In this interview, Catherine describes her journey from Benbecula through Larbert, Glasgow, Falkirk, London, Taynuilt, Cambridge, Harris, North Uist, Barra, Eigg and back. She talks about how Queen’s training touched on everything, allowing the Nurses to become a form of social reformer. Catherine discusses the respect shown by the Queens, as guests in someone’s house, but also shown to the Queen’s as recognisable community figures. She talks about the use of innovation, and working with what was accessible in the house; commendably delivering a baby in the dark.
Catherine’s first experiences with a Queen’s Nurse were as a child when there were monthly visits from the smartly dressed and kind nurse to the school in Benbecula. Fast forward a few years and it was Catherine herself providing those monthly visits.
In 2016, journalist Pennie Taylor was commissioned to compile oral histories from our retired Queen’s Nurses. Interviews with nine Queen’s Nurses as part of the project “Voices of Experience” were filmed, and these videos provide an informative and colourful depiction of life as a community nurse across the latter half of the twentieth century. Each interviewee brings a unique perspective, creating a comprehensive look at the importance of Queen’s Nurses to Scotland’s communities. The interviews help to illustrate how training and practice have changed over the years, and are a fascinating piece of our history which we are delighted to be able to share with you.
We were delighted to have Pennie on board, and her journalistic experience and professionalism showed throughout the whole process, creating these nine immersive videos. Pennie said:
“It was a treat to get to know them all, and to share their memories of working lives spent helping others in cities, towns and villages the length and breadth of the land. Each has a unique experience and perspective, of course, but what struck me about them collectively was their ingenuity and bravery, coupled with a deep-rooted commitment to delivering the highest quality nursing care possible.”