Alison Knapp, Alison Melville, Ivy and Hilary Matthews pictured in Croydon May 2022.
It is amazing fate that I spotted a photo of Ivy in the Radio Times, in an advertisement for the charity Independent Age just as I was aimlessly ‘flitting ‘ through the pages at the back ! I stopped and thought ‘I know that lady’ ! Ivy was the domestic assistant for QE11 theatres in the 1970/80’s , when I was one of the cardiac theatre sisters . Her role was to make ours and that of the doctors busy working lives tick over seamlessly i.e. doing anything from cleaning , topping up scrubs for us to wear , running errands etc but most importantly keeping us going with endless pots of tea and coffee! How sad that this pastoral care is now completely missing for staff.
I made contact with the charity via the Radio Times, and after a few weeks received an email from Ivy’s Granddaughter Diana , who on behalf of Ivy was very thrilled and happy to receive contact . Ivy is now 93 , and after a few zoom chats I contacted Alison Knapp Nursing officer theatres, and Alison Melville fellow cardiac theatre sister at the time , and we arranged to visit Ivy on May 7th at her granddaughters home in Croydon .
It was a very special day , we were really well received by the whole family who provided a lovey tea, and as we had taken lots of old photos to share, the conversation and laughter didn’t stop ! The photo shows us all at that time .
Ivy now lives independently but with lots of love and support from her family . We vowed to keep in touch and hope to have a further visit in the months to come .
Hilary Mathews ( nee Jones) November 1973