Lily Good: The Midwife’s Tale Oral History Collection

Our penultimate extract from The Midwife’s Tale Oral History Collection is taken from an interview with ‘handywoman’ Lily Good. In Britain around the time of the First World War ‘handywoman’ was the name for a woman who attended births, nursed the sick and laid out the dead in her local community. During this period childbirth…

Esther Silverton (part 2): The Midwife’s Tale Oral History Collection

This week’s glimpse at The Midwife’s Tale Oral History Collection is a second extract from the interview with retired midwife Esther Silverton recorded in August 1985. In this extract Esther describes the religous tradition of ‘churching’ new mothers, and the relationship between midwives and doctors. Esther Silverton was born in Portsmouth in 1916, and trained…

Edie Martinson: The Midwife’s Tale Oral History Collection

This week’s extract from The Midwife’s Tale Oral History Collection explores the difficulties experienced by poor and working class mothers in London during the 1930s and 1940s. The interview below features Edie Martinson who was born in London in 1902 and came from a working-class home. She married in 1920 and had five children between…

Alice Forrest: The Midwife’s Tale Oral History Collection

During research for their book, Billie Hunter and Nicky Leap interviewed mothers as well as midwives and nurses, in order to gain a well rounded picture of pregnancy, childbirth, and pre and post natal care before the NHS. This extract from The Midwife’s tale Oral History Collection features an interview with mother Alice Forrest who…

Mary Wroe: The Midwife’s Tale Oral History Collection

Our next look at the recently released Midwife’s Tale Oral History Collection is an extract of an interview with Mary Wroe covering her experiences as a community midwife. Mary was born in 1908 in a Yorkshire mining village. She was a miner’s daughter and trained as a midwife in 1931 before returning to her home…

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…

Eve Osborn: The Midwife’s Tale Oral History Collection

The second extract from The Midwife’s Tale Oral History Collection is taken from an interview with midwife Eve Osborn, recorded in 1986. In this extract Eve describes her experiences working as a midwife on the district in Bexleyheath, in the London Borough of Bexley, during the Second World War . Interview reference: RCMS/251/8 Transcript: Interviewer:…

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…