Dot was working within a much larger system.
“You turned up at each house with a card, it was actually three sides and you would put all your notes on there and then every Friday you would write that up. It was all very organised.
“You had an allowance to buy a navy blue suit but you never over-dressed. We were told very early “don’t go dressed in Chanel to see families who won’t have much more than an apron”.
“I remember going out and buying my first navy blue suit and coat and I always wore a hat. Then you had to take the ticket into work to claim the money back. You had to wear what you had bought so they could see it. This was my uniform really. I bought a couple of good quality navy coats – in fact they were such good quality they lasted pretty much for the rest of my life.”
Walking into people’s lives did have its risks. In the book Dot tells about two incidents when the men of the house attacked her.
“You had to learn when violence may come and do all you could not to evoke it and to step back out of the way,” she says. “And the violence didn’t always just come from men. Women could get very angry too. But when it did happen you just took it on the chin. You didn’t do anything about it.”
Many families were keen to ensure the best for their children.
“The vaccination clinics were really popular, we would have families queuing down the street,” Dot recalls. “At this time people were afraid of things like polio, diphtheria, small pox. People knew about vaccinations from the war.”