Leeds nostalgia: Doctors take shovels to work in February 1947

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Doctors in Leeds were forced to go around with shovels “as well as stethoscopes”, because of heavy snow.

On this day in 1947, the Yorkshire Evening Pos reported on the situation, saying they were also wearing “gaiters, Wellington boots and any kind of snow resisting equipment as well as carrying a cargo of sacks to give their car wheels grip.”

It went on: “Sometimes they take their wives or other volunteers with them to help with drift digging and their families are getting daily practice in digging the car out of the garage.”

Doctors were said to be working all hours of the day and night and in doing so, keeping fit themselves.

One doctor’s wife said: “My husband has ten minutes for his lunch and then he is off again. Then he goes out again after night surgery to try to finish his calls. I don’t know how he does it.”

However, doctors admitted the heavy snow had meant they were unable to reach almost half their calls, including some chronic cases, which had to be left as acute and urgent cases were prioritised.

Doctors resorted to leaving their cars on main roads and then trudging up smaller lanes to reach patients.

And in other news, one Leeds mother was coming to terms with having triplets.

Annie Milner was the first to have triplets in Leeds but said she had been expecting them, following earlier X-rays. Husband William Milner worked as a dispatcher at Prices Tailors.

There were two girls and a boy. Geoffrey weighed 5lb 6oz, Adrienne 6lb 8oz and Denise 5lb 12oz.

Mother and babies were said to be doing well on this day 70 years ago. The couple already had one girl, Christine, aged two.

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