Kendal Oral History Group aims to compile a picture of earlier times through the recorded memories of the area’s older residents. M. Sherrat was born in 1920 and interviewed in 2000.

I WAS a trained fever nurse and came to Kendal in October 1941 during the blitz to get away for a quieter time.

I came directly to the fever hospital on Parkside Road. It was a small hospital with only eight staff.

Our hours were eight till eight with two hours off during the day, either 11 until one or two till four or you worked eight until six during the night with one half day a week off.

The pay was £2.19 shillings a month. We were allowed extra rations but we were skimpily fed and most of our wages went on fish and chips from Hanratty’s, which we sneaked through the toilet window into the nurses’ home.

The patients in the fever hospital had diphtheria and scarlet fever, although I nursed several spinal meningitis and also typhoid patients.

We had two long wards and a side ward and if you were on nights you were on your own.

As a nurse it was our job to clean the wards and when Matron came round the beds had all got to be with all the feet turned in, the full length of the ward as traditional as it was in those days.

Scarlet fever patients were in hospital for a month to five weeks, diphtheria patients a little longer usually six weeks.

They had to have three clear swabs from their throat or nose before they were considered clear.

Visitors were not allowed in the hospital. We couldn’t allow them in because of the infectious diseases.

Twice a week on Thursday and Saturday, two o’clock to four o’clock, they were allowed to stand outside and talk through the windows.