“I am a busy man”

Ella Doyle reported on the My London app on 23.8.21:

“A woman gave birth in incredible circumstances – on the street outside her home in South London.

Martina Janes, 36, and her husband Marco De Carli, 37, were expecting their second child on Friday (August 20), but an unexpected rapid birth meant the baby was born as they waited for an Uber to arrive outside their home in Elephant and Castle…

…This stranger helped Martina to lie down and be as comfortable as possible, whilst Marco called for an ambulance, and hailed down a passing police car…

…With two big pushes, the baby was born at 5.55pm. One of the police officers even used the string of her Covid mask to clamp the baby’s cord.

Marco says: “I cannot describe the relief of hearing him cry. It was the sign he was breathing and everything went well.

“They placed him on my wife’s breast and he started to try and feed immediately. Everybody was laughing and crying.”

The healthy baby boy has been named Davide.

Ever since the happy couple have been calling the kind strangers and policemen from the community their ‘delivery angels’.”

Huw Rowlands, Project Manager, Modern Archives and Manuscripts, wrote at blogs.bl.uk on 10.1.19:

“…the first baby to be born on the Underground was Marie Cordery on 13 May 1924…

The Belfast Telegraph published a slightly different version. It stated that Mrs Hammond was taken ill as the train approached Elephant and Castle Station. City typists on their way home formed themselves into a screen on the platform whilst porters ran for a doctor. A girl was born shortly after the doctor arrived.

A journalist from the Daily Express suggested to Lord Ashfield, Chairman of the Underground Railways, that he should be the baby’s godfather. Lord Ashfield agreed, although he had some reservations: ‘I should be delighted, if the baby’s parents are willing. Of course it would not do to encourage this sort of thing, as I am a busy man, but as this is so far as I know an event which is without precedent in the history of the Bakerloo, I think we ought to mark the occasion’. The baby’s father George Hammond accepted the offer at once…”

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