Bread, Jam and a Borrowed Pram: A Nurse's Story from the Streets

Bread, Jam and a Borrowed Pram: A Nurse's Story from the Streets

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By (author) Dot M. Dunn

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"Three small children peep out, their eyes watching me from beneath tousled but clean hair. Their clothes seem to have been put on their bodies to cover them rather than to fit them, none wears shoes. Two older girls stand by a table, the only piece of furniture I have seen in the house, apart from a rickety pram, which now stands in the doorway. The crumbling remains of a loaf of bread are being coated with jam, and eager fingers await them..." It's the end of the 1950s and Britain is changing. The war's long shadow is fading and while the country gets ready for the swinging sixties, Dot is embarking on an adventure of her own. After qualifying as a midwife, young Dot has taken a job as a health visitor in the back streets of Birmingham. There, she's not just responsible for the babies brought into this world, but an army of toddlers, tykes and tots who all need a helping hand. For Dot it will be a heartrending journey - trying to help families with next to nothing, sharing the struggles of young mums and discovering how the spirit of the community can overcome the toughest of circumstances.

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Author information

Dot May Dunn was born in Derbyshire, the daughter of a miner. In 1951 she joined the newly established NHS as a pre-nursing student at Leicester Royal Infirmary, eventually becoming a Research Fellow at St Bartholomew's London and the London Hospital Medical College. She has four nursing qualifications and 50 years on the 'coalface' behind her. She divides her time between England and France.