This film is part of Free

Mother and Child

While Jack Crawford is serving at sea his pregnant wife Alice has access to all the care she needs at the local North London welfare centre.

Public Information Filler 1940 10 mins


North London, 1940 - enter a world of floral-patterned housecoats, mangles, old GLC gas cookers and no-nonsense midwives. The experience of the expanding Crawford family illustrates the increased importance of family welfare centres during WWII. Look out for the visitor carrying a bag bearing the words "Tottenham Welfare Centre" - a clue to the film’s location perhaps?

As the demand for female labour grew so did the need for day nurseries, and good friends. Here, stay-at-home mum Alice looks after her working friend's daughter, Betty, along with her own son, Tommy. Welfare centres like the one depicted in this film were a vital lifeline for families, both medically and socially. The down-to-earth commentary was supplied by Londoner Herbert Hodge who was a BBC radio personality, taxi driver and author. This government film is a public record, preserved and presented by the BFI National Archive on behalf of The National Archives, home to more than 1,000 years of British history.