'Matron smiled. It was the smile that one woman gives to another and not the chilly facial movement from Matrons of old. "Do you think you would be able to work 9 to 3.30?" For a moment I couldn't think at all. There seemed something not quite right in being paid for so little labour.'
At the end of the Second World War, as husbands came back to Civvy Street their wives had the luxury of staying at home with the children. For a short while at least. Soon Evelyn realised she had to find part-time work to make ends meet, and to her astonishment she was offered part-time hours at her old hospital.
The day-to-day job hadn't changed much, but she was now a nurse and mother. Whooping cough and measles could still kill a small child, and the early '50s polio epidemic left the whole country in shock.
But the nurses worked hard, moaned incessantly about their aching feet and yet found things to laugh at, just as they did from the start of their training. If old soldiers never die, then neither do nurses.