Blue plaque to mark life of former Tipton district nurse and author

A blue plaque has been unveiled to mark the life of Tipton district nurse and author Edith Cotterill in the presence of two of her relatives.

Mayor, Mushtaq Hussain, Ivan Warren and his daughter Julia Warren-Kyle at the plaque unveiling
Mayor, Mushtaq Hussain, Ivan Warren and his daughter Julia Warren-Kyle at the plaque unveiling

Nurse Edith, who died aged 80 in 1997, took up writing after the tragic death of her teenage daughter Judith from a brain tumour.

And in 1986 she penned Nurse on Call in 1986 about the trials and tribulations of working as a district nurse in the 1950s West Midlands. It was a hit and made it into the Sunday Times Best Sellers chart.

During her training in the 1930s, Edith's long hours on the wards included encouraging leeches to attach to patients and the disposal in the furnace of amputated limbs.

After the birth of daughters Judith and Elizabeth, she returned to work in the 1950s as a district nurse.

Tipton Civic society and the Cotterill Farm community teamed up to raise £600 which more than covered the cost of the heritage sign show the pride her area has for her.

A statue of Edith Cotterill

Two of the VIPs present at the unveiling ceremony this week were directly related to Edith. Ivan Warren, who is Edith's son-in-law, was there with his daughter, Julie Warren-Kyle.

They watched as Mayor of Sandwell Mushtaq Hussain carried out the official unveiling ceremony at Jubilee Park Community Centre, in Powis Avenue.

Residents and businesses based in the town and Great Bridge all chipped in, donating anything from £5 to £100. In addition to the plaque they put on a buffet for the guests at the unveiling ceremony and any remaining proceeds will be donated to the Owen Street Tree of Light display.

Nurse Edith was educated at Wolverhampton Girls High School, and was formerly of Horseley Road, Tipton.

Christine Lee, of the organising team, previously told the Express & Star: "When I first came across the books by Edith Cotterill I never laughed so much when reading. She was really funny."

Mr Warren said: "The book brings home so much about life. Though my mother-in-law was a district nurse, she suffered her own tragedies.

"But she rose above those tragedies with a tremendous humour and an appetite for life and compassion for her patients."

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