Midwife's Tale: Molly Baldrey and Lily N

Scope and Content

Transcript of an interview with two sisters, Molly and Lily relating to the memories of their mother and the birth of her eight children by a local 'midwife' in South Shields during the 1920s and 1930s, including preparations for the births, home-made remedies, the handywoman's role as general nurse in the community, vaccinations, social conditions, lack of sexual education, illegal abortions, wartime experiences, and prevalence of TB and death.

Administrative / Biographical History

Lily and Molly were sisters, born in 1919 and 1921 respectfully. They grew up in dockland, Tyneside. They remember Granny Anderson, the local handywoman, and life in the working class community there.

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]