Our Country Nurse By Sarah Beeson MBE and Amy Beeson
All seems tranquil as newly qualified Health Visitor Sarah Hill motors into Totley a small Kentish hilltop village in her new green mini stuffed to the gunnels on a sunny afternoon in early September 1975. She’s barely over the threshold of her shabby but clean flat over the village clinic when she’s called to assist the midwife with a bride who’s gone into labour in the middle of her own wedding reception.
As a health visitor Nurse Hill is as green as grass but under the guidance of the kind Mrs King and the enigmatic Miss Drummond she puts her best foot into wellies and braves the mad dogs, killer ganders and muddy tracks of Totley’s farming community. She’s not been there a month before she puts up the backs of all the antiquated baby clinic volunteers and her size 5 raffia platform sandals right in it with a mother or two on the lineage of their offspring.
Despite set-backs young Sarah is determined to help the mums she meets. From poorly educated and exploited young women in unmodernised farmhouses, to doyennes’ of the county dinner party set who slave over stuffed olive hors-d’oeuvres for banker husbands who don’t come home from the city till past midnight.
Village life in 1970s isn’t always quite the Good Life Sarah’s been expecting; her attempts at self-sufficiency and cider making lead to drunk badgers and spirited house parties, and despite first impressions not all the eligible men are octogenarians – but will it be the clergyman, the vet or the young doctor that win Sarah’s heart.
During her first year in Kent Sarah Hill get stuck in – reuniting families and helping mums’ escapes to new lives in the midst of community full of ancient feuds, funny little ways and just a bit of magic.