I often think about those days and how lucky I was (it was only my right ankle that was in plaster) as I could move about quite freely when my friends were restricted on frames etc.
That stay in hospital affected my whole attitude to life as having lived with other boys who were much worse off than me (in fact two died during my stay). I seldom complain about my ‘lot in life’. My medical records came in handy when National Service was due, as I was classed Grade 3 which was a failure in their system but a success for me, as I had just got married, passed my driving test and begun to earn good money. I always believed that my 2 years in hospital was a good training for life.
I have had no contact with anyone associated with the hospital since my best friend Ronnie Smith died in the early 1970s. We were in adjoining beds for 2 years and I was his best man when he got married. He named his son after me. Ronnie and I went to
The worst thing was having to get washed on a cold morning in a bowl of lukewarm water. (Most of the time we didn’t).
Sorry to go on but I’m enjoying this! I remember the horse chestnut trees down the hospital drive and the tumbler pigeons in the dovecote. Miss Budd the teacher was great! I was given a bottle green cardigan to knit and after a year it was given to the girls’ ward – did you finish it?
It has been good to put pen to paper on our (Jane’s and mine) 60th anniversary of leaving Thorpe Arch.
Here are some names I remember
Specialists Mr Broomhead, Mr Payne
Nurses Hodgson, Moss, Fowler, Natress
Fellow inmates Kenneth Inkpen, Terry Swift, Geoffrey Gresty, Cyril Gamble
Barry’s letter in Best of British
Getting cold feet
When the snow came in 1947, I was 12 and in the
Other weekends we received food parcels from home containing sweets and Wizard and Hotpure comics. Our teacher, Miss Budd, braved the journey from Walton village in her little
The main treatment in the hospital was ‘fresh air’ and we older boys slept outside the ward between April and October, under a ten-foot reinforced glass canopy. I woke up many times with frost on the foot of my bed.