Muriel, 95, was Shropshire's answer to Call the Midwife

A popular midwife and market stalwart has died aged 95.

Muriel Painter with brother Colin Brown
Muriel Painter with brother Colin Brown

Muriel Painter, nee Brown, delivered hundreds of babies in Shropshire and Herefordshire in her 10-year midwifery career, and was a much-loved personality at Shrewsbury Market.

She sold fruit and veg with husband Les for more than 40 years, and also ran a market gardening business from her home in Muckleton, near Shawbury.

Her brother Colin, 89, from Monkmoor, said: "She initially trained in London as a staff nurse and was promoted to sister, and was there at the start of the NHS in 1948. She then qualified as a midwife, saying she wanted to see the start, rather than the end of life.

"She worked in Hereford before switching to the old Cross Houses hospital. She used to cycle around to remote homes, often in the middle of the night, delivering babies like on Call The Midwife.

"Muriel must have been responsible for bringing so many children into this world before having her own two sons in the 1960s.

"She then worked with Les on their smallholding and selling their produce on their stall in the market. She was a real stalwart there and loved serving and chatting to customers. That was her, always kind, friendly and interested in others."

Muriel, known as Moo to her family and friends, grew up in Coton Hill and was educated at the old Lancastrian School in Castlefields. She taught herself how to play the piano and took a keen interest in classical music and current affairs. She was also a member of the Shawbury Women's Institute and a regular worshippers at Moreton Mill Methodist Church.

After Les died in 2003, she developed dementia and for 12 years was a resident at Uplands Care Home in Bicton Heath, where she died.

Colin added: "On behalf of the family, I'd like to place on record my thanks for the excellent care."

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