Ready for the call?

In the first comment under the previous post, Shayne Davidson said the nurses’ uniforms reminded her of the BBC series Call the Midwife.  Her comment made me look anew at the photo above, which also came from the United Kingdom, and wonder if the young sitter might have been preparing to work as a midwife or visiting nurse.  The photo is roughly the size of a postcard, but slightly more square and blank on the back.

In the detail image below, you can see that her sleeve has a stiff white cuff, a common feature of nurses’ uniforms.  Above the cuff, the sleeve has pinstripes; I don’t know if those were common:

Outdoor uniform 3


Her outfit looks new, which may have been the reason for this informal photo session.   In any case, her friend on the chair next to her seems to approve.

Outdoor uniform 2



20 thoughts on “Ready for the call?

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    1. Oh, but it looks so nice! 😉 Actually, Linda at shoreacres commented on the last post about how nurses’ uniforms convey authority and thus serve a purpose beyond a simple utilitarian one. I’m not sure the woman in this photo is a nurse, but it seems like a reasonable guess. Good for you for working as a nurse in the 1980s! BTW, I had to look up “clart” and still have only a vague idea what it means. 😀

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree about her hat, and she’s wearing a bow of some sort at her neck, which I can’t quite make out, which doesn’t seem very “nursey” either. I’ve had this photo for a while, and hadn’t really planned to share it, but your comment on the previous post put the idea in my head!

      I like to think she put the chair there so her little friend could be in the photo. 🙂


  1. The moment I saw this, I thought, “nurse”. Her cap isn’t right for one (would have been starched and white at that date – even lace would probably have been starched then – or, later, white and a blue or grey of the same colour as the uniform) as it is, it looks too dark and lacey on the edges. But even at that date, nurses uniforms in the UK were probably striped like that (they still were when I was a child in the 1950s, though these days they tend to be plain), and usually mid-blue for a Staff Nurse and dark blue for a Sister, with ordinary nurses (and student nurses) wearing a light blue.

    Have a look at this, it doesn’t give much about uniforms but has some info:

    She could also have been a nanny.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The stripes reminded me of a group that may have disappeared from our hospitals now — the “Candy Stripers,” or volunteers who wore pink and white stripes. There’s a nice photo and a bit of history here. This young woman clearly isn’t that sort of volunteer, but I do wonder about those stripes she’s wearing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t know why, but I immediately thought ‘nanny’ when I saw the photo. I think that’s why the dog is there – she’s got him well trained and it’s a good indication of her abilities. Of course this is all a total flight of fancy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My guess is it was taken by someone in her family, maybe before she even started working. With unmarked photos like this, it’s frustrating not to know anything for certain. I bought it on eBay two years ago from a dealer in Nantwich, Cheshire, but it could have originated someplace else.


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