Sunday, 6 September 2009

50th Anniversary Brochure - part 2


In 1918 the Society had to face the problem of extending the accommodation for domestic staff which, in spite of a steady increase in the number of patients, had not been altered since the Home was founded. It was decided to launch a Public Appeal and the magnificent sum of £1080 was subscribed. Just at this time, however news of the death of Lt. William Hepton, one of the Trustees, was received and Mr Arthur Hepton, his father, again came forward and offered a gift of £5000 to defray the cost of extensions, in memory of his son. This offer was gratefully accepted and work commenced on the alterations in August 1920 which were completed in 1921. An extension of the existing verandah, a new kitchen, additional bedrooms and bathrooms were provided and from the moneys raised by the Public Appeal the Committee of Management was able to add a milk room and provide furnishings and equipment. The extensions were opened on the 28th of May 1921 by Mr Hepton.

In the same year a new sluice was added to the Riley-Smith Wing, the cost being partly defrayed by Mrs Cochrane. Mr John Halliday, the then President of Leeds Invalid Children’s Aid Society, presented a single-story building to provide bathrooms for domestic staff and an operating theatre and plaster rooms were opened.

The work of the hospital continued to expand and towards 1930 there were again accommodation difficulties for residential staff, particularly nursing staff. The night staff were living temporarily in a wooden block situated in the grounds of Thorp Arch Approved School, adjacent to the hospital. This was a most unsatisfactory arrangement and plans were drawn up for a new Nurses Home on two floors within the hospital grounds. The building was completed in 1932 at a cost of £5000

In 1936, following a gift from Mr. Hepton of land adjoining the Home for future extension and development, the Society decided that henceforth the Home should be known as the Marguerite Hepton Memorial Orthopaedic Hospital, in recognition of the many generous gifts which Mr. Hepton had made over a long period. In this year too the hospital received its first X-ray equipment.


On the outbreak of War in 1939 the safety of patients accommodated in the several small hutments in the hospital grounds had to be considered from the point of view of air raid precautions and the close proximity of a Royal Ordnance Factory. It was decided to replace the hutments by a permanent brick structure and this was completed in 1942 at a cost of £5,000. This Block to-day accommodates Wards 3 and 4, but the original design was for one Ward only. The subsequent division into two Wards has made difficulties in the ancillary departments, but these were partially overcome by alterations carried out in 1958.

By the end of the Second World War the number of patients that could be accommodated in the hospital was 90, ten times the original number first catered for in 1910, and the Committee of Management realised that the facilities of the hospital should be modernised and improved to meet the present requirements. A scheme of development was accordingly prepared.

Between. 1945 and 1948 two Airey Houses were erected in the grounds to provide married quarters for the resident medical officer and the maintenance handyman. A sluice room was added to Ward 3 and a recreational building provided for the nursing staff. Plans for the provision of a new building at the rear of the hospital, to accommodate a new operating theatre, X-ray department and an emergency ward have not yet been implemented.

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