Nostalgia: The strike that led to a baby boom in Leyland?

Patricia Bancroft, who was a popular midwife in Leyland for more than 25 years
Patricia Bancroft, who was a popular midwife in Leyland for more than 25 years
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If anyone wondered where there was a baby boom in the mid 1970s, reader Sue Hayes can perhaps explain why.

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Her mum, Patricia Bancroft, was a midwife for more than 25 years, serving Leyland and Chorley.

Although she doesn’t know how many babies her mum delivered, Sue hints that there was a lot of down time in 1975 after workers at Leyland Motors went on strike.

She adds: “Mum told me she had delivered many a strike baby. Leyland Motors had a strike in 1975 and then nine months later mum was really busy.”

Patricia, a mother-of-two with one grand-daughter and one great-granddaughter, played a pivotal part in many residents lives in Leyland.

Sue, 57, of Leyland, recalls: “Mum first qualified in the late 1950s and she had to retire at the age of 60, so she was a midwife for more than 25 years, working out of Chorley Hospital.

“She mainly covered Leyland Lane, Fox Lane, Towngate, School Lane and Leyland Cross. But she did all over if she was on call and needed: Mawdesley, Croston, Coppull.

“She loved her babies. Mum was an old fashioned nurse and everyone loved her.

“I just love hearing stories about my mum.

“Many parents have send her letters informing her about their family news.

“It is really lovely to think something she did for such a short period of time had such a large effect on people.

“She delivered my best friend’s little sister, which was really exciting and I have worked with quite a few of her babies. It was all we knew when we were growing up.

“I remember her getting ready for bed and then getting a phone call to go out.

“When she retired people didn’t want her to stop as the babies she had delivered wanted her to deliver their babies.”

Patricia died two years ago, aged 83. Sue adds: “I don’t have many photos of her in her uniform, but if anyone has any, I would be very interested.”