Former Erith Hospital maternity unit matron has died aged 102
PUBLISHED: 12:56 08 May 2017 | UPDATED: 12:56 08 May 2017
Margaret Ridout died of old age in March
One of Bexleyheath’s oldest residents has died at the age of 102.
Margaret Ridout, who has lived in the town for 68 years, passed away of old age on March 30, ending a life that was spent caring for others as a hospital matron. After getting married in 1944, Ms Ridout moved to Bexleyheath from Stranraer, Scotland, and gave up her career in nursing to raise a family.
Eventually however, she returned to the profession as a midwife, retiring in 1974 as the matron of Hainault Maternity Hospital, Erith.
Ms Ridout’s son, Alan Ridout, said: “My mother was a remarkable woman. At Hainsault she would, over the years, have delivered a countless number of babies. Those babies she brought into the world would today be at least 42-years-of-age, and most of their mothers and fathers will now be receiving their pension.
“She was always reminding people that there was no such thing as the NHS or antibiotics when she started nursing and diseases such as tuberculousis, dipheria, and scarlet fever were most serious.
“But like many, she enjoyed watching the TV series Call The Midwife as it brought back memories of a bygone age, her cycling from patient to patient through town streets and country lanes.”
Following retirement, Ms Ridout retained her connections with the Erith hospital. She was treasurer of the hospital’s League of Friends, a community which actively raises money to support the hospital, for many years, helping to run the weekly whist drive and other fundraising events.
When the former matron was 100, her husband of nearly 70 years, Roland, died. During those married years, Ms Ridout had already received three letters of congratulations from the Queen - one for her 100th birthday, and one for each of the couple’s 60th and 65th wedding anniversaries.