Former Bognor Regis midwife celebrates 100th birthday

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HUNDREDS of Bognor Regis babies were delivered by a former midwife who has reached her 100th birthday.

Alice Cooper looked after mothers and their newborns in the town for some four decades around the 60s and 70s.

One of them was the daughter of another resident at the Autumn Lodge home where Miss Cooper is the oldest inhabitant.

She said: “It was interesting to visit the mothers. They had different homes and different approaches to their babies.”

Some of the relatives of Miss Cooper, who stayed single, helped her to celebrate becoming one hundred on Tuesday.

They joined her at the Aldwick Road home for a special cream tea. She also spoke to one of nephews in Australia via the Skype internet service.

“I feel the same as I did when I was 90,” she said. “I never had a party like this then. I’ve never had anything like it in my life.”

Miss Cooper was born in Bolsover to a mother and father she says she still respects, on a day when the temperature reached 95F in the shade by 2pm. She left school at 16 and was asked to join a nurse looking after a recently widowed lady in Leicester.

She enjoyed the experience and applied to the Leicester hospital to become a nurse. A four year training course followed.

Miss Cooper became a state registered nurse and then qualified as a midwife. She added a further qualification as a Queen’s Nurse to enable her to work as a district nurse.

A job advert for a health visitor in Bognor Regis brought her to the then rural town. She was responsible for the east side of Bognor and held clinics in Felpham Methodist Church.

A bicycle also took her to see the newborns as she became friendly with scores of families. She also worked as a school nurse examining children’s heads for nits.