Monday, 7 February 2011

Vera Duxbury - nee Clarke - remembers names of patients and nurses, and comments on visiting rules

I followed up Vera's contribution to ask her if she had any thoughts on visiting hours, something that all of us at Thorpe Arch during her time there had mentioned. She replied:
“I am sure I answer for all of us who worked at the Hospital then, we were greatly upset & disturbed for the children, & most certainly did not agree with the monthly visits, plus we the "front line” nurses, as you might say were the ones to comfort the children. In our defence I have to say our hands were tied, we didn’t have any say in any administration, we worked long hours, with very little money. Nursing was a vocation in those days, & the NHS did not come into being until (I think) 1945?”

Vera had also had time to dig out her old autograph book, from which she gives this list of names. How many of you recognise yourselves?
“The first was a little very poorly little boy, whom I remember quite clearly, his name John Waite, & he printed quite big & unruly, but he was quite young, another patient in large boys, Freddie, also large boys, I think about 15--16yrs, Harry & a Dennis. Doctor Jack Philips, -Sister Zoe Weddall. now nurses, along with "nick names” we gave to each other, we were not allowed to use Christian names in those days.
Nurses: Bulmer, Bully; Pendergast; Milburn, Milly; Speight, Speighty; Oubridge; Towey; Davidson, Dave; Holmes, Jaybus; Moakes, Smokey; Watson; Hibbard,Birdie; Cliffe,Kipps (in the photo); Moorehouse, (left in the photo); Smith, Smiffie; Jackson, Jackie; Dennis(not sure whether a Nurse or patient); Walls; Parkinson, Parky; Smith, Cockey, & last, my nickname was Nobbs.

Despite the war we were a reasonably jolly group, we respected our seniors, even though off duty we had to give up our seats by the fire when a senior came into the sitting room, though we were there first, & we loved our little charges & pray they all recovered.