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Kathleen Savidge: Norwich midwife for 25 years

PUBLISHED: 11:00 12 March 2011

Midwife Kathleen Savidge, who has died aged 95, moved to Norwich in the days before the National Health Service was created.

And in her 27-year career as a district midwife in the city, she delivered more than 2,300 babies, before retiring in May 1975.

When she came to Norwich in 1947, the midwife earned a fee of two guineas (£2.10) for every birth and doctors rarely attended.

Born in Hyde, Cheshire, she was the youngest of four and became a hairdresser. Then, during the second world war, she trained as a nurse and then qualified as a midwife in June 1945.

In those early days of the National Health Service, midwives were responsible to city, county and hospital authorities. Then, they were brought together as teams under the area health authority, which improved the level of patient care. It also made it possible to call on part-time midwives, which reduced the pressure and ended a regime when midwives could be on call for several days and nights without a break.

In one week in 1950, she delivered three sets of twins, which later would have taken place in hospital.

An enthusiastic member of the Norwich branch of the Royal College of Midwives, she was the treasurer for 22 years.

She lived in Knowsley Road, Norwich, and then moved to Sprowston. She lived there until about three years ago before moving to stay with a nephew in Bromley, Kent.

After retirement, she remained active and continued to help the community for the next two decades by undertaking voluntary work through her close connections with the Silver Road Baptist Church

She leaves seven nieces and nephews.

After burial at the Rosary Cemetery, there will be a service of thanksgiving at Silver Road Baptist Church, Silver Road, Norwich, on Monday at 2.30pm.

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