Episode 6 marches in the main of might Day (May 1), when union members and labor advocates roughly the world stage parades and also protest for better working conditions and also benefits. In the episode’s introduction, Call the Midwife points out that in 1964, every eastern End family members had a link to the wharves. The pay in ~ the docks was considered good, however the hazards of the labor could cost workers their health. We see Brittall family men confront deadly illness they contract while at work.

You are watching: Call the midwife season 8 episode 6

Closed Captions, Anyone?


Sister Mildred (MIRIAM MARGOLYES), Joe Brittall (DENNIS BANKS).


Watching Call the Midwife go not lead to hearing loss, yet the close up door captions come in handy alongside actors’ renditions the the east End Cockney accent. If you had actually trouble knowledge dialogue or the an interpretation of slang phrases, here’s a recap of every the lines we stumbled through, and also the plots lock relate to.

“The hospital permit me dad come home last night.”

While nurse Trixie Franklin is bicycling previous the docks, a worker stops she to share some news. Between his interval and having no context around the character Barney Brittall, we really had no idea what he said, and had to replay the scene several times! that announces that as great news, but his dad, Joe Brittall, has actually actually returned house to die. At least he’ll be among his family members of three generations.

Pneumoconiosis?Joe Brittall is dice from pneumoconiosis, the clinical term coined in 1866 indigenous the Greek pneuma (air, wind) and konis (dust). It’s generally known as occupational lung disease, which is caused by breath in dust, silica or asbestos corpuscle at the workplace. The particles cause scarring in the lung tissue, which provides breathing difficult. Over there is no cure.

Trixie claims the disease is common amongst Poplar’s retirement dock workers, choose Mr. Brittall. Elsewhere, miners deserve to suffer from black color lung disease, led to by coal dust. Brown lung comes from the dust of cotton or various other fibers.

“Just don’t let her take the mickey.”“Take the mickey” is slang because that making funny of someone, or teasing them, however in this situation we think it means to take it advantage, or do a fool of someone. Violet Buckle desires to defend her husband Fred from the intrusive mom Mildred, that is commandeering his time and also use of his valve in her initiative to get to know the Poplar neighborhood that Nonnatus home serves.

“She doesn’t know if that told a porky.” A “porky” way a lie, and also comes native the Cockney tradition of developing slang out of rhymes (porky pie rhymes v lie). Val Dyer claims this the Lucille’s suitor, Cyril. Churchgoer Lucille had actually heard the her brand-new love attention was a pastor, and he isn’t. But he no lie around that – it was Sister Monica who did! She defends she portrayal that him as a pastor with a gem that dialogue: “To operate solely on the aircraft of the literal would be tedious and also would remote one to a greater truth.” We’re happy Cyril does no get removed in this episode of the bachelorette Midwife!


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Nurse Lucille Anderson (LEONIE ELLIOTT), Cyril Robinson (ZEPHRYN TAITTE).


“I ain’t flashing my pins for no one!”Pins is Cockney slang because that legs, and is usually meant to compliment a woman’s legs, in particular. This wisecrack originates from nurse Val’s grandmother, who is basically saying she no want any kind of strange physician looking at her body. Val is visiting her to tend to some sores top top the earlier of she grandmother’s “pins.” Gran lets Val recognize she should come around for visits much more often, not just since Gran tho insists on providing her ice cream money.


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Valerie Dyer (JENNIFER KIRBY) and also her granny Elsie Dyer (ANN MITCHELL).


“I come as Boadicea, girded because that battle.” Mother Mildred mirrors up in ~ Fred’s doorstop with this proud greeting. She might be distinctive in she habit and also robes, but she’s no Boadicea! Boadicea (or Bodica) is a familiar name to ancient history buffs in the UK. She was the queen that the British Celtic Iceni tribe in east England that led a revolt versus the roman Empire in advertisement 60 or 61. She troops killed tens of thousands of Romans and Britains, yet did not defeat them. She died by either suicide (poison) or passed away of illness.

Worker Protection

As Joe Brittall is dice from year of inhaling dust and other particles as he loaded and unloaded products at the eastern End wharves, his boy Barney is hospitalized with a potentially deadly condition called Anthrax. Anthrax is a bacteria uncovered in the floor that have the right to infect livestock and also animals. It is no contagious, yet people have the right to contract it by breath in spores, together Barney Brittall seems to have actually done via infected bonemeal from Lebanon.

Barney Brittall will recuperate from the Anthrax. Barney’s 21-year-old son has actually seen enough and decides to operation for a position with the union so he deserve to advocate because that protective garments and better knowledge around the possibly dangerous products the dock workers handle.

Teen Mother


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Nurse Lucille Anderson (LEONIE ELLIOTT), Elaine Pilkington (HANNAH RAE)


Call the Midwife‘s certain line of job comes right into the episode through seventeen-year-old Elaine Pilkington. The teenager mother gives birth to her second child in ~ the maternity home. She has actually yearned because that a kid to replace the infant that was taken away from her without she consent at age 15. When her parents learn their unwed daughter desires to save this child, lock refuse come let Elaine or the baby live them.

Lucille connects Elaine to the nationwide Council for the Unmarried Mother, a charity i m sorry helps find Elaine a “sympathetic landlady.” Elaine will be able to get National assistance until her boy is five. Us hope her typing skills will assistance her past that.

In 1970, the charity changed its surname to the nationwide Council for One parent Families. It merged with Gingerbread in 2007. The charity assists solitary parents in England and Wales and its president today is take care of Potter writer JK Rowling.

Communication Skills


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Dr Patrick Turner (STEPHEN MCGANN), Shelagh Turner (LAURA MAIN)


Shelagh and also Dr. Turner are preparing because that the minute when May, the four-year-old orphan native Hong Kong the they’ve to be fostering, move on to her intended adoptive family. Lock hearts hurt in ~ the believed of seeing she go, and also they additionally want to know exactly how to prepare she for the transition. Unequal the social worker assigned come them, the pair think there have to be ways to make the upcoming separation simpler on May. We view Shelagh start to do a scrapbook the photos and mementos that May have the right to take v her.

Mother Mildred likes hear the sound of her very own voice and her sophisticated turns that phrase. Too bad she can not have end up being a monk who could preach sermons indigenous the pulpit. Unfortunately, her silver- tongue lacks the tact the the midwives. She deep offends Mrs. Britall by comparing the living conditions in Poplar to the of the slums in Kowloon. (Learn around its impoverished area dubbed the Walled City, which was razed in the early 1990s; Kowloon is part of Hong Kong, which an initial became part of the British empire in the 1842 Treaty the Nanking, after ~ the very first Opium War.)

She clashes with Trixie, insults Mrs. Brittall and also takes benefit of Fred. Yet Mother Mildred end the episode showing her love is in the ideal place. She apologizes (if still fairly aggressively) come Mrs. Brittall. After Violet lays under some rule of engagement with Fred, mother Mildred admits “I came here to learn and I’m learning every day.” And, she goes out of her way to show her ethical support because that the dock workers, who she agrees have to have much better health protections. She may have unfinished service with Trixie.

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For more background top top the year the midwives and also sisters are living through, see our 1964 highlights of songs, films, developments in medicine and also science and more. Watch the next Call the Midwife illustration on Sundays at 8pm. Episodes will stream for 2 weeks after broadcast. You deserve to read the blog of real-life midwives on the Official PBS contact the Midwife site.