England had just won the World Cup when George Butler started his nursing training, back in 1966.

He recently met up with those he trained with for a special reunion, ahead of the anniversary of the NHS.

George, from Ulverston, trained began his training with the Carlisle School of Nursing at the Cumberland Infirmary.

He qualified three years later in 1969, and has dug out the photo off he and his fellow nursing intake to coincide with NHS 70.

He said the training began with a six week pre-training course at the School of Nursing, preparing the students for a career in nursing.

They then spent about six months on the wards, which involved night duty shifts.

At that time student nurses were left in charge of wards at night with a nursing auxiliary running between three wards in support.

After each six month period on the wards, students would then go back for further training at the School of Nursing.

After qualifying, George’s nursing career saw him work in intensive care at Carlisle, then cardio-thoracic nursing at the Royal Brompton in London, Shotley Bridge in Durham and the Freeman in Newcastle.

George went on to become a director of nurse education and, since retiring in 2004, has become a public governor for the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust.

George says he has many memories of his time as a student nurse. He said back then there was a separate male and female Nurses Home in Carlisle, and George recalls great camaraderie, and the odd prank.

“As a student nurse we got free swimming passes to the baths at Carlisle for Friday evenings and I remember coming back one night and finding a bat in our dorm. We thought it would be great fun to play a little joke on the girls, so we caught the bat in a waste paper bin and took it over to the girl’s dorm and let it loose. It gave them a little fright. There was lots of screaming!" he said.

However he said that Matron inevitably heard of their prank, and the next day they were summoned to her office for a talking to.

One fellow student nurse who was part of the same intake as George, was Janet Kenyon.

He said she stands out in his memory because she went on to devote her life to working overseas.

After completing further training as a midwife, Janet went to work in Kenya, then continued to work on the African continent and in other less developed countries.

Despite the occasional visit to Matron, George and his fellow student nurses in the photo won the ‘Set of the Year Award’ for being a really positive group of students who fully embraced their training.

The nurses now meet for a reunion lunch in Carlisle every year as part of the Cumberland Infirmary Nurses League.

This was set up over 60 years ago for nurses who had completed training at the hospital. They still hold a reunion event annually on the second Saturday of May, this year on May 12.