Posted by Ray Forster on October 27, 2018, 9:06 am
I was recently reminded of a story about my grandmother, or nanna as we used to call her, my mother Winnieís mother, Catherine Stephenson. |
Years ago, Catherine was well known in Hebburn, as when anyone who had died, she was usually called upon to help prepare them and Ďlay them outí.
However, pre-NHS when births were more common at home, she was regularly called on to give assistance. As she had thirteen children of her own, (two died when they were babies), she was well experienced !
One day she got the call to help with a birth at someoneís house. She quickly went round to the house armed with towels etc. and a small bottle of brandy, not for her as she didnít drink.
When she arrived, the doctor who had already delivered the baby, shook his head and indicated to the baby totally wrapped in a blanket at the end of the bed and shook his head. The baby was apparently still born.
Obviously the mother was distraught. Catherine proceeded to rigorously rub the baby through the blanket, dipped her finger in the top of the brandy bottle and put her finger in the babyís mouth. The baby coughed and started to breathe.
As Catherine left after knowing all was well, the mother thanked her and said when the baby grew up and got his first job and pay packet, he had to give it to her.
Years later, there was a knock on Catherineís door. A friend of hers answered it and told Catherine there was someone at the door for her. The baby, now fifteen and a young man, presented his first pay packet.
She thanked him but refused it, saying that it should be given to his mother. He told her that if he didnít give it to her, his mother had told him not to return home !!!!
I havenít a clue who he was, or if he is still alive. Hopefully he has or had a full life and maybe the story was passed down to his children if he had any.
It would be interesting to find out if he did, thanks to my nanna.