The Middlesex Hospital - 2am Rolling Home

from Sarah Booth at slb1publishing and IntheBlackShed

MHNBF London Celebrations blog montage

MHNBF London Celebrations August_September 2019

Cane+Rush at sportsmanscorner

2am Rolling Home, is the diary/memoir of a young woman and nurse, Barbara Russell, following day-to-day events, her everyday life and travels recorded in a five year hand written diary, 1946-1950, in post war Britain.

This new A5 book is a special edition soft back / paper back created for The Middlesex Hospital, London Celebrations 2019. It is A5 in size, portrait and perfect bound. It has a full colour front and back cover with 152 black and white pages packed with diary entries and photographs. The Hardback A6 edition has full colour though out. Both books will be posted out to you using Royal Mail Signed For, 2nd class, small parcel – £4.00.

A little bit about my book...

My late mother, Barbara Russell was a nurse at The Middlesex Hospital, London and undertook her training there around 1943. She was also at Forester Hills, Aberdeen and MVH, Mount Vernon Hospital, Northwood. She left a hand written diary (between 1946-1950) and she wrote about her day-to-day life as a young woman and nurse. The diary recorded her nursing colleagues and friends and events such as: - skating; theatre, cinema and film trips; tea and coffee houses; Penguin books; the 1948 Olympic games; the Silver Wedding celebrations of the King and Queen and youth hostelling holidays.

I have produced a new ‘diary’, which includes all the original written diary content mapped to relevant photographs of nurses, buildings and other staff/patients who were at these hospitals during that time. I have been able to match many pictures taken by my mother from that period and cross-referenced them to the diary entries and have also included photographs from our family albums. The main parts of the diary include references relating to her life living and working as a nurse at The Middlesex Hospital, London: Forester Hills, Aberdeen and Mount Vernon Hospital, Northwood Park. Residing at places such as Fulham, Putney, Wedmore – Somerset, Maidenhead, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. The diary also contains events such as the opening ceremony of the 1948 Olympics and her youth hostelling travels to Scotland, Denmark, Copenhagen and Sweden.

At first I only intended to create ‘a piece of family history’ but gradually became immersed in the detail of the diary and my project evolved and grew. Alongside the main diary content I have interweaved factual and historical snippets where appropriate and also included sections about the NHS in pre-war and post-war Britain, hospital and preliminary training records and tuberculosis, all of which are relevant to the diary. I did this as I was trying to introduce a sense of social history running alongside the main content as a way of informing my own (grown up) children, nieces and nephews to what was happening in Great Britain and around the world at that time, socially and politically.

I decided to self publish and my aim was to reach out and connect with a wider audience. The diary ends on a note of sadness but also one of new beginnings.

A couple of years ago I was contacted by the committee in charge of organising The Middlesex Hospital London Celebrations for 2019 through my Etsy online shop. I was very privileged to be invited to attend the weekend of celebrations. This is, therefore, how my third print run came into being. Interestingly, the event was to be held within the area of The University of London and Senate House at the Institute of Education. My late father, John Bolton, whose photographs are showcased on my website worked within the University campus and Senate House. So for me, this whole story has come full circle - the diary ends with my late mother meeting my father and a whole new chapter began.

To contact me directly please email   Links to this book can also be found on the MHNBF (The Middlesex Hospital Nurses' Benevolent Fund) website - Notice Board - Useful links. Or visit my Etsy online shop IntheBlackShed.

 Copyright © 2020 Sarah Booth