Carry on Matron

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Oooh, matron! How many hearts have been set aflutter by the news that matron is to be restored to our hospitals after an absence of 30 years?

Oooh, matron! How many hearts have been set aflutter by the news that matron is to be restored to our hospitals after an absence of 30 years? How many will thrill to the thought of that starched uniform, topped by the frilly cap of office and accompanied by that brisk, brusque manner that treated all forms of hospital life equally and implacably, from microbes to consultants?

There will be some observers, doubtless, and not all of them French, who will seek to link the popularity of this formidable figure, most fully mythologised by the late Hattie Jacques, with the popularity of that other firm and singular older woman, Anne Robinson; and go on to suggest that there is something, well, unhealthy, about it all, probably muttering knowingly about le vice anglais and that sort of thing.

We, for our part, prefer to take a matron's view of such suggestions: stuff and nonsense! And what about the things that have been going on while she's been away? Have you seen the dust, the state of the window-sills and under the bed? Have you read about the peculiar and high-handed things doctors have been getting up to? Sloppy, a disgrace, and very, very Sixties. Nurse!

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