Gwynedd County Council tape 2: interview for oral history project. Sample containing about 4489 words speech recorded in leisure context

2 speakers recorded by respondent number C368

PS2VN X m (No name, age unknown, historian, Interviewer) unspecified
PS2VP Ag5 f (No name, age 84, retired district nurse, Interviewee) unspecified

1 recordings

  1. Tape 103301 recorded on 1984. LocationGwynedd: Anglesey () Activity: Interview for oral history project Interview/reminiscences

Undivided text

(PS2VN) [1] Can I begin by asking you how
(PS2VP) [2] Yes you do please I'd rather
(PS2VN) [3] How.
(PS2VP) [4] you did
(PS2VN) [5] Yes.
[6] How do I address you?
[7] Is it Nurse ?
(PS2VP) [8] Yes.
[9] Yes.
[10] That's right yes.
[11] Nurse or Mrs , which you like.
(PS2VN) [12] Yes.
[13] Were you born on Anglesey?
(PS2VP) [14] I was.
[15] In [...] did you want to hear that?
(PS2VN) [16] Yes.
(PS2VP) [17] In [...] .
[18] Primrose Place [...] , and it's still there now.
[19] The little house [...]
(PS2VN) [20] Were you born into a big family?
(PS2VP) [21] Yes.
[22] Five of us and we're all alive.
(PS2VN) [23] What did your parents do?
(PS2VP) [24] Erm well my father was a like a on a far a small farmer's son you see.
[25] And he was a man of all trade in the end because my grandfather's like that.
[26] He could do anything.
[27] But he did help most in the ... with the graveyards in the end and he used to ring the bell in the church.
[28] He was a bell ringer for years.
[29] My father was.
[30] And my great grandfather he was a bookbinder.
[31] He's buried in [...] .
[32] And er I used to think in the old days that bookbinding was a very common thing, but since I've grown er and gone through the world, I thought he was a very clever man.
[33] [...] he's buried in [...] and he was the only bookbinder round here.
(PS2VN) [34] Did you got to school in [...] ?
(PS2VP) [35] Yes.
[36] I went to school in [...] till I was fourteen.
(PS2VN) [37] Did you enjoy school?
(PS2VP) [38] Yes I did I would have liked to have gone much farther but I couldn't.
[39] My grandparents said they couldn't afford it.
[40] But I think they could have afforded, just the idea of me leaving home.
[41] I'd have to stay in Holyhead for a few nights.
[42] [laugh] And no bike you see.
(PS2VN) [43] Is that how most children got to the school there?
(PS2VP) [44] Yes.
[45] And most er most of the children you see went from [...] to Holyhead.
[46] [...] there were no buses them days.
[47] They had to walk to Valley Station to the train unless their people could afford to buy them bicycles [...] .
[48] So erm
(PS2VN) [49] Did you have any ambitions at school?
(PS2VP) [50] I did.
[51] I wanted to be a teacher.
[52] Or a nurse. ...
(PS2VN) [53] So what did you do when you left school?
(PS2VP) [54] Erm well I went to Liverpool.
[55] I was promised that I could learn t I could be a nurse if I went and I went to the Bishop of Liverpool's erm household in Liverpool.
[56] Er I met them in [...] when they were on holiday and that's how I got in.
[57] And she took to me and she took me to Liverpool and they were very good to me.
[58] I was there till I was married.
[59] I forgot about the nursing.
[60] I they were so good and I was so happy that the nursing went you see.
(PS2VN) [61] So what were you doing there?
(PS2VP) [62] Er well I was doing all kinds really there was a staff then and of servants but I was lo I was er looking after the old lady more than anything.
[63] And doing afterwards I did t er See the war came and they couldn't get people.
[64] People went to do ammunition and all that.
[65] See there's more money.
[66] So I erm took [...] I I helped the parlour work.
[67] When the when the er what do you call him?
[68] The butler went off, there was no butler then so I really helped with the with the [...] with the with the food and all that you know.
[69] I enjoyed it very much.
[70] I forgot about my nursing [...] .
[71] And see good nice people visited you see, and they were always very kind.
(PS2VN) [72] Did you miss Anglesey?
(PS2VP) [73] Well no I didn't miss Anglesey at all because er my outlook was to get away and to do something different.
[74] You see.
[75] I was never homesick.
(PS2VN) [76] How long were you in Liverpool?
(PS2VP) [77] [whispering] Nineteen [...] [] j from eighteen to thirty three, what does that come to?
(PS2VN) [78] Er fifteen years.
(PS2VP) [79] [...] .
[80] Eighteen and ten, twenty years.
(PS2VN) [81] Twenty [...]
(PS2VP) [82] Yes you were right, fifteen years.
[83] Yes.
[84] I was married in nineteen twenty three.
[85] ... From the Bishop's Palace, in the Welsh church in Liverpool.
[86] It's not there now.
[87] A lovely Welsh church [...] .
[88] And the Bishop married me there and the vicar and er quite a lot of people had come there from all over like because I was being marrying in the Welsh church you see, I didn't have a lot of And the Bishop married me, that was something for them to come.
[89] And I went to Liverpool to London for my honeymoon.
[90] My husband came from Hastings.
(PS2VN) [91] How did you get back into nursing?
(PS2VP) [92] Well I lost my husband in nineteen thirty three.
[93] It would be.
[94] In nineteen thirty three, my husband died suddenly.
[95] I don't want to go into that.
[96] And erm it's a sad, very sad tale.
[97] And then you see I gave up my home in Liverpool and came to Anglesey to my people.
[98] Well I wasn't happy here, I wanted my own place.
[99] And I wanted to be doing something so I went I went back to nursing.
[100] I went to do midwifery.
[101] I went to London for my training.
(PS2VN) [102] How long did that take?
(PS2VP) [103] Pardon?
(PS2VN) [104] How long did that take you?
[105] The training.
(PS2VP) [106] It took two years.
[107] Because I took midwifery and I took a little bit of erm school nursing and general you know, so that I was capable take a district on Anglesey.
[108] I wanted to be on Anglesey because my son was at school by then you see in [...] .
[109] He was only four and a half when his father died.
(PS2VN) [110] After your training did you come straight back to Anglesey?
(PS2VP) [111] Yes I came to back to Angl to Rhos-y-Bol.
[112] Well I did a little a bit round er [...] like Llan not Llandudno.
[113] Rhyl and that area.
[114] [...] because my superintendent from Anglesey, she was superintendent from [...] as well you see.
[115] And then she was short of a nursing there and then I went there for a bit.
[116] There was a gap in Anglesey.
(PS2VN) [117] What was it like in Rhos-y-Bol?
(PS2VP) [118] Er quiet.
[119] People were very kind.
[120] Very kind indeed.
[121] They'd share anything with you.
[122] And erm er they relied on you, they depended on you.
[123] Always worrying you if there was something for the least.
[124] I think really they wanted just to get to the house something to talk about those days you see.
[125] The men were kind, very kind.
[126] Nobody'd let me wheel my bike or carry my bag.
[127] If they were about.
[128] There wasn't kinder people anywhere than Rhos-y-Bol.
[129] The er the older generation.
[130] They're going now you see.
(PS2VN) [131] Was it a lot smaller then?
(PS2VP) [132] Lot smaller then.
[133] Oh yes they've built oh dear dear, they've built houses and houses I don't know Rhos-y-Bol today.
[134] Although I only live three miles away you see.
[135] And I left Rhos-y-Bol when I retired because I felt I they'd have to have another nurse there, and you see the other nurse would never be able to enjoy the They would always be running to me a and it wouldn't be fair to another nurse.
[136] Erm they wouldn't she'd be alright for the first time you see, but they would get tired and then they'd be they'd be on to me.
[137] I mean it wouldn't be fair to anybody to start afresh there.
[138] So I left and came here.
[139] I bought this plot of land and built this bungalow on it.
(PS2VN) [140] How big an area did you have when you [...] in Rhos-y-Bol?
(PS2VP) [141] It was quite four and half miles round the area you see.
[142] Five miles in some places.
[143] You see the area and I did on a bicycle you know.
[144] ... Not like today.
[145] You went twice a day in those days to the mothers and babies.
[146] And you visit them for there was one time we visit them for fourteen day ... daily but I don't think they do it now.
[147] And then it coul com cut down to ten days.
[148] But by the time you see I had [...] the St David's Hospital opened by then in Bangor.
[149] See when I came to Rhos-y-Bol in nineteen thirty three, there was no St David's Hospital then, all the babies were born at home.
[150] And er there was only the workhouse at [...] that they could go.
[151] And I oh I fought hard I never wanted a baby to be born in the wok house cos the word workhouse to me in the old it was a terrible name.
[152] And I wouldn't like a child of mine and I managed just two I had to send to the workhouse and a mother and baby died there, it was a bad case you see.
[153] And the other little boy was born there but I used to visit him, I see him on the district and it always came back to me fancy Humphrey's the only one Shouldn't mention name really.
[154] Was born in [...] you know.
[155] It's a great thing to keep them from and to me in those days.
[156] Cos I used to remember w er Liverpool erm I can't think something Hill in Liverp Wharton Hill workhouse.
[157] Oh everybody dreaded going there.
[158] Things have changed, things have improved you see.
(PS2VN) [159] What did Anglesey people think about the workhouse?
(PS2VP) [160] Well in those days everybody was afraid and erm oh it was a blow if anybody had to go to the Valley.
[161] Valley was the name those days.
[162] Oh dear dear it was worse than I c anything I can think of.
[163] But today you see, the Valley Hospital is lovely.
[164] It's a different view altogether.
[165] I've been there and I find how happy people are there.
[166] It's really a treat to go there and see how things have changed isn't it.
[167] People are so kind today.
(PS2VN) [168] Did you use a bike all the time you were at Rhos-y-Bol?
(PS2VP) [169] I used the bicycle from nineteen thirty five ... until nineteen fifty.
[170] And I tried to save up for a car cos my son was in the army.
[171] Yeah he was taken to the army from the Grammar School in Holyhead [cough] and I did want a car when he came home.
[172] I thought, I'd like him to think that I'd improved a little bit.
[173] And erm managed to buy a car and I paid four hundred and ten for it.
[174] Just think of it.
(PS2VN) [175] What sort of car was it?
(PS2VP) [176] It was a lovely little standard.
[177] And then I m I exchanged in twelve months cos I was lucky I had put my name in two places to get a car.
[178] You couldn't get in those days d during the war you see.
[179] And erm I managed to get one twelve months after and that was an Austin ten.
[180] That was a great car we thought you see.
[181] The Austin ten and I had that when my son came home from the army.
[182] So he taught me to drive see and It was much easier then you see with a car.
[183] Then th they added to my district then again.
[184] The Rhos-y-Bol practically finished.
[185] Cos you went to some much bigger area you see.
[186] So i did a little bit of here and there in Rhos-y-Bol, relieving different places after after retired really for a couple of years.
(PS2VN) [187] How many districts were there?
(PS2VP) [188] Well when I started I'm sure there was about twenty.
[189] And we we see we'd only have these small areas see.
[190] See there'd be Amlwch, Rhos- y-Bol, [...] Well now it's one area see the lot of it.
[191] And then there's Menai Bridge, and [...] nearly one there's Menai Bridge was one, [...] was one.
[192] Then the [...] area, that's right, there's three or four areas that way again you see.
(PS2VN) [193] What was your most common sort of problem?
(PS2VP) [194] Common problem?
[195] Getting about I think.
[196] See the weather you see was bad [...] if you had it bad but I I kept well in health considering you know.
[197] And you know people were very good.
[198] See people didn't have cars, and if it was now, they could only help me by bringing a horse to meet me or erm or a tractor if they half way.
[199] And then perhaps we could then perhaps they could somebody would shovel the snow and [...] it was very hard in the Winter you know, some places.
[200] Perhaps you could c come from [...] you see, but you wouldn't be able to come near Amlwch [...] or you could get to Amlwch and you couldn't get to [...] .
[201] They were [...] h hard times you know.
[202] And there were no telephones you see when I first came.
[203] Didn't get a telephone till nineteen well I couldn't tell you really.
[204] I was years without a telephone in Rhos- y-Bol.
(PS2VN) [205] How did people get in touch with you?
(PS2VP) [206] Well they had to fetch me.
[207] They had to come see.
[208] In their own way.
[209] With a bike mostly, then I'd go with them on the bike see.
[210] But the t we did have a telephone to the post office when it first came.
[211] And then people were making use of that.
[212] But the post office people didn't like it again.
[213] They had to come, give me my messages you see.
[214] People left messages but that wasn't right again.
[215] So they didn't like telephones.
[216] [laugh] Then er the [...] county then had to give us telephones.
[217] But really it was it [...] years without [...] .
(PS2VN) [218] What was the prelavent case you had to treat?
[219] Was it usually just childbirth?
(PS2VP) [220] Well it was erm ... I don't think I can remember [...] .
[221] ... Bleeding you know what do you call [...] .
[222] What do you call it now [...] .
[223] It was the babies you see that [...] they were Well you had to have the doctor to you.
[224] I only had to call Mr [...] once.
[225] To a case.
[226] And he was the superintendent of Angle started you see, St David's Hospital.
[227] And he came once to me on the district to me I don't know [...] he went to others.
[228] [cough] And [...] called him.
[229] It was a case of right in the face.
[230] Post parting haemorrhage.
[231] And anyway he'd survived.
[232] And we took the mother to Bangor next day in the ambulance.
[233] Oh it was a terrible place to get the ambulance into.
[234] It was in the fields outside [...] in the bogs there.
[235] And [...] people just come here.
[236] And there was an old lady there and she fell down and broke her arm, we had a terrible night of it.
[237] But she survived and she lived and brought her children and they left to be in England again.
[238] They were English people.
(PS2VN) [239] What was your most unusual case?
(PS2VP) [240] Unusual case?
[241] [laugh] Oh what shall I tell you now?
[242] Well I've had cases in the bus you know.
[243] Babies in the bus has been born.
[244] I've had them born in the car on the way ... the the mother have come to see me the father has brought her to see me thinking that if she could just see me she'd be alright.
[245] But anyway the baby's been born in the car before he got home.
[246] [cough] Yeah.
[247] [laugh] It's a scream isn't it.
[248] They're happy days you know.
[249] Happy days and the money was small but still, don't worry. [...]
(PS2VN) [250] Did that did that get better as time went on?
(PS2VP) [251] Oh yes.
[252] Yes.
[253] Yes, when it first came, it was only [...] two pound a week.
[254] And I had to pay my rooms out of that.
[255] Five shillings.
[256] Out of that you see and my insurance and all that isn't it.
[257] And it wasn't a lot you see.
[258] [...] But erm I was lucky mind.
[259] People were comfortable and I could always go and get something I wanted.
[260] And pe people were very g farmers those days.
[261] They were farmers those days, they were you know people with feeling.
[262] You see today it's the men servants of the old farms that are farmers today.
[263] See the old farmers they were very generous.
[264] What they had, was yours.
[265] Potatoes,car any anything they had, butter and milk, you never came from a farm in the old days without something in your hand.
[266] When you were the district nurse.
[267] And the minister used to get the same.
[268] The minister was well looked after those days to.
[269] We were the we were the poor ones weren't we.
(PS2VN) [270] When did that change?
[271] Was there a sort of point when it all changed?
(PS2VP) [272] Yes well it changed see when the war came.
[273] When the er when the war came, this last war it would be wouldn't it.
[274] Erm and people had been paying insurance i it changed then cos some of the farmers could go on their pension they'd been paying this new scheme you see.
[275] And then the younger generation took the farms on.
[276] That's when it changed.
[277] The farming changed all together.
[278] And our money was better by then.
[279] I think I was getting nearly five pound a week by then.
[280] Well er today see it's my pension is three times as that.
[281] More.
[282] When you think [...] .
[283] So I was paying my superann you see.
[284] I always paid that, it's a good thing I've done it you know.
[285] Otherwise you see that helps on my pension today.
[286] In one way it's a great help.
[287] But I suppose if I hadn't got anything I'd get it from somewhere.
[288] I find those that haven't got anything are just as well off today.
(PS2VN) [289] Did you have a union? ...
(PS2VP) [290] Well I suppose you would call it a union wouldn't you.
[291] Erm the midwives ... the midwife had erm Now what did you call it?
[292] It was like a union [...] for the midwives you see.
[293] [...] Er the nurses had but we didn't [...] we more district midwives on the district you see.
[294] [...] the things changed and after that. ...
(PS2VN) [295] When you first arrived at Rhos-y-Bol, were you taking over from another nurse?
(PS2VP) [296] Pardon?
(PS2VN) [297] Did you take over from another nurse?
[298] At Rhos-y-Bol or were you the first there ?
(PS2VP) [299] Yes I did yes.
[300] The nurse had just got married.
[301] The district was only twelve months old.
[302] She'd only been there twelve months.
(PS2VN) [303] Did you find it hard to get accepted?
(PS2VP) [304] Pardon?
(PS2VN) [305] Did you find it hard to get accepted?
(PS2VP) [306] No I didn't.
[307] They were ve no they were very good they were.
[308] They were pleased to have a nurse you see cos they hadn't had a nurse.
[309] The f the nurse before me was the first one.
[310] Only they didn't know how to treat a nurse.
[311] ... Er it was all new to them you see.
[312] They thought Seemed to think you were on duty morning noon and night.
[313] They's come to the door any all time you see.
[314] But it didn't matter as long as you could help isn't it.
[315] You got used to it.
[316] [...] get bad tempered sometimes but then [...]
(PS2VN) [317] Were there any superstitions around?
[318] Did people still use folk remedies?
(PS2VP) [319] No I don't think so.
[320] ... And I don't think so really.
[321] ... Can't remember anything like that.
(PS2VN) [322] What was Anglesey like during the war?
[323] Did the war affect
(PS2VP) [324] Oh yes it did.
[325] Cos we had evacuees here you see er during the war.
[326] [...] there was plenty to eat here you know.
[327] You see they came from Liverpool a lot of them.
[328] But they used to get very lonely.
[329] ... When they came, that was the trouble.
[330] But they used to I had my house packed to the wall.
[331] Friends from Liverpool I opened my house to.
[332] They would come see perhaps for two or three weekends [...] you know.
[333] Then they's go back to Liverpool.
[334] When it starts [...] in Liverpool again, they'd come back again.
[335] I le let my an open house to my friends from Liverpool.
[336] Friends that had been kind to me.
[337] Then they got very [...] in er after two years after the was had started erm South of England got it badly you see.
[338] So my in-laws were South of England people and I opened my house to them.
[339] They came for the first lot for nine months, then they went back.
[340] They came back again, they were here nearly two years.
[341] My in-laws.
[342] From Hastings that was you see.
[343] So I was I I had my house full all through the war.
(PS2VN) [344] Did the evacuees mean a lot more work?
(PS2VP) [345] Well I didn't work, I opened the house for them and they looked after themselves.
[346] I never fed them or [...] they were to look after themselves.
[347] There was a bed for them you see.
[348] And a room to eat [...] .
[349] And er Liverpool people were very good, very kind, they always had a meal for me [...] things if they could.
[350] And I used to get vegetables you see in from the farmers.
[351] And very often if anybody was killing a pig or anything, I'd always get a piece of erm pork something like that.
[352] Not [...] the people were very kind in Rhos-y-Bol.
[353] The old Rhos-y-Bol people.
(PS2VN) [354] Did that change after the war?
(PS2VP) [355] Changed after the war, yes.
[356] It was the new lots growing up then you see.
[357] They've been brought up different way haven't they.
[358] More [...] .
[359] You see there was milk cheap and different things after the war for them you see.
[360] To babies had this dried milk and some of them got it cheap and I suppose there was no work and then they were poor weren't they.
[361] They used to pay me fifteen shillings a week.
[362] If I had my case at home without a doctor.
[363] And they thought that fifteen pound was an awful lot of money.
[364] But if they had a doctor you see, they'd have to pay a pound.
[365] So I used to try and manage.
[366] And I did too, managed very well.
[367] Considering.
(PS2VN) [368] Were most of your patients Welsh?
(PS2VP) [369] All Welsh those days.
[370] After the t after the war you see.
[371] But when the war came you see they came as evacuees a lot of them and then they never went back.
[372] And it got on from that you see.
[373] And then er people left the towns and their their relations.
[374] I suppose Rhos-y- Bol is all English today.
[375] i don't know who lives there.
[376] See all those houses they built [...] .
(PS2VN) [377] In your time as a district nurse, what were the greatest changes you noticed?
(PS2VP) [378] See it's the war that changed everything didn't it.
[379] The war changed everything.
[380] And then went.
[381] ... And then the land you see they worked more on the land didn't they.
[382] The men did, farming took er more men didn't it.
[383] And then the camps you see, during the war, you see people were out of work during the war e before the war in Rhos-y-Bol.
[384] Be sitting on the wall by my [...] a lot of the men.
[385] But you see the camp when the war came, opened somewhere in er near Valley and everybody got a job.
[386] And a lot of them went away after.
[387] W So er things changed completely didn't it.
[388] Everything changed after.
(PS2VN) [389] What about on the medical side?
(PS2VP) [390] Oh the medical side was wonderful.
[391] We've had wonderful doctors in Amlwch.
[392] Sir Thomas , oh he was a marvel.
[393] He was a dear father and he had two sons, doctors.
[394] Marvellous sons he had again.
[395] And then Dr , he was a genius, and he was a born in [...] and I knew h my family and his family knew one another.
[396] And you know I adored Dr , he was a wonderful man.
[397] He was kind, didn't say much and worked hard.
[398] He died young in about sixty.
[399] A man that understood the people.
[400] We were very fortunate and we're still fortunate.
[401] We've got lovely young doctors here now.
[402] A Dr [...] from [...] he was Sir Thomas's son you know lovely.
[403] So kind you know, nothing was too much for him.
(PS2VN) [404] Is there still a district nurse as such?
(PS2VP) [405] Pardon?
(PS2VN) [406] Is there still a district nurse as such?
[407] Or is it now just er surgeries?
(PS2VP) [408] Oh no no they have district nurses now.
[409] Cos Dr offered me the the other day, a nurse to do my leg.
[410] We're awfully fortunate here.
[411] You've got a team of young doctors again, [...] to see me.
[412] I think they're marvellous.
[413] We're most fortunate I think.
[414] I think the young people today, they're very kind you know.
[415] It's only an odd one I think.
[416] But mind you, people can be awkward too can't they.
[417] Erm it isn't the doctors you see that are awkward.
[418] But people can be very awkward.
[419] I only found about one say a couple of awkward people, all the twenty years I was in Rhos-y-Bol.
[420] But they were the same family the same Same people all through the years.
[421] The awkward ones.
(PS2VN) [422] Why were they awkward?
[423] Just for the sake of being awkward?
(PS2VP) [424] I don't know, they demanded more you see.
[425] Er they wouldn't look for you when you were there, but if you'd gone out somewhere, oh they'd be looking for you.
[426] They wanted to cause trouble.
[427] For there were always something you see with them.
[428] Er only one or two of them.
[429] And I think they're still there in Rhos-y-Bol.
[430] I don't think they'll get rid of them. [laugh]
(PS2VN) [laugh]
(PS2VP) [431] They'll grow up and a little bit'll come from somewhere over there.
[432] Mm.
[433] Nothing gives me more pleasure now and if I go to the to the libraries and a young lad I say a young man like you will come to me and say, Hello Nurse, How are you?
[434] I's very well thank's.
[435] How are you?
[436] [...] He said, You remember me don't you?
[437] Well not quite, I said.
[438] But oh yes.
[439] And er you know, it's lovely really to see them and to think they remember you still isn't it.
[440] Mm.
[441] I used to shout at them you know.
[442] Mm.
[443] [...] . My son used to [...] Don't shout at them mother, he said.
[444] Well, I said, they are naughty.
[445] They were running round my house they were.
[446] So this night my son said to me, Mother, he said, when those boys have grown up men, do you know what they'll be saying?
[447] I said, No.
[448] They'll be saying, Do you remember a a big fat woman living in that their house, with a white apron running after us.
[449] They'll remember you like that you know, he said.
[450] It don't worry me how they remember me. [laugh] [cough]
(PS2VN) [451] Mm.
[452] Do you still stay in touch with the other district nurses?
(PS2VP) [453] Oh yes, but there's very few of them, you'd be su I'm eighty four you see.
[454] And erm you see most of them have k very few of them [...] .
[455] I [...] Nurse [...] hers was lovely to work with.
[456] And Nurse Williams [...] into the clinic to see her, they're much younger than me you see.
[457] And they're lovely young people they were to work with really.
[458] It's only those two now I think.
[459] Because you know a lot of that had died you know.
[460] They were A lovely little nurse we had in [...] me and nurse Williams from [...] .
[461] She was very [...] [recording ends]