Two way walkie talkie radio sets are being used by the 37 midwives in the city of Leicester. They were purchased by the City's Health Officer for £8000. The team of midwives carry the sets - which are little bigger than a chocolate box - whenever they go. They sleep with them beside their pillow - and carry them around the city - on their scooteers - motor cycles etc. Seen here midwife Ann Pestell on her scooter - as she rides around the city of Leicester - always on the alert - ready for emergency. 20 Janaury 1965. Mediadrumimages / TopFoto

By Mark McConville

 

STUNNING retro pictures have revealed how walkie-talkies were used by midwives in the 1960s to speed up their service.

At the transmitting end of Manchester’s “Radio Midwife”, Miss Eileen France, Manchester’s supervisor of midwives operates the master set to keep her nurses briefed as they cycle their regular rounds. 26 September 1966. Mediadrumimages / TopFoto

The incredible images show a midwife speaking into her walkie-talkie as she rides around Leicester on her scooter in 1965, two nurses receiving instructions from Manchester’s supervisor of midwives who operated the master set to keep her nurses briefed as they cycle their regular rounds in 1966 and a nurse using her pocket-size two-way radio at a patient’s bedside in 1966.

At the transmitting end of Manchester’s “Radio Midwife”, Miss Eileen France, Manchester’s supervisor of midwives operates the master set to keep her nurses briefed as they cycle their regular rounds. Two midwives seen here receiving instructions from Miss France. 26 September 1966. Mediadrumimages / TopFoto

Other striking shots show a model showing off the Midwives overcoat and matching hat which were designed as ‘get about’ clothes for the travelling midwife in 1968, a pupil and a midwife setting off on their daily rounds in 1950 and Nurse Grace Peck with a Silver Medal and prizes for Medicine and Nursing, at the Prize Giving ceremony at the Prince of Wales’s General Hospital, London, England in 1952.

“Off on the rounds”. At the Beechwood Health Centre, Luton, Beds, pupils from all over the country as well overseas, are learning to become qualified midwives. Here pupil midwife Pruddan puts her bag into the car with Midwife Mrs Martin, as they set on out the daily rounds. 18 February 1950. Mediadrumimages / TopFoto

Seventy Manchester Corporation midwives were said to be the first midwives in Britain to have the new radios. It was part of a £7,500 plan to speed up the service. The unit, weighing only 14 ounces, provides immediate contact with a central control station day and night.

Midwives go on the air. At a patient’s bedside, Sister Norma Bentley uses the pocket size two way radio which is new equipment for her and 69 other Manchester Corporation midwives, said to be the first midwives in Britain to have the new radios. It is part of a £7,500 plan to speed up the service. The unit, weighing only 14 ounces, provides immediate contact with a central control station day and night. It means that the midwife can call for a doctor or an ambulance, get expert advice in case of difficulty or call the maternity flying squad in an emergency without having to leave the patient’s bedside. Going are the days when a midwife had to leave her patient to find a public telephone, or ask the father to be to make a call. 4 July 1966. Mediadrumimages / TopFoto

It means that the midwife can call for a doctor or an ambulance, get expert advice in case of difficulty or call the maternity flying squad in an emergency without having to leave the patient’s bedside. Gone were the days when a midwife had to leave her patient to find a public telephone, or ask the father to be to make a call.

For the much travelled and travelling Midwives a new set of ‘ get about ‘ clothes has been designed . A model shows off the Midwives overcoat in grey worsted flannel with a Stuart blue collar and matching hat. 7 October 1968. Mediadrumimages / TopFoto

Leicester’s 37 midwives also carried the sets after the city’s Health Officer purchased them for £8,000. They slept with them beside their pillow and carried them around the city with them, always on alert in case of emergency.

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