Midwife's Tale: Ivy Durnford

Scope and Content

Transcript of an interview with Ivy Durnford covering her experiences as a mother in south London during the 1920s and 1930s, including the doctors, handywomen and midwives who assisted at her deliveries, illegal abortion, illegitimacy, and knowledge regarding sex.

Administrative / Biographical History

Ivy Durnford was born in 1904 in south east London where she lived all her life. She had four children between 1927 and 1946. Her husband was in the building trade, and she owned and ran several shops including a florists. Later, she and her husband bought and ran a country club in the suburbs of London.

Conditions Governing Access

Transcripts and Sample Audio: Free to view and download from the website of the Royal College of Midwives: https://www.rcm.org.uk/library-and-information-services

Audio of Full Interviews: Accessible for free and by appointment at the library of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

Opening hours: Monday-Friday, 9am-6pm (contact: archives@rcog.org.uk)

Write, call or email us to book an appointment, make an enquiry, or to order digital copies (free via Dropbox) for personal and non-commercial research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies for private study purposes only are available from the Archivist (contact: archives@rcog.org.uk). Copyright permission is required for commercial use of audio and transcripts.

Copyright lies with the authors Billie Hunter and Nicky Leap.

Related Material

The Midwife’s Tale: an Oral History from Handywoman to Professional Midwife, by Nicky Leap and Billie Hunter (2nd edition, 2013) [Available at the RCOG library, reference WQ11 LEA]