"You’re not here to give us advice Cadet" Highvolume Play Pause Stop

Christine Whalley, on the right, in 1994. At this point Christine was a senior member of staff at Calderstones.
Courtesy of David Whalley

Christine Whalley was a Cadet Nurse at Brockhall from about October or so in 1972 to December 1973. She was 16 years old when she arrived, leaving after 14 months to be a Cadet at Calderstones.

In this interview extract, Christine recalls how she came into conflict with some of the ways of doing things at Brockhall.

(When she went to Calderstones in December 1973, she discovered that Cadet Nurses did have to wear uniforms.)


At Brockhall, I had to wear, as a Cadet, a salmon pink uniform with a white starched apron with frills, and I remember being in the canteen one day at lunchtime, being told off because I didn’t have frills on and to go back to the ward to get them. Another time at Brockhall, I remember, all the clients had to go to bed at 4 O’clock , so we’d put them to bed at 4 O’clock. I’d be finishing at 5 I think and I remember sitting listening, singing to the radio and this Nursing Officer came on the ward and said, ‘What are you doing Cadet?’ So I jumped up, ‘cause you always stood up, so I stood up and said, ‘Listening to music’. She said, ‘Get out of my sight and go and do something.’ So off I went across the, and I had these Scholes on, flip flops, to be told, ‘What are those things on your feet?’ They weren’t regulation shoes. So I had to go the next day to her office before I started work to show the shoes, and when I went and she said, ‘That’s right, don’t let me see you again with this Scholes on.’ So I said, ‘But couldn’t we keep the clients up? Because some of them,’ I said to her, cringe when I look back, ‘but some of them,’ I said, ‘can talk, and they understand. And they’d like to watch Coronation Street so could they not stay up and watch Coronation Street and then the night staff could put them to bed?’ ‘You’re not here to give us advice Cadet, get back to the ward.’

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