Esther Silverton: The Midwife’s Tale Oral History Collection

A retired midwife delivers an exuberant and detailed account of her first solo delivery. Esther Silverton was born in Portsmouth in 1916, and trained as a nurse, then midwife, during the Second World War having been largely deprived of educational opportunities earlier in life. Apart from an initial spell in a small maternity hospital, she…

The Midwife’s Tale Oral History Collection

In honour of the International Day of the Midwife 2016 we are delighted to launch The Midwife’s Tales Oral History Collection. This unique and colourful series of oral history recordings and transcripts were collected and preserved by Billie Hunter and Nicky Leap while researching and writing their book, The Midwife’s Tale: an Oral History from…

Nursing Notes: August 1914

This month’s blog post is taken from the August 1914 volume of the Nursing Notes journal. At the start of August 1914, European nations were busy declaring war on one another and so orchestrating the outbreak of what would turn out to be the First World War. Meanwhile, as unaware as everybody else of just…

Nursing Notes, May 1888

For this month’s post we go right back to the early days of the journal, to May of 1888, just 6 years following the establishment of the Midwives Institute. The most striking message given in this volume of the journal, is the mission of the Midwives’ Institute, and indeed of Nursing Notes – to reach…

Nursing Notes, March 1926

This month’s post comes from the 1926 volume of Nursing Notes: a drug-fuelled heritage post is on the cards this month, as we look back to 1926 and follow issues concerning the midwifery profession! The leading article concerns the use of opium by midwives – I hasten to add that this does not refer to the…

Midwives Chronicle and Nursing Notes, February 1946

This month’s blog is taken from the 1946 volume of Midwives Chronicle and Nursing Notes. Two items really stick out as being worthy of mention in this volume, the first of which brings us right back into the 21st century. The parallels of the current campaign for more midwives and the gentle, but rather scathing,…

Nursing Notes & Midwives’ Chronicle, January 1931

This post comes from the January 1931 issue of Nursing Notes & Midwives’ Chronicle, Vol XLIII, No 57. The new year of 1931 brought little hope to many of the women living in Britain: the ripples of the Wall Street Crash in the USA in 1929 extended to Europe, where undeveloped and archaic industries were…

Midwives Chronicle and Nursing Notes, November 1979

This month’s post is taken from Volume 92 of Midwives Chronicle and Nursing Notes, 1979. The midwives of November 1979 were officially disappointed. The implementation of the Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors Act, which had been passed that year, was officially put on hold. The new statute provided a framework for nursing education and reorganised…

Nursing Notes October 1902

This month’s post comes from the 1902 volume of Nursing Notes. Back to 1902 and the year of the passing of the Midwives Act, and this issue of Nursing Notes reflects the transition stage which the midwifery profession was going through. These early issues of the Nursing Notes are wonderful examples of social thinking and…

Nursing Notes & Midwives Chronicle, September 1914

This post is taken from the September 1914 issue of The Nursing Notes and Midwives Chronicles. This issue of Nursing Notes reflects the impact of the outbreak of the First World War the previous month. On turning the front page the reader finds a statement from the producers of infant dried milk, Glaxo, reassuring customers…