29 December 2017

Windows: Sister! Your wanted on the ward.

n the early 70s when I was working in a hospital lab in London I had a girlfriend who was a sister in Barts. After work I wanted to pick her up from the hospital to go to a prom.

Now in those days patient visiting hours was very strict and restricted to a few hours a day. Any public found wandering about 'after or before hours' was confronted and escorted to the nearest exit. To get round this I took my white lab coat in a plastic bag entered the hospital slipped into the toilets put it on and could then go anywhere I pleased within reason, without the beady eyes of security seeing something amiss.
This worked quite well, I made my way to the nurse's quarters without hindrance, knocked on her door and entered. She was still in uniform which surprised me. It turned out she had to do a further two hours as a colleague was sick. I decided to stay and wait for her. We would still make the second half of the concert in time. A quick peck on the cheek and she was off.
So I waited, there was plenty to read lying about, mostly girl magazines which where nothing new to me, so I browsed. Finally I got bored and so started to look around. I noticed she had a spare uniform hanging in the wardrobe. I got very interested as I brought it out and held it against me and looked in the mirror.
The only dressing I had done was at home and that was some time ago as none of my mothers clothes fitted me anymore. (see If the dress fits..).

This was an opportunity I just couldn’t pass up! Fortunately she had the room to herself so I knew I would not be interrupted for a good hour. I locked the door and went looking for a pair of the standard black tights. Going through the draws I found plenty of other things that caught my attention but I had a mission! Eventually I found a pair. And why did I even contemplate trying the uniform on? Well there was a good chance it would fit as we were both roughly the same size, apart from her bust which I could not in anyway compete with.

I took a glance at the clock and took the plunge. I removed my outer garments got carefully into the tights and donned the uniform. The uniform even had its own upside down watch pinned to it.

I had 70s hair which was down to my shoulders to the distain of my father (not that it bothered me), and so to get the right effect I pinned it up the best I could and then added the cap. I admired myself in the mirror and imagined going on duty to the wards, taking pulses using the pinned watch and sticking thermometers in openings of my choice. After a few walk-a-rounds looking at myself from different angles, I took another look at the clock and quickly turned back into civil, carefully storing everything away again.

I must say girls don’t have it easy getting ready in uniform especially with long hair. I was tempted to use some of her lipstick but I may have made a mess and couldn’t risk it. Not long afterwards she returned got changed and we were off. 

I didn’t get any indication that she had cottoned on. 
Unfortunately the opportunity didn’t arise again. 
That was a really wow experience and I still think of it 40 plus years on!

To the pictures:
The one on the left is a ward sister (in blue) and a student nurse in the 1970s. The other picture on the right is of nurses from Barts in the 1980s with the appropriate tights.
Please note: None of the girls in the pictures are either my girlfriend or myself..