Call the Midwife Wiki

Joan Avis is a woman from Poplar shown to be loud, entitled and demanding, showing little compassion to those she sees as “the worst of the East End”.


In 1967 a lot of houses and slums were being cleared, this lead the meths drinkers of the East End to leave their usual living spots and settle elsewhere which most people saw as an inconvenience. Colette Corrigan accidentally threw her ball into the allotments a drinker was sitting and went to get it, Mrs Avis had her in her sights and was disgusted the man was even there, so close to the school and she compared meths drinkers to rats, saying the only difference is that the council did something about rats.

Mrs Avis decides to take matters into her own hands and stormed into the shop of local councillor Violet Buckle outside of her surgery hours and complained of her rubbish shoot having been blocked for two weeks and a lack of lightbulb in the stairwell. Violet politely suggests she wait until her surgery hours until making a formal complaint but Mrs Avis says she was doing that at that moment, even wearing her smart coat to make it. She also arrogantly says she would be suspending payments of her rates if matters did not improve, Violet tells her she wasn’t at the rates office and she rudely says it wasn’t a dressmakers telling Violet one of her dresses looked like it was done with a knife and fork. She then leaves slamming the door behind her.

Mrs Avis attends a meeting at the Iris Knight Institute and shows she holds esteem for someone other than herself, that being the midwives of Nonnatus House. Citing she had five children with them (four at home and one in the air raid shelter) proudly calling them the best of the east end and asks what the council plans to do about what she deems the worst. She refers to the meths drinkers in every doorway, and as she put is “using my stairwell as a khazi”. A plan of battle was drawn up which involved more police powers on the street but Violet wondered if chasing homeless people away for a well kept street was worth it and suggested better facilities for treating men for alcohol addiction.

Mrs Avis is seen again in the 2022 Christmas special where it is revealed she is the Sunday school teacher, the Turner children and Susan Mullucks attend the Sunday school which was putting on the nativity play, she told mother Rhoda Mullucks the parts hadn’t been assigned yet. Susan was affected by thalidomide and didn’t have properly formed arms and legs, Mrs Avis evidently didn’t want Susan to be part of the show. Rhoda bumped into Mrs Avis in the market and confronts her for not wanting Susan in the play, Mrs Avis tells her that she was worried Susan would get knocked over on stage but Rhoda can see that Mrs Avis was just worried about what other people would think having her on the stage, Rhoda then storms off.