tell the German planes coming over er they'd got a certain sound because they were so heavily ladened .
[1048] And er you, you, you could hear them and used to say, oh yes, that's a German plane.
[1049] But we were very lucky in , we, we didn't really have an awful lot of erm of air raids at all.
(PS1Y6) [1050] And as a mother at the time di do you remember having problems getting food and things during the War?
(PS1Y5) [1051] Er, yes.
[1052] I i it wasn't easy but it was very fair.
[1053] I suppose in the First World War, I don't remember an awful lot about it, we wer always seemed to have enough to eat but er I, I think the Second World War whatever there was it was fairly distributed.
[1054] We were all rationed but we, we everybody got their fair share.
[1055] And er really when you sort of l look at the children who were born during the war and were brought up during the war, they're all pretty strong and healthy.
[1056] So th they couldn't er have done too badly.
[1057] I mean bananas were, were, only children had bananas and er orange juice, you, you got that at the clinic and cod liver oil, terrible horr [laugh] horrible cod liver oil.
[1058] But er they, they did sort of th it was fairly distributed there's no, eggs you'd get perhaps one egg a week on each ration book.
[1059] And then they had a points system which meant that er you had so many points and you could, there were certain foods that were just on points and er you could choose to spend your points on whatever you wanted.
[1060] You could get er pineapple jam, that was i tins of pineapple jam, that was one of the things.
[1061] And tomato jam, which wasn't too bad really.
[1062] But we've [laughing] never heard of it since [] .
[1063] Er and not many fresh eggs but we did get dried eggs which were, were, it wasn't a bad substitute but it [laughing] wasn't the same as a fresh egg [] but you could scramble them and you could use them for cooking but then you see there was very little fat.
[1064] Erm you could get er er margarine.
[1065] I think we had two ounces of margarine a week on each ration book, and butter I think we had an ounce of butter a week, and meat was very scarce.