Author Topic: Midwives - strange uniforms.  (Read 578 times)

Offline doddsie4

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Midwives - strange uniforms.
« on: Saturday 14 July 18 11:57 BST (UK) »
My G/grandmother was a Qualified midwife.   She was born Edith Rachel Wilson in 1874, married a Holmes and then lived mainly in Manchester till she died in 1949.      I have attached photos of her in a cape and a coat, which was apparently the midwives uniform.      I am wondering if the uniform was always the same design or could the date of these photos be traced by the design of the strange looking uniform.       If she wore this in Glasgow in her young days, I can imagine her getting "second looks" quite a lot, and maybe a few wisecracks as well.      Anyone know if this was the normal uniforn, and does anyone have a rough idea when they might have been taken?

        The photo has a window in the background advertising Spirella Corsets.      Don't suppose anyone from Manchester knows if Spirella had a place like that...    anyone know where this place was?      I am pretty sure it would be Manchester, but there is an outside chance that it could be Glasgow. 

        A second, more serious question ...    when Edith Rachel died in Manchester, my grandmother had her body brought up from Manchester to be buried in the family grave up here.     Curious as to how this was arranged.      How would the coffin & body be transported - by train perhaps.    And then what when it arrived at Central station.     What then?   
                                                                                                 Brian
Searching for Bap of Edward Worels born 1826 Hollingbourne, Kent

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Offline medpat

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Re: Midwives - strange uniforms.
« Reply #1 on: Saturday 14 July 18 12:10 BST (UK) »
She could have been driven by car from the train if the body did get there by train. There would have been hearses in 1949. There would have been motor hearses and horse drawn hearses.

My husband had a gt gt etc grandfather died about 50 miles from where he lived and he was buried 3/4 days later at his local church the body having been taken the 50 miles in the 1780s. He became ill working away from home.
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Offline doddsie4

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Re: Midwives - strange uniforms.
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 14 July 18 12:37 BST (UK) »
    My grandmother, her brother and Edith Rachel Holmes all lived in the same large Manchester house at Longsight and the brother had a Riley car, and he would come up to Scotland on regular visits.       Was it legal for a coffin to be placed into a car and driven all that distance?       I am thinking this might have been what happened, now that you mention cars.   

     I had a ride in that car once or twice.    I can still smell the leather from the seats as though it was just yesterday.     They don't make cars like that any more.
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Offline medpat

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Re: Midwives - strange uniforms.
« Reply #3 on: Saturday 14 July 18 12:43 BST (UK) »
A hearse may have gone from Manchester to Glasgow to deliver to a local undertaker or the Glasgow undertaker went to fetch the body. There may have been legal requirements but I'm sure the undertakers would have known what to do.
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Offline Billyblue

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Re: Midwives - strange uniforms.
« Reply #4 on: Saturday 14 July 18 12:58 BST (UK) »
It's a bit difficult to see her uniform but it appears to be a high-necked blouse/dress with an apron over it.
When I was a trainee nurse we wore similar uniforms - a white slub frock with a starched white apron (with bib and skirt), and a starched white collar and starched white belt, plus white stockings and shoes. Plus a white cap - more starch!

Nurses' actual uniform designs depended on which hospital one worked at.

Once graduated, we were still expected to wear white uniforms (this is back in the 1950s).
I went to work in a country hospital in Queensland after I graduated, and the matron had me 'on the mat' when I wore a lemon coloured uniform to work.  "We wear only white uniforms in this hospital, Sister!"

If your GGM wasn't attached to a particular hospital, she had more leeway in what she wore, but it would have been pretty standard.  And recognisable as a local nurse, so rather than getting 'sideways glances' it probably gained her a modicum of respect.

Do you think the headgear is part of the uniform?  Or is it just something to help keep her warm?
Looks like some sort of bonnet under it.  Bonnets / caps would have been the norm in those days.

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Offline Rena

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Re: Midwives - strange uniforms.
« Reply #5 on: Saturday 14 July 18 13:12 BST (UK) »
My grandfather was born 1863 in Glasgow and worked for Scotland's Caledonian Railway then was sent down to Manchester depot when Caledonian merged with an English railway.

His uncle was born in Tollcross near Old Monkland/Glasgow, Lanarkshire and died in New Cumnock Ayrshire in 1880.  I have a newspaper account of how his body was given a send off from New Cumnock, Ayrshire by train, the coffin being conveyed to that station by hearse, with the destination being the churchyard of Tollcross village, Lanarkshire, where he grew up. The coffin was met by a horse drawn hearse and conveyed to the churchyard.

I suspect your nurse's final journey was by train.  Probably carried in the rear goods wagon being looked after by the usual uniformed guard whose job it was to ride with the train and oversee everything that was being transported.
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Re: Midwives - strange uniforms.
« Reply #6 on: Saturday 14 July 18 13:32 BST (UK) »


        The photo has a window in the background advertising Spirella Corsets.      Don't suppose anyone from Manchester knows if Spirella had a place like that...    anyone know where this place was?      I am pretty sure it would be Manchester, but there is an outside chance that it could be Glasgow. 



“There is a trained Spirella Corsetiere resident in every town and district, ready to call at your convenience. She will measure and fit you in the privacy of your own home”
http://www.corsetiere.net/Spirella/Corsetiere/Spirella_bthistory.htm


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Offline LizzieW

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Re: Midwives - strange uniforms.
« Reply #7 on: Saturday 14 July 18 16:00 BST (UK) »
Quote
“There is a trained Spirella Corsetiere resident in every town and district, ready to call at your convenience. She will measure and fit you in the privacy of your own home”

My mum was a qualified corsetiere, she had quite a long training and took exams and was very "sniffy" about the so called Spirella Corsetieres. 

Offline doddsie4

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Re: Midwives - strange uniforms.
« Reply #8 on: Saturday 14 July 18 16:01 BST (UK) »
   Dawn M, 
                It is mainly the what she is wearing on her head that puzzles me.    I doubt if that long cape was meant to be wrapped around her neck on cold days to keep out the cold - but I can't see what else it could be used for.    I would guess the vast majority of folk WOULD highly respect her... but you know, there are always a few.....     

        An ancestor of mine, who was a doctor in Manchester away back in the late 1800's, used ride a horse on his rounds, going out visiting pregnant women in their homes, often in the middle of the night.     He used to deliver babies.   Some of the births were very difficult with the woman in great pain, and the delivery taking hours and hours.    ...Sometimes he had to use forceps for these very difficult births, and he had a reputation for being quite skilled at it too.     Gulp - Better him than me!     

                     
Searching for Bap of Edward Worels born 1826 Hollingbourne, Kent