Sunday, 6 September 2009

50th Anniversary Brochure - part 1


On the 16thApril 1960, the Marguerite Hepton Memorial Orthopaedic Hospital reached the 50th anniversary of its foundation. Throughout this period extensions and improvements have been in progress to meet the changing pattern of treatment which the medical staff have required for their patients and it is obvious from the progress made that there has never been a want of benefactors to make this development possible.

It was in 1910 that the Leeds Invalid Children’s Aid Society was formed with the following objects:

1. To help to provide surgical apparatus, crutches and spinal carriages.

2.To arrange and help to pay for the maintenance of crippled and invalid children in Convalescent Homes and also the Marguerite Home, Thorp Arch.

3. To provide upkeep of the Marguerite Home.

4.To visit in their homes and teach in groups or individually the crippled and permanently invalided children of the City of Leeds who were too delicate to attend normal day schools.

5. to provide and serve daily a hot midday dinner at the Clarendon House Special School for Cripples.

It is with the second object that this Chronicle is concerned.


The opening of the Marguerite Home on the 16th of April, 1910, became possible when Mr Arthur F.L. Hepton of Leeds (later of Harrogate), presented the Society with a house of ten rooms at Thorp Arch as a thank offering for the recovery of his daughter Marguerite from a serious illness. The house was converted into a Convalescent Home for crippled children, and named the Marguerite Home. A Committee of Management consisting of members of the Society was appointed to administer the affairs of the Home.

Shortly before the outbreak of the First World War Mr Hepton made a further generous gift of £500 to the Society in memory of his wife, with the wish that the money be invested and interest, at least during the first few years, be applied to the improvement of the grounds around the Home, including the provision of trees.

The first expansion of the hospital buildings took place in 1915, when anew wing was completed through the generosity of Mr W. Riley-Smith of Tadcaster. The wing, known as the Riley Smith Wing, was a single –storey building and contained two wards for use as an observation unit and for the treatment of minor infections, three bedrooms for nurses, a dining room, a kitchen and bathroom. A verandah along the front of the wards made it practical for patients to be in the open air except in the severest weather. This feature of the hospital treatment has continued right up to the present time.

Mr Riley-Smith, shortly after the end of the First World War, presented to the Home the “Douglas Shelter” fully equipped. Four other shelters were presented, three by Mrs Robert Hudson in memory of her son, Colonel R.A. Hudson, who was killed during the war, and the other by school pupils. These shelters were ideal for open air treatment and isolation purposes. They were wooden in construction and of the chalet type of building used extensively in sanatoria.

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