Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Brian Todd tells of his time in MHH during 1954

I have just found your web sight for Marguerite Hepton Hospital, I was also a former patient at Thorp Arch Hospital during 1954 for approx 6 mths, I was also there a couple of years earlier but can't remember the dates. My consulting Surgeons were Mr Clark and Mr Pain,(not both at the same time.) I will always remember Mr Clark as he used to park his Jaguar near the ambulance bay at Leeds General Infirmary, It was racing green , and I have had a thing for Jaguars ever since.
I was in Thorp Arch both times for Osteomylitis in my left knee and had to wear a Thomas splint for most of the time.
After my second stint in hospital I was put into a caliper and had to wear that for quite few years, After leaving hospital I had to go to a Special School for the disabled, that was my first Introduction to Potternewton Mansion School. Mr Tempest (Teacher) Mr Wiggins (Physio) Ms Hearfield (Headmistress). I also remember some of the students like Tommy Swindles, Joyce Parker and Winnie Megson, I sometimes wonder what they are doing these days. I also became a Boy Scout while at the school and Mr Tempest was our Scout Master. Myself and three more of our scout troop went to a Jamboree for disabled scouts (an Agoonoree) at Gillwell Park, somewhere in the south of England in approx 1956 or 57.
When the Caliper finally came of after a few years my left leg had completely stiffened up, so Mr Pain decided to do what he called a Tendon Transplant, He had never done one before but had seen them done so after much discussion we decided to go ahead, Thankfully it was successful.
I am now 67 years old living in Queensland, Australia. and had to have an Arthrodeses on my left knee due to Osteo-Arthritis, so after all these years my left leg is permanently stiff again.
Going back to my recollections at the hospital, I don't remember many names except for Winnie Megson (whom I later got to know at Potternewton Mansion School) also a girl named Nancy both on the girls ward across the road. I also remember two of the nurses names they were nurse Whitehead and nurse Foxcroft, there was also a nurse we used to call Marilyn after (Marilyn Monroe) she was a very attractive blond nurse, I remember I used to give her my pillow when she was on night duty so she could get some rest, When I became more mobile I used to go into what I believe was the treatment room and roll bandages on a funny wooden frame.
I have just seen a photograph (mwward2jpg) on your web sight, and after looking at old photo's and speaking to my mother, I believe the boy third from the far end on the right side of the photo is me. (Brian Todd). We also had entertainment I think you had just got your first Television, I also remember a dark coloured trio called the Mills Brothers, and also sometime later I believe there was a cowboy on horseback who used to sing and play the guitar. In fact looking back, for me thing's weren't all that bad in hospital.

Its amazing what you find out by asking your parents questions, It seems my Grandmother on my dads side (dad's mother) first went into service at the age of about 13yrs old as a kitchen hand at the Heptons residence. When she saw the name of the Hospital when she first came to visit me, she said that lady taught me how to bake, My grandma was so small when she first started her service there she could not reach onto the bench to knead the bread, so the bowl was put on the floor.
Her name was Sarah Maria Grinrod and she started work there between 1893 & 1895 approx.