After 50 years, these former student nurses were back where it all began.
The first class of student nurses to attend the College of Nursing at Ninewells Hospital headed back to the old site to celebrate 50 years since they met as students.
The first class was enrolled on May 5 1969 and nine of the students got together last week for a special trip to Crieff Hydro and a photo shoot replicating a DC Thomson image taken when they first began their studies.
The building is now Tayside Medical Science Centre and has received a new glass extension but the ladies were still able to replicate the image after half a century.
The group of nine ladies – Anne Devine, Lorna Grant, Alison McIntosh, Barbara Scott, Joan Coleman, Sheena Benvie, Elizabeth McDonald, Diana Robertson and Pam Alyward – have all stayed in touch despite some moving away as far as Australia.
All of them continued to work as nurses or in the health care sector until their retirement with two, Elizabeth and Sheena, both returning to the college becoming teachers in the later stages of their careers.
The ladies reflected on their time as students, discussing how life on the wards was back then.
They said: “It was very regimented and the hierarchy was important.
“The sisters in the ward were in charge. You had to open the doors for them and if you were on your way to lunch through the long corridors and saw a sister coming down the other end, you had to stop and wait for them to pass.
“You only got 15 minutes for your lunch break so you learned to walk with your head down very quickly.
“Some of us were also based at Maryfield and we worked longer shifts because they gave us a half day on a Sunday to attend church either in the morning or afternoon – you would never get that in a job now.”
The ladies all stayed together in halls of residence where they grew close and now some of them meet up every month, with classmate Pam travelling from Australia to see the group on special occasions.
They added: “Everyone went their separate ways with some in Angus, Aberdeen and Australia.
“Some of us lost touch but found each other again and now we all can’t believe it has been 50 years ago.
“When we began we were aged from 17 to 23, so it makes you realise just how long ago it was.
“We all continued to work as nurses with Barbara only retiring in January after 49 years in health care.
“You really have to love a job to stay in it that long.”