Nurse delivers on Christmas promise to Loanhead baby

Freda Wilson and her son Les who was born on Christmas Day 1953
Freda Wilson and her son Les who was born on Christmas Day 1953

He may be about to collect his bus pass, but 60-year-old Les Wilson from Loanhead will always be a Christmas baby to his doting mum Alfreda.

Born at 3am on December 25, 1953, Les was the first Christmas baby boy delivered at the Simpson’s Memorial Pavilion during the Queen’s coronation year.

It was a proud moment for parents Stewart and Alfreda, from Musselburgh, who were presented with the Coronation Silver Cup by the Lady Provost of Edinburgh as a memento of the occasion.

It was particularly poignant for his mum Alfreda, who, as a nurse at Simpson’s, had previously missed out on the joy and excitement of delivering a Christmas baby.

“I worked on ward one at the Simpson’s from 1951 to 1953 and during that we were quite disappointed never to have a Christmas baby,” she said. “I was married on March 19, 1953, and I told my colleagues I would give them a Christmas baby – and lo and behold I did!”

Alfreda still recalls Dr John Kerr, who she had previously worked with, arriving at the labour suite in his dinner suit to deliver her son.

“It was a difficult labour, but I felt like quite a celebrity. The nurses kept walking me up and down the corridors and presenting me to people, saying ‘this is the lady who is going to give us a Christmas baby’.”

Originally from Edinburgh, Alfreda (85) spent all her married life in Musselburgh. The couple went on to have two more sons, Kenneth and Martin.

On Christmas Day, mother and son were looking forward to a low-key celebration, with Les cooking dinner for the family at his home, where he now works as an artist.

“I can’t really believe that my son is 60 already and going to have a bus pass. I keep teasing him that he’s old like me now,” said Alfreda.