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

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 in it 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.
slb1publishing Middlesex nurse
Barbara Russell
Forester Hills, Aberdeen
At first I only intended to produce ‘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. The diary ends on a note of sadness but also one of new beginnings. I hope you find it both interesting and fascinating as I did.

‘2am Rolling Home’ is a self published project that has so far produced 3 print runs to date.  My first book was a special edition in hardback, A6 in size,  in full colour for close family only. Proving to be very popular I tweaked the design to create a second revised A6 hardback edition in full colour and this was sold to a wider public audience.

A third print run was produced as an A5 Softback to help celebrate the centenary anniversary of  The Middlesex Hospital, London Celebrations in 2019 of which I was very happy to be invited to attend and exhibit. 

  • A6 in size, portrait, hardback and perfect bound. Presented to you in a white card box for protection. 
  • It has 152 pages packed with diary entries and photographs. 
  • Complete with a self-adhesive inner label for you to inscribe a name, date or message and and a colour printed bookmark. 


  • 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.