Sunday 7 December 2014

Christmas on the Wards

Today I am joining in Sian's Christmas Club  with memories of Christmas.  A Christmas away from home working is a sure way to appreciate a family Christmas. I have worked a few times at Christmas during my nursing career. I trained at The Middlesex Hospital in London and worked Christmas in my first year.


  Everything was very festive on the wards with many traditional activities such as Carol Singing on the wards on Christmas Eve. Nurses cloaks were turned inside out to show their red insides. Also as apparent from my photo album the joys of the Bagpipe! 

There was always plenty to eat (and drink as far as I recall!) although we as Student nurses were left to look after the patients whilst the trained staff and consultants sat down to a Christmas meal. The consultant would be expected to carve the turkey and far as I recall his whole family would be there with him. How things have changed.
 We also made our own festive entertainment off duty in the Nurses Home. Our rooms were small but we decorated them complete with even a small tree. We had gifts for each other and celebrated together.

By the time I worked again I was living in a flat in Tufnell Park. There was no public transport so we used borrowed bikes to get to work cycling down deserted London roads into Central London.
I have very few photos except our Christmas tree in our flat. I still have some of those decorations!

And a picture of myself at work with a token piece of tinsel in my hat!

I have worked subsequent shifts at Christmas but was by then living closer to home and able to spend at least some of the day with my family.


  1. Great photos and a vivid picture, I especially like the idea of the bagpipes (poor patients) and the consultant carving the turkey! X

  2. Maggie, this is wonderful! I loved that little detail about the cloaks being red side out. How Christmassy! And the pictures of you in that smart uniform. Maybe nurses are more comfortable in what they wear today, but they certainly don't look as good! Great memories to share, thank you

  3. What a fabulous story. I remember being on the wards at Christmas time (as a volunteer) and seeing the nurses in their red cloaks, gosh, I had completely forgotten that until this moment. Thank you for the memory.

  4. Love your stories.....wonderful, so vividly told....[A fellow Christmas Club-er]

  5. You said it - how times have changed! Loved this, and loved the pictures.