Tributes paid to ex-midwife Freda
TRIBUTE has been paid to former Stroud midwife, Freda Bishop, who worked as a midwife in the district for almost 30 years.
Mrs Bishop, of France Lynch died on on August 17 aged 84. She worked as a midwife at Stroud at Stroud Maternity Hospital from 1958 until her retirement in 1986.
Born Freda Mitchell in Gravesend, Kent, Mrs Bishop trained as a midwife in 1949 in London. Earlier this year she told Stroud Life about her memories of that time and the poverty of many people's lives.
"I remember one house where the woman was lying on a bed with nothing but two greasy-looking Army blankets," she said.
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"When the baby was born he was put on a shelf on the cupboard. But they were all quite cheerful. The community spirit was there and they all used to look after each other."
Following her training, Mrs Bishop joined the Queen's Alexandra Corps as a nurse and, in the 1950s, served as a midwife in Germany and Austria.
She moved to Stroud to work as a nursing sister at the town's maternity hospital in 1958 and it was here that she met her husband Maurice, who she married in 1960.
Debbie Harrison, midwife at Stroud Maternity Hospital worked with Mrs Bishop for 12 years.
"She was very professional and could deliver babies in quite tricky situations. And I remember she was a very intelligent lady who could do the Daily Telegraph crossword in her coffee break," she said.
Following her retirement in 1986 she became a regular volunteer at Centre Christian Bookshop in Stroud, where she worked for over 15 years.
"She was a very enthusiastic supporter of the book shop both as a volunteer and outside the shop. She had a great sense of humour and was a lovely person to work with," said Yvonne Hobbs manager of the bookshop.
Mrs Bishop was also an active member of France Lynch Church and Chalford Bowls Club. She loved gardening and singing and was a member of Stroud Choral Society.
"Everything she did she did well. She lived life to the full. She would help anyone, no matter who they were," said husband.
Mrs Bishop is survived by her husband, sister-in-law Audrey and nephew John.