To Heal The Sick book launch marks a 50-year reunion for Preston nurses

Reunion of nurses who trained together 50 years ago. Clockwise from top left are Jane Dean, Jackie Tompkins, Heather Hunter, Anne Saunders and Anne Milroy.
Reunion of nurses who trained together 50 years ago. Clockwise from top left are Jane Dean, Jackie Tompkins, Heather Hunter, Anne Saunders and Anne Milroy.

There was a lot to talk about when this group of former nurses got together to mark 50 years since they embarked on their careers.

While there was a lot to catch up on, the biggest talking point of the evening was the launch of their book, To Heal the Sick, which details contributors’ thoughts and experiences of training at Preston Royal Infirmary and Sharoe Green Hospitals in 1968.

Reunion of nurses who trained together 50 years ago

Reunion of nurses who trained together 50 years ago

The 28 new nursing recruits formed the first preliminary training school intake to combine the two nurse training schools.

To mark their anniversary – and celebrate the book launch – 10 former trainees attended the reunion at Norman Jepson Hotel in Fulwood.

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Jane Dean, now 68, who compiled the book, says: “We had a wonderful reunion. We had a lot to talk about. It was absolutely wonderful to see people again.

Reunion of nurses who trained together 50 years ago.  Pictured is Margaret Fazackerley, Ann Worthington, Linda Schofield and Madeleine Cornell.

Reunion of nurses who trained together 50 years ago. Pictured is Margaret Fazackerley, Ann Worthington, Linda Schofield and Madeleine Cornell.

“It was great to catch up on how everyone had moved on in their careers and gone on to get married and have families.

“Over the 50 years we have worked in different parts of the world, including Saudi Arabia and Iran.

“I started my career as a registered nurse and then I did midwifery training. I then worked in Canada and the North West Territories in a remote location. I did orthopaedics elsewhere near a ski resort and then I moved back to the UK, where I did an advanced diploma in midwifery. That took me to Bavaria in Germany.

“I later returned to the UK and became a district midwife in Keswick which was wonderful.

Reunion of nurses who trained together 50 years ago.  Pictured is Jane Dean with the launch of her book.

Reunion of nurses who trained together 50 years ago. Pictured is Jane Dean with the launch of her book.

“It was a time when there was a lot of home births.”

Ann Worthington, 68, of Longton, is another former nurse who attended the reunion.

She says: “We have tried to have a reunion every year for the past 10 years, but this one was extra special as it was to mark 50 years.

“I really enjoyed the training. Before that I did two years at Alston Hall on a pre-nursing course. I was a theatre nurse and enjoyed it – you never know what will happen with emergencies.”

Trainee nurses from Sharoe Green Hospital on a rare night circa 1970 from left to right Kath Costello, Bernadine Clarkson, Madeleine Cornell, Kate Sanderson, Jane Dean, Margaret Turner, Jackie Tompkins, Bernadette Rogers

Trainee nurses from Sharoe Green Hospital on a rare night circa 1970 from left to right Kath Costello, Bernadine Clarkson, Madeleine Cornell, Kate Sanderson, Jane Dean, Margaret Turner, Jackie Tompkins, Bernadette Rogers

To Heal the Sick was written by Jane Dean with contributions from Anne Milroy, Ann Worthington, Anne Saunders, Heather Hunter, Noreen Ledwidge, Margaret Fazackerly, Linda Schofield, Jacky Tompkins, Madeline Cornell and Penny Hayes.

It is available now, at £7.99, from Halewoods in Friargate, Preston, and Amazon. You can email janeidean@hotmail.com or visit www.janedeanauthor.co.uk.