A HIGH VALLEYFIELD woman whose nursing career took her from Dunfermline to London has published her first book – at the age of 85!

Jeanie Traynor Maltby (nee Shaw), who lives in Wembley, broke her leg three years ago and was propelled into writing because of her inability to get out the house.

Her book, ' From Dunfermline to London: Memoirs of a Staff Nurse 1950-1962' is a fascinating and often humorous insight into the beginnings of the NHS and her career as a private nurse at the residences of the rich and famous in London.

Inspired by the interest in her first memoir she is already in the process of finalising her second, focusing on breaking down the stereotypes of High Valleyfield.

She told the Press: "I really enjoyed writing it! I met the most wonderful people doing my time nursing and some very interesting people!

"I didn't know what I would do when I left school and it was my mum who said why don't you be a nurse.

"I thought it would be too difficult but it worked out OK in the end!

"Some of my closest friends are the people I first trained with in Dunfermline at the 'Fever' hospital.

"There was six girls and six chaps and we did everything together. Unfortunately, they all started marrying each other so I decided I might go further afield and went off to Edinburgh!"

Jeanie went off to London in 1956 to train as a midwife as it was where she spent the rest of her life after meeting her husband there.

After a year at a hospital in Lewisham, she decided she wanted to go home but ended up going into private nursing before she had the chance to pack her bags.

During her time she nursed the likes of Judy Garland and Tony Hancock and met the Queen Mother on a number of occasions.

"I am a bit of a storyteller," she added.

"I love to talk to people and when I go and visit my grandchildren in America, I always chat to people on the plane.

"I love to tell people about High Valleyfield too because it used to be called the Wild West but we were such a close-knit community.

"It was strange caring for people like Judy Garland because you have this idea of them in your head bit she was very poorly at the end of her life.

"Her apartment was next to Winston Churchill's and it was like Piccadilly Circus with all the people around her. It was also very exciting to meet all of these people."

And what does Jeanie think of the NHS now? "I've had a lot of treatment the last few years and it does upset me the difference over the years," she said.

"Nursing was so good at the beginning – none of us had any degrees and we trained with people, not with a mannequin stuck in a classroom now.

"The matron was like your mother – she told you if your hair was too long and they were very strict.

"We lived in the premises and if a sister got married then that was it, they had to give up their job.

"I just keep my mouth shut when I go into hospital though because I want to make sure I'm getting the best treatment!"

Jeanie's book will be available from June 28 at troubador.co.uk.