Recommended Posts

I have mentioned previously, on various threads, the midwife who lived on Bobbers Mill Road when I was a child. One or two others have also mentioned her.  I've often wondered about her and was curious to know more of her history, so I've done a bit of digging.

 

Nurse Heaton...or Nurse Eaton...as some called her, was a familiar figure on Bobbers Mill Road. She must have delivered thousands of babies around that area.  She was my mother's midwife during her pregnancy with my sister, whom she delivered on 09 July 1950 and also her pregnancy with me. However, Nurse Heaton didn't deliver me as she was away over the weekend of 30 November/01 December 1957!  There was an argument with my mother who said I would be born on the Saturday and Nurse Heaton who insisted I would not. She was a midwife and she knew about these things. She was wrong!

 

Alice Heaton was born on 16 January 1908 in Keighley, West Yorkshire. She was one of 7 children born to Thomas Heaton, a plasterer, and his wife, Sarah Elizabeth.  The siblings were:  Harold born 1890, George born 1892, Clarence born 1899,  Charley born 1904, Ellis born 1907 and Hannah born 1911. They resided at 17 Woodhouse Road, Keighley.

 

By 1939, Alice was living at 110 Bobbers Mill Road, alone, and working as a City Midwife.  110 was a large 3 bedroomed council house. One single person certainly wouldn't be living in such a property today. She remained there until her retirement in 1968 and beyond. Nurse Heaton was a familiar figure, in her Call the Midwife uniform, walking down the road to fetch her car which she garaged just below our house, presumably to do her rounds. She retained the car after her retirement, except she then wore civvies.

 

Nurse Heaton was a tough cookie. Very strict. Her standards of cleanliness were the highest and, according to my mother, she could be quite intimidating. First time mothers could have their babies in hospital but my mum didn't fancy that idea. Nurse Heaton assured her that having a baby was the most natural thing in the world and the best place to do it was at home.

 

After her retirement, there were rumours that Alice was suffering from dementia and then she seemed to disappear.  I have discovered that she died on 07 March 1987, in Doncaster.  How she came to be a midwife in Nottingham, I have no idea but anyone reading this potted history in the future might be able to enlighten me. It's amazing who reads Nottstalgia!

 

I would love to know more about the lady who used to pat me on the head every time she saw me and remark: "You're the little girl who couldn't wait!"

 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interestingly my mates family lived next door to her at 112 Bobbers Mill Road  !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I never met her or knew her in any way, but I now have an image in my head of what she looked like.

 

More than a bit of Hattie Jacques ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Much less rotund than Hattie, CT. In those days, midwives and health visitors wore an overcoat and sort of felt cloche hat when they were outdoors. This is what Nurse Heaton wore when I saw her walking down the road. She always looked very smart!  Must have been a tough job, being called out at all hours.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Cliff Ton said:

More than a bit of Hattie Jacques ?

Can't remember who said it about Hattie Jacques playing the Matron in the Carry On films but when she came down the ward it was like a Spanish galleon in full sail. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe the analogy to the Spanish gallon was not about Hattie Jacques per se but was a line by the inimitable and wonderful Joyce Grenfell  in her song "Old Tyme Dancing" 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello commo,  nice to see you posting again x

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Commo said:

I believe the analogy to the Spanish gallon was not about Hattie Jacques per se but was a line by the inimitable and wonderful Joyce Grenfell  in her song "Old Tyme Dancing" 

Just watched it on you tube. The term is, "Stately as a Galleon".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...