Tributes to much loved Scarborough midwife

Scarborough midwife Barbara Baker who has died aged 84
Scarborough midwife Barbara Baker who has died aged 84

Tributes have been paid to a much respected midwife who has delivered an entire generation of children in Scarborough.

Barbara Baker, 84, died on January 18 following a career which span nearly half a century seeing her bring countless lives into the world.

Her son, Jon Van Wren, has said Barbara leaves behind a huge void not only in the family, but in Scarborough too.

He said: “She was outgoing and very well liked in Scarborough. I am overwhelmed by the number of people who have shared their kind words about my mother. You take for granted that she was a midwife, but the reality is she played a huge part in many people’s lives.”

Born in Wakefield, Barbara moved to Burniston with her family and started as a nurse at Scarborough Hospital in 1948. Barbara is described by her son as being thoughtful, outgoing and having a great sense of humour.

Jon said: “One time she had a phone call at home, as midwives gave their direct lines out back then, to a lady who believed she was in labour. She replied ‘Are you sure? Because Emmerdale is on.’”

In December, a post was made on the Facebook group ‘Scarborough Friends Reunited’ asking if anyone remembered Barbara. The status was met with a flood of people praising the midwife.

Jon said: “I did show her and she got a bit embarrassed. She would get lots of flowers and chocolate as a thank-you from families.”

Jon says that Barbara’s delivery ability did not stop at just humans. He said: “I know she delivered two sheep and a horse. She loved her job. She delivered babies in a car, a bus and one time a lady requested a frog to be in her pocket.”

Barbara leaves behind sons Jon and Patrick, grandsons Jack and Tom as well as surviving brother, Maurice.

The funeral will be held on Friday February 3 at St Joseph’s Catholic Church from 10.30am.