When I was 15 years old I went to the Maternity Hospital on the Green, Wallsend as a nurse cadet.
Editor’s Note: Eva was born in the Old Princess Mary Maternity Hospital, Salters Road, Gosforth in 1935 and now lives in Wallsend. She took part in the Hand in Hand Reminiscence project in 2008.
I came from Dudley originally, from the colliery rows, and decided to go into nursing when I left school. When I was 15 years old, I went to the Maternity Hospital on the Green, Wallsend as a nurse cadet. I did two years training there, between 1950 and 1952. I lived in the nurses’ quarters, sharing a room with three other cadets. I remember the room had lovely carpets. This hospital is better known by local people as the Sir G B Hunter Memorial Hospital.
It was really basic training, starting with how to make beds. We worked shifts and in between ward duty we had classes. The class room had a big blackboard and was lined with shelves that had dead babies in jars on them.
There were strict rules for cadets, including being in for 10.00pm every night. There were ways of getting in after curfew and once I nearly got caught. One of the best things about the training was meeting people from other places – we mixed with all sorts of different people and I really enjoyed it.