Hazel Wood left Lyng Hall School aged sixteen and half in 1957 and started her pre-nursing cadet training at Coventry and Warwickshire Hospital. Aged eighteen she started her nursing training. In the following excerpt she discusses her first position after she was fully qualified and how she returned to the profession after having children:

length of audio clip: 1 min 58 secs

Hilary: And so what was your first position after you qualified?

Hazel: I was a Staff Nurse on a surgical ward, and stayed there until I, well I did get when I got married, I went part time on that ward, which as I say was Monday to Friday, and then when I was expecting my first child I stayed there until I had, until I was having Susan really, so that would be May sixty-four so in May, at the end of May sixty-four I left and I thought I’d never go back again. You see people didn’t have maternity leave or anything like that, you just left and erm and I had my baby kind of thing, and then I had another one two and a half years later and then I started to get a little bit restless and a lot of my friends who, we were all the same sort of age, and we all had children roughly at the same time. Most people then, our friends anyway, got married, had a year or two married and then had a baby, that was kind of the you know, the way it went, not all, but the majority, and certainly all my friends and erm, they were all starting to say “oh I think I am going to go back for some evenings” and I thought I’d love to go back and I didn’t know whether John would be happy. I mean he was easy going but it meant he’d have to look after the children as soon as he came in, and in the end as I say, I said to him, ‘What about if I see if I can get’, because they all went back for five evenings a week, and that seemed an awful lot to me, and you had to do alternate weekends, so I said to John ‘What do you think if I can get three, shall I go back?’, and he ‘yes’, but it was so easy then, all I did was went, we didn’t have a telephone, went to the phone box, rang Matron’s office, and spoke to her secretary and just said, ‘I’d like to come back and do three evenings a week’ and she said ‘Ooh I’ll have a word with Matron’ and then I just got a letter saying yes, start at so and so on casualty three evenings a week, six until half past ten, so it was just easy.


  1. As we are all discussing Nursing Voices of Postwar England, With retirement homes, you can easily replenish the lost energy and bring back the vigor you once have. There are so many things you can do in a retirement home and the good thing about them is that you do not have to push yourself to the limits or stress yourself because there are no deadlines. All you have to do is to have fun.

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