Category Archives: Edinburgh 1960 – 1967

Nurse Caswell trained to become a midwife at the Simpson Memorial Maternity Pavillion (1961) in Edinburgh after completing general training at Shotley Bridge Hospital, County Durham (1957-60).

A MIDWIFE AT SOUTHHOUSE, EDINBURGH

This photo is of Sister Caswell (abt 1962), now qualified as a midwife following training at ‘The Simpson’ (Simpson Memorial Maternity Pavillion) in Edinburgh. She is stood outside the midwives home in Southhouse Farmhouse, Edinburgh. There were three domiciliary midwives  and pupil midwives living here. All employed by the Edinburgh Corporation.

In Southhouse June 1964
Sister Caswell with a baby that she delivered.
This baby was called Dale B. Croft and he was delivered by Sister Caswell. His second name is actually just the letter B. His parents were from America.
Midwife at southhouse, The baby is Jenifer Allen one of the midwives daughters – Muriel Allen (nee Taylor) ~1963/64

Picnicking with the other midwives in Edinburgh July 1966

To be honest there is absolutely no memory associated with this photo. I can only assume that Sister Caswell is the one holding the camera, although she has no memory of every being there.

Pupil Midwives

Pupil midwives had to do ten deliveries in the hospital and ten deliveries in the district. They were all from the Simpson.

Joan Bailey

Was a good midwife, she was based purely at South House. She eventually became a Health Visitor and was a JP in Carlisle. Her father (Ron) and his wife were colporteur. Ron was a lovely man, a real gentleman. They lived in London and Sister Caswell used to visit frequently when she was working in Thornton Heath and used to visit with Joan when they worked together in Edinburgh.

Rosemary Ralphs

Was based at Connington District. When Sister Caswell was working abroad she went to be a Health Visitor, District Nurse and District Midwife on the West Coast of Scotland. One winter her car came off the road and went into a rive, it was only by chance that a lorry driver saw her and rescued her. Tragically her back was broken and she did not survive for long afterwards.

VISITING MUM AND DAD

“The first time, when I left home I was given the weekend off straight away and I came home, I didn’t have a car so I took the train from Edinburgh to Newcastle and then the bus from Newcastle to Consett and then from Consett to Castleside. I knocked at the door and mum answered, and she exclaimed “Have you run away?” I had only been there a week.”

Nurse Caswell would regularly come home but she would never give her parents any warning.

Mum (Mamie), Dad (Leslie) and Missie the dog.
Leslie Caswell (Jan 1966)

BECOMING A MIDWIFE

Nurse Caswell trained to become a midwife at the Simpson Memorial Maternity Pavillion (1961) in Edinburgh after completing general training at Shotley Bridge Hospital, County Durham (1957-60). She also worked as a staff nurse at Shotley Bridge General Hospital on the Orthapaedic Ward before deciding to train as a midwife.

All domiciliary midwives were expected to to be able to drive and we taught by the bus inspector Mr Wilson at the Edinburgh Corporation. The car they were given was a Ford Popular.

Setting off on her morning rounds (March 1965)

“One day I parked the car in Princess Street one time and someone came running after me to ask me to park their car because they thought I was a Jenner’s driver!”

“On another occasion I was struggling to park the car and was driving in and out and in and out. Finally I got it parked and two policemen came over and said “We were going to give you two more minute and then offer to lift it in”. I couldn’t park then and I can’t park now!”

Once trained she worked as a midwife 1962-1967 working both at Southhouse and Niddrie. Her title was now Sister Caswell.

Royal Observatory Edinburgh, Braid Hills (March 1965)