A young midwife's account of her training in the Midlands in the 1950s.
It's 1957 and in a shattered post-war world, life goes on. Dot, a pupil midwife, negotiates the streets on her trusty old bicycle - come rain or shine - to help women in need.
Living and working under the supervision of the strict Mrs O'Reilly, she must complete her training with twelve deliveries: there's Mrs Wardle who lives in a seedy slum; the eighth Clarke baby, born in an unusual place; the superstitious Wests, desperate for a boy; baby Murphy who is received with laughter; and brothel-worker Mrs Maloney.
Amid lectures, textbooks and university dances, Dot must saddle up at any time of the day and night to attend deliveries. But just when she thinks she's got the measure of the job, fate deals her an unexpected hand...
Dot May Dunn was born in Derbyshire, the daughter of a miner. In 1951 she joined the newly established NHS as a pre-nursing student at Leicester Royal Infirmary, eventually becoming a Research Fellow at St Bartholomew's London and the London Hospital Medical College. She has four nursing qualifications and 50 years on the 'coal face' behind her. She divides her time between England and France.