Emergency Services => Medical => Topic started by: aitch on January 07, 2010, 20:24:07

Title: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: aitch on January 07, 2010, 20:24:07
I spent quite a lot of my childhood 1959 - 1968 in St. Barts hospital having operations on a twisted foot the ward I remember was called spong ward (spelling??) and my surgen was called Mr. Vaun Jackson can anybody throw any light on this for me??

His name spelling and the ward spelling would be a start???

thanks in advance
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: kyn on January 07, 2010, 23:56:04
There is this:

New Road, Rochester.
Postcard photograph entitled The children's ward, St. Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester showing the Catherine Spong Ward, looking along middle aisle and showing left to right, clockwise, wicker baby's cot, hospital beds, nurse and patient, doctor and sitting patients, patient on rocking horse, nurses, table, beds, flower arrangements and wooden cabinet and framed pictures on walls. On rear, message from unnamed author to Miss Nellie [cf. Eleanor, Helen or Ellen] Hewitt, Bunwell Hill, Norfolk, discussing hospitalisation of an Eva. Published by Lofthouse, Crosbie and Co., Tower House, Trinity Square, London EC. Couchman's accompanying notes suggest this ward had become Out-patients B Ward by 1988. Postmarked Gillingham 15 June 1915. p.25


Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: bromptonboy on January 08, 2010, 18:04:18
May be just a coincidence. There was a merchant family by the name of Spong in Chatham in the victorian period. A Mr Spong used to ride his horse up to Brompton each week on business. On one such occasion he remounted his horse in Brompton High Street when for some reason it bolted and galloped straight down the High Street across Wood Street and through the gateway of the barracks. The horse contineus past the Officers Mess to a point where the road ended in a fearful drop of fifty-feet. Horse and rider landed shaken but unhurt and following a reviving brandy, or two, in the mess, Mr Spong remounted his horse and returned to Chatham. The place of his adventure is now known as 'Spongs Leap'. As a potentially wealthy family the Spongs may have been benefactors of the hospital hence the ward name.
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: aitch on January 10, 2010, 20:48:50
Thanks for the answers as to where the name spong came from

now I need to find out more about Mr. Vaugn Jackson

Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: WildWeasel on January 11, 2010, 20:50:05
I spent a week in Spong Ward in I think 1969 ( Hernia Operation )   I remember my father bringing me a Pen with a kind of slide rule on it that converted Old Money to decimal currency.....
Yellow & Black device I can see it in my minds eye now.....I loved it !!!! Probably the first " Calculator/ Computer " I ever had my hands on...

That will Time stamp it !!!

Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: aitch on January 11, 2010, 21:44:23
I spent a week in Spong Ward in I think 1969

A little early for a currancy converter as we changed in '71.
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: WildWeasel on January 11, 2010, 22:19:01
yeah you are right....As I get older I tend to forget timelines....The change was 71 so I was a little older than I remembered....

Excellent !

Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: seafordpete on January 12, 2010, 10:30:21
Not impossible the preparation was going on a fair while before hand, so convertors  could have been about. I was in retailing then and I'm sure we were dual pricing  a good 6 months before D Day
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: WildWeasel on January 15, 2010, 22:45:08
Bugging me now...I was born Sep 1963 and started Infant school in Jan 1968 aged 4 years 4 months ...I know I was at school when I spent time in hospital as I was excused PE and played on it for months
( probably why I have been rubbish at Physical sports all my life :-) )

So it could have been 1969 or 1970...( What was the actual D-Day date ? when currency changed...)

This reminded me of a problem I had regarding school.... As I was born in early September I started Infant school in January 1968 ...
So they wouldnt allow me to go to Junior school at the same time as the rest of my class in 1970 as I would ha
ve ended up being too young to take my O levels by the time I reached Senior school...So in reality I should have  started in September 1969, gone to junior school in 1971 for 4 years and then on to Senior school in 1975...
Ended up doing another year at infants so I caught up with the system....As I had done all the work I ended up spending most of my time in the library reading which has shaped my life....Not a bad thing....
So from being the youngest in the school year I went to be the oldest...A bit strange as when I took my O levels in 1980 I was 16 years 9 months whereas some kinds in my class where still 15....or not much older than 16....

Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: ChrisExiledFromStrood on January 17, 2010, 16:11:31
Spong Ward - my mum, a retired nurse, remembers the ward but doesn't know who Spong was.
She does say that "It was the original childrens ward, and was regularly haunted by a 'grey lady' who appeared just before a child died!"

Also the currency change was 1971, but 10p and 5p pieces came into circulation much earlier, 1968, identical size to the 2-shilling and 1-shilling coins (and bigger than the current 10p and 5p). Also the 50p coin came in before 1971 and the 10-shilling note (that the 50p replaced) was withdrawn before 1971.
BBC has an article on the changeover day 15th Feb 1971 at

Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: pilgrim on February 28, 2010, 16:21:19
I remember Barts A&E, very depressing, all green or brown tiles on the walls and only a touch of cream to lighten it up. Horrible place.
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: afsrochester on February 28, 2010, 20:33:58
Had two lengthy spells in there in '73, and had 1st Class care.. Gundulph Ward was named after Bishop Gundulph - I'm told.  Anyone know how the other wards got there names? Sheppey Tower, Ludford Cooper, Helen Lloyd, McCullough? I'm sure there a few more, but can't remember them. I assume Watts Ward was connected with Watts Charity.
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: sharmuk on February 28, 2010, 20:48:22
Oliver James Vaughn-Jackson bio here http://livesonline.rcseng.ac.uk/biogs/E000159b.htm. He was the first to describe the condition now known as Vaughn-Jackson syndrome.
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: aitch on March 05, 2010, 12:35:25
Thanks for the bio. I didn't even know his fore name before - a shame I didn't follow this up years ago to thank him for his help - too late now!!!
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: Galgo23 on July 07, 2010, 20:01:19
Does anyone know the story behind this part of St. Barts?

Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: Jason on July 07, 2010, 23:15:18
I've been told it's the mortuary (it's something I need to update on my site), but I'm not sure why it's built to look like a castle.
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: smiffy on October 01, 2010, 20:37:11
Here's an 1860's OS map showing this building. No indication as to it's function, perhaps it was just an unusual private residence.

Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: Leofwine on October 01, 2010, 23:25:51
Looks like it was not part of the hospital in 1866, but does seem to be attached to the cottages. The hospital must have acquired it later and joined it to the main building. Looks as though it had a nice garden originally too, shame that is gone now.
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: smiffy on October 02, 2010, 00:32:18

The rear access to the hospital is what became Hospital Lane, the circular feature to the left looks like a turning area for carriages. Somebody mentioned a mortuary, perhaps this is where the bodies were removed by the undertakers. Pretty busy in the 19th century, I would imagine.
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: Gutteridge on October 04, 2010, 13:40:17
I am preparing a talk on Chtham Intra for Medway U3A in November 1, and so I went to look at the white castle this morning, which had indeed been the mortuary of the hospital. There is a chapel (disused) and some general remnants of the mortuary itself on the ground floor and both remain untouched. Upstairs and accesible from some adjunct temporary buildings to the south face are offices/rooms used by NHS health promotion and smoking cessation staff.
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: smiffy on October 04, 2010, 14:43:28
Do you know if it's always been the mortuary, or was it taken over for this function at a later date?
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: caholu on October 31, 2010, 14:38:35
I stumbled across this site a short while ago whilst looking for information regarding St. Barts Hospital.

Aged 11 and living in Sittingbourne at the time i was diagnosed with having Appendicitis. Eighteen hours later i was operated on and it was discovered that my pain was caused by something called - intussusception; common in baby boys up to one year old, rare in eleven year olds!

However, although i spent four weeks in Spong Ward, had three major ops and died for two minutes , that's not why i am posting.

I remember the care, love and total dedication from the following: Sister Nixey, Staff Nurse Jose
phine Willoughby and a Consultant Surgeon, Mr. Tompkins (Thompson?).

Those four weeks are THE most memorable in my fifty six years on this earth. I was made to feel so special and safe. Staff Nurse Josephine Willoughby even came to visit me at my house when i left the hospital! I still find that an incredible act of kindness.

The Consultant Surgeon, Mr. Tompkins? told my parents, "That i had more guts and determination than the entire British Army put together!" A bold statement, i must say - they have never forgotten it though!

If anybody knows of the whereabouts of the above or indeed relatives of, please pass on my sincere thanks, love and appreciation to some very remarkable people.

Ronnie Slade.
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: donna packer on October 31, 2010, 15:01:21
what a lovely post, nurses are so unappreciated but if it wasnt for them i should imagine quite a few of us wouldn't be here(including me), its so nice to hear that even after all these years you have remembered these people ( by name too!) and everything they did for you,i hope that you get the answers you are looking for and i shall be watching with great anticipation fot the outcome, we all spend so much time moaning about this, that and the other, that sometimes acts of kindness are pushed aside and forgotten. good luck xxx
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: Lyn L on October 31, 2010, 16:38:31
I too remember Sister Nixey and Mr Tompkins ( not sure about the Staff Nurse though ) they were lovely to patients and parents . Our eldest son was in there for a Hernia op aged 9mths and kept in for 5 days, Mr Tompkins also had to operate on the other side exactly a yr later , same thing but he was happy in there all the time. Then our 2nd baby was rushed in one late evening at 6mths with a strangulated hernia, they tried everything to get it back on it's own ( tilted cot etc ) sent us home at 10pm then we had the Police knock on our door just after mid-night to say they wanted to baptise him as an op was imminent, hubby had to run from Bo
rstal while I stayed home fretting , he was in the theatre for 5 hrs , while a porter was keeping hubby regaled with stories of tricking new porters with 'dead' bodies who suddenly started groaning, it didn't do a lot I have to say to make Dad feel any better, but all was OK and he was actually given a lift in the same Taxi home as the Surgeon , who was telling the driver just what a night he'd had with this baby, hubby didn't like to say he was ours so just kept quiet and said a silent prayer. Each time was over my birthday in Nov, so we did try to keep away from there at that time of year. Marvellous staff there all over, and we did have a lot of dealings when it was fully operational.
I have no idea about their relations though or even when they retired, but do seem to remember that Sister Nixey had a write up in the local paper when she retired. Also have to say that the nurses at Medway who dealt with a 'demented' woman overnight about 10 days ago were pretty good
too, they just don't get enough praise.
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: GP on November 15, 2010, 21:18:20
Re The castle building at St Barts.

The lower floor housed the mortuary, including the Chapel(viewing rooms) and a room for the Post mortums.. perormed by Dr Telfer.The upper floor was the hospital Path Lab.

My first hospital job , was an a orderly in the Casualty dept.One of my tasks  was to trolley the deceased into the mortuary, This trolley would often start to run away down hospital lane, if one was not careful.
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: Mutley26 on November 15, 2010, 21:49:57
Apocryphal as it may be, my father used to refer to this white turreted building as 'Dracula's Castle', as he claimed that it was used as a blood bank. 
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: ann on November 16, 2010, 13:08:46
Sadly my memory of St Barts is sadly not as pleasant as other 'posties'.

I was admitted there in 1950 at just under 3 years of age.  I had been playing 'dollies washing day' and had tied a cord to a chair leg and a table leg for the line. I tripped over it and fractured my femur.  I was taken to St Barts and in those days it was policy for parents not to be allowed to visit or stay with their children. Barbaric I know, but it was thought that by seeing their parents the children would get too upset!  (This of course was to change with the work of the great psychologist John Bowlby).I can remember being held in my mothers arms and then being taken forceably from them by a man. He said to my mother, 'This is the bit I hate having to do'.  I can remember crying out for her and then being taken with the man in a lift.  I didnt see my mother (or father) for some months.  I truely thought I had been abandoned.  I later learned that they would visit and have to look in through a window without me seeing.  I was transferred from there to a hospital up Delce Road, think it was called St Williams. When I was allowed home, I cried when my mother came for me and didnt want to go with her. (surely I couldn't have forgotten her could I?) I used to call the nurses. Nurse Pink and Nurse Green by their uniforms and they were very kind to me and would give me sugar lumps to eat as a treat.

Can anyone remember anything about St Williams or have any photos. I think it might be where the Hospice is sited.
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: Lyn L on November 16, 2010, 13:39:43
I remember St Williams Hospital well, I live across the road, only visited once when a friend was convalescing after a major op. I borrowed a few pics from a friend and will try and scan them and post, but they are from when the building was demolished. When it was the main cancer centre locally a tank was installed in the grounds and frequently all the alarms would go off and we'd have about 4 Fire Engines in attendance because of the radiation scare, all false alarms fortunately but not pleasant during the night for patients or residents. During demolition when what is now the road called High Bank, the driver of a JCB was digging the bank and wall ready for the new road , and he dug straight through an electricity cable, what a huge great blue flash that caused , how he survived I'll never know ,we were without electricity for hours but how he got on I don't know.

The experience you had in St Barts ann, sounded horrific, I'm glad it's not like that now.
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: kevin payne on November 16, 2010, 23:51:42
i was born at 164,st.williams way,directly opposite st.williams hospital,a rather spooky and imposing pile,with many ghost stories addded to it,i have always remembered the date it was built/completed 1888,the year of jack the ripper! of which i have studied all my life (amongst other things!),the place had a morbid atmosphere at night,rather like the london hospital in whitechapel,but all the same i miss it.
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: paetke on November 17, 2010, 01:01:08
I have just discovered this web site. I have a lot of information but I need to assimilate my thoughts.  After all, I am going back 50 years!!
I know all the wards names of St. Bartholomew's.  And whence they came. Also I can (almost) remember all the Ward Sisters names. To the first writer; Yes, Spong Ward, named after Catherine Spong. Her remains were/are buried in St. Margaret's Church, Rochester. I will try to get my thoughts together and tell more. The Ward Sister at the first writer, was Sister Nixey.
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: paetke on November 17, 2010, 23:51:18
I spent from January 1960 to July 1965 at St. Bart's and St. Williams hospitals. First as a cadet nurse, then as a student nurse. I do know something of the history of St. Bart's. As is very well documented the first hospital was (now) the site of the Chapel.  This was caused to be directed to be built by Bishop Gundulf. It was a place for lepers to be confined. It was built out of the boundaries of both Rochester and Chatham, so deemed safe. Bishop Gundulf's remains are supposed to be under the Chapel alter. I do hope they have been removed to safer ground.

Yes, all Wards were named after hospital benefactors. This
was when the existing hospital was built in 1888.

Spong, children's ward, was named after Catherine Spong, her husband a local benefactor. Helen Lloyd, Female surgical, after Mr. Henry Lloyd of Sittingbourne gave 10,000 GBP on the understanding a ward would be named after his wife, Helen. Sheppey Tower ward, (Female medical) was named after Mr. Matthew Tower of Sheerness, Ludford Cooper was named after a Doctor felt worthy of the accolade. Featherstone Ward likewise.  Watts Ward was named after the very famous Watts charity. Gundulf Ward, well that is not of need of explanation. McCullough Ward, after Miss J. McCullough. That is me done for today!!
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: paetke on November 18, 2010, 23:26:58
I return.  I have a photograph of St. Williams's Hospital, have scanned but do not know what to do with it now?? I think I need an email address.
Back to Ward Sisters between 1960 and 1965: This may ring a few bells!!  Gundulf was run by Sister Daniels, a Canadian from Toronto; Sheppy Tower by Sister Spencer; Ludford Cooper by Sister Diamond, who latterly become Home Sister; as I said previously Spong Ward was run by Sister Nixey; McCulloch & Feathersone by Sister McCulloch (no relation to the founder); Helen Lloyd run by Sister Sinden, and Watt Ward, and for the life of me I cannot remember her name. Casualty was run by Sister Leary. Now to the night Sisters; in Casualty Sister Ward, nee Batton; the Ward Sisters were Sister Dodd, Sister Strong and Sister Hogben.

As to St. William's. Sister on the convalescent ward was Sister ?, name escapes, but it will return; and the Sister on the radiotherapy unit was Sister Mills.  The Doctor was Dr. Bell and Dr. Johnston as an assistant. Staff Nurse was Mrs. Hargreaves, later to become Sister.

In 1960 Matron was Matron Green.  The Assistant Matron was Miss. Paddon. Matron Green retired in 1964 to be replaced by Matron M. Coker.

All I can think of now. EXCEPT that rather white building ( I am being Polite) at the rear was not in situ when I was at St. Bart's.  The Path lab and mortuary were across from that white thing. They were built in 1928. I do remember helping a porter take a dearly departed to the "old" mortuary. As has been said, there was rather a steep slope, we had to be very careful with our load.

That's' all folks
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: kevin payne on November 19, 2010, 15:03:13
hi paetke,i believe bishop gundulph's remains are in rochester cathedral,just beyond the main altar and to the right of it,there is an old tomb there,and it was pointed out to me by a verger many years ago.Dont know why he is hidden away though?.
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: paetke on November 19, 2010, 19:07:52
Hi, Kevin. You have put my mind to rest regarding Bishop Gundulf's remains. Thank you.
The Ward Sister who's name I could not recall, at St. Williams, came to me at 3am!!  Sister Butler.
Mention has been made of a ghost at St. Williams.  That I do not recall but there were two ghosts at St. Bartholomew's. One, a rather  noisy dearly departed, in that he must have worn very heavy boots as he clunked around during the night often.  That was attributed to Bishop Gundulf. The other, now kind readers you have to understand I am a very pragmatic person, I did actually "see" on two occasions. That being Catherine Spong. She wore grey full length attire, with wimple. As nuns in long habits do, she did not "walk", but sort of drifted. She did indeed visit children on the Ward named after her, when they were very unwell.  She sat beside them and they were instantly calmed.
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: paetke on November 19, 2010, 21:52:02
To the person who wrote of a "Currency Converter". Well, yes that was a little before the UK converted to the decimal system. BUT!!  Dad was in the Royal Navy, in those days a tour of duty was for two years. One trip home, from Hong Kong, he presented me with an object.  Made of brass. About 5 inches by 4 inches. It was indeed a calculator, it had a brass "pen", to change the numbers. It would do addition, multiplication, division and even algebra, square roots and EVEN Pythagoras Theory. Suddenly I became interested in "doing sums". He also bought an abacus, that too helped me to do basic arithmetic. Wonder whatever happen to all these little treasures.
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: grantidge on November 30, 2010, 11:19:35
Hello everybody, I'm new here.

I was fascinated to find this thread about Bart's as my Mum worked there three times, firstly as a nursing auxiliary when I was very small, then as a cleaner in the nurses' home and finally as a waitress in the consultants' dining room.

I remember going to work with her sometimes in the nurses' home, if she couldn't get someone to mind me (I would be eight or nine years old).  I remember the Home Sister as being Sister Maycock, who wore a nurses' cloak and a big, triangular hat like those worn by Army nurses. She was lovely; very kind to me. The student nurses were great and it was very interesting to me to meet young women from all over the world.  I particularly recall a Ghanaian nurse called Mavis Bhana - Paetke, do you remember her?  She was so kind to me, and even came to my birthday party!

Later I used to meet Mum at work in the dining room, and the consultants used to chat to me.  I remember Mr Greenwood as he operated on Mum and his wife was the head of the local League of Pity (junior branch of the NSPCC), and used to visit my school to give talks.  And.............during Mum's time in that last job, Mr Gerald Townsley came to her rescue!  A somewhat randy doctor had been pursuing her and to our horror, turned up at our home one evening!  God knows how he knew Dad was on nights that week, and muggins here let him in as over-awed by him.  It took ages to make him go, and Mum said she was praying that I didn't decide to go to bed.  When he'd finally gone, Mum said to me "What shall I do - I can't make him stop chasing me, and now this!"  So I advised her to confide in Mr Townsley, whom I'd met and liked.  She did, and the randy one got a giant-sized rocket up his backside and troubled Mum no more!
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: paetke on December 02, 2010, 20:36:01
To the kind person who wrote about her Mum and her work at St. Bartholomew's. I am sure I met your Mum as she was about her tasks in the Nurses Home. It was kept impeccably clean. Yes, Sister Maycock I remember. The big triangular cap was called a "veil", as you said as Army nurses wore. Well, to the cloak, we all wore them.  Very warm. On Christmas eve we wore them inside out, so the red lining showed.  A bit silly actually, as our names were all stitched in the back!! 
Sorry, do not remember Mavis Bhana. I do have some very old newspaper clippings of prize giving's and such of St. Bart's, so, in time
 I will drag them out and see if her name appears.
I think your Mum may have well worked in the Consultant's dinning room whilst I was there. Everything changed, the Sisters had to take meals with us, low folk.  They had an awful time adjusting.  I mean, needing to line up for meals was really hard on them. As long as I was fed, I did not have a care.
Mr.Greenwood. He was one in a million. At Christmas he would admit elderly patients. He wrote some wonderful stuff on their charts.  All they had was some constipation and a huge dose of being alone at Christmas.
I have a feeling about the doctor who gave you and your Mum such a hard time. A name will not be mentioned. We called him "Casanova". Slippery and slimly. Good looker, though.

Now to St. William's. I am so sorry that folk's found it not a nice place to know. I was so happy working there. The food was all cooked on sight. Wonderful. I had to get my head around the "radium treatmen
t", but Dr. Bell taught me so well. Yes, all the cobalt machines were secured in windowless buildings, but, you know, that was OK, we gave them wonderful music and pictures to watch. Only as a panacea, but I think it helped.
Until next time.
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: grantidge on December 03, 2010, 11:42:03
Hi Paetke

Thank you for your kind reply.  Mum was called Ann Grant and was very attractive; she had the look of Ingrid Bergman!  She worked in the nurses' home in about 1963 and in the dining room in 1966.  One of the doctors was the father of a schoolfriend, Amanda.  He was Dr Oliver Fisher - what a lovely man he was, so kind and charming.

Mum was very lively with a good sense of humour and pretty wise about the ways of this wicked world!  I know she tried to steer some of the nurses away from unwise conduct with men.  The slimy one you described does sound like the "pest" who bothered Mum - first time I ever saw her not able to handle herself!  He was handsome, but somehow profoundly unattractive at the same time, with an awful sense of entitlement.  Mum told me later he was notorious for his affairs, at one time "romancing" a theatre sister and a student nurse (he was married, of course).

I remember Dr Bell and Dr Johnson - Dr Bell treated my godmother for hyperthyroid disease with radioactive iodine, and I met him when my Dad collected my godmother to take her home.  Another charming doc.  I never met Dr Johnson but a family friend, Frank Laidlaw who was an ambulance driver used to joke with her about supporting Sunderland football team - he was a Geordie and she a Mackem (from Sunderland and thereabouts) so they used to tease each other.  She sounded nice.

I did end up going on a tour of St William's hospital when I drove my Uncle, Jim Mara, there for treatment.  For some reason nobody else could do it that day so I did.  Uncle Jim mentioned that I was scared of the place, so I was taken on a tour of the suite where he was being treated.  Didn't help much, I'm afraid as even in my late twenties, as I was then, the fear was still lurking about.  It only really went when my Dad had lung cancer and we had a Macmillan nurse, Joan.  She picked up that I was scared of RT and arranged for me to see round the new unit at Maidstone.  I was so impressed with the modern, precise machines that the fear began to dissipate.  No doubt if I have to have it, I'll face it down just as I have other hard things in my life.  No alternative, really.

Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: paetke on December 03, 2010, 20:45:46
To Jill: we have the same first name!!
I am sorry, I do not remember your Mum specifically. I think I would have given the description you gave. BUT I do remember a very kind and rather beautiful Nurses Home "cleaner" who helped me out, teaching me the ropes, silly things I had to learn, as to when to put out uniforms out in the hall, in large, rather strange, well, I thought them so, "containers". They were only for uniforms, not for personal stuff.  I had only one pair of stockings and I rinsed those out every night and hung them on the radiator. Had to make sure me seams were straight. I even had to darn them if a had a ladder!! Never was that good at darning!! Soap was supposed to stop a ladder running, it did not!!
OH!!  Dr. Oliver Fisher...HOW COULD I HAVE FORGOTTEN HIM!! A pediatrician.  Special, special person. He would arrive at 3am on Spong if he was concerned about a patient. He would be by their bed, giving great comfort.  I would ask if he would like a some tea.  Always said "yes".  I took it to him but I was somewhat ashamed that we did not have "proper" tea cups. The other thing I remember about Dr. Fisher was that a couple of times a year he admitted twins.  Always know "as the Fisher Twins". These twins were about 18 months old when I first met them. Severely handicapped and retarded.. Dr. Fisher would admit them just to give their parents some respite. This was long before a PKU blood test was given at birth. Could have been prevented, but not then.
Have not forgotten to look up those, rather old, newspaper clippings.  They are hidden away, but that will be a New Year project.
All for today.

Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: grantidge on December 05, 2010, 16:53:43
Thanks, Paetke.  Dr Fisher's daughter, Amanda would be so thrilled to read such an admiring and affectionate comment about her Dad.  Dr Fisher died in a tragic sailing accident in 1998.  I met Amanda not long after at an RGS reunion and she was still shocked and grieving - she told me once at school that her Dad was her rock.  As was mine to me.

Re the music in the St William's cobalt treatment rooms - I think you are right and that it would take the patients' minds off it.  I had to have a CT scan and was terrified; even though it wasn't radiotherapy, it looked like it!  I bro
ught along a CD "Silver's Serenade" by the Horace Silver Quintet (a favourite band of mine) and this calmed me down and enabled me to cope.  My dear old friend and bass player, Mick had taken me to the hospital and volunteered to stay in the room with me, but of course, he couldn't!

Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: paetke on December 06, 2010, 22:27:04
To grantidge; I could not resist!!  Dug out all my old newspaper clippings of St. Bart's. I am very sorry to report the name Mavis Bhana does not appear anywhere. I have re-remembered many names.  This is interesting, to me.  I have an abysmal recollection of "names", but I just had to look at these clippings and I remembered every name.  Good people.  Fun people.
I will list some of these names as they may ring a bell to some readers: Sister Bates ( Sister Tutor), Julie Sumpter, B. Vardy (Green), C. Everard, T. Gangei...a wonderful nurse and human being, Carol Flannagan (Holloway), Linda Smith, N. Fitzgerald (staff nurse on Sheppy Tower), A. Isaacs, Sister Levitt, Principal Sister Tutor. A few more, Wendy Skinner, Sue Parkin, Iris Hill, Sue Ganpatsingh, G. Adekogbe. There are few more names I recall, not mentioned in my clippings; Sue Nichols, (fun), Kathy (Kathleen) cannot remember her last name, came from Whitby, Yorkshire, a wonderfully wise person, Liz Dixon...now she was really fun. The David Rose rendition of "The Stripper" was released...Liz used to entertain us by doing all the actions...clothes were not removed, but it was as if she was actually doing a strip tease..and Dame Shirley Bassey thinks she is doing well with "Big Spender"!!  

Bye for now.
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: lingage on December 16, 2010, 17:09:23
I worked in st barts a short while as a messenger in the early 60s then when my 2 children were 5 and 7 i worked in the records department with phil, jean, and jean butler aka royter, pat cayzer and  the lovely ellen , in 1978 i got the job as a ward clerk on Helen Lloyd a femail surgical ward.I had happy happy memories of a lovely ward and good friends, the patients were lovely and i enjoyed booking them in to the ward and chatting to them as i knew they were very nervous.The housemen registrars, and consultants stay in my mind,The three i remember when i first started there were:Mr Tompkin,Mr Girolami, and Mr Jennings,In the 6os I remember Miss Richards,N/O, Sister nixey, When i worked on Helen Lloyd ward at first it was Sister Cole, staff nurse Mayger a good friend, staf nurse Holder very good nurse, staff nurse Lorraine Cox , Ans a french staff nurse called Annemarie.Sister Thorn,A lovely foreign Sister on watts ward who sadly died and a Sister on Ludford cooper ward who also died who was smashing, Ileft in late 1990s to go over to Medway hosp,  to work on the sunderland day hospital at medway as a nursing auxillary.In 2002 I was so happy to return to barts to work with physios as a physio assistant tec 3.I am still there working with elderly rehab patients, i enjoy this very much with patients and collegues it is like a big family. Linda
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: paetke on December 16, 2010, 21:45:24
Dear Linda.  I delight to read yours.  Thank you. You mentioned Medical Records. Sounds a bit boring but, as a Cadet Nurse did some time there.  It proved to be rather handy, as when in General Training, at night, a patient would arrive in casualty and I knew exactly where to find their records and X-Rays. You mentioned an "Annemarie". Was she later a theatre Sister?  You may have "run into" Mum.  She was in St. Bart's geriatric rehab in late 2006. Her name was Mrs. V. Paetke. A rather stubborn person. Then in her 90ies. She was profoundly deaf and whilst there her hearing aid went kaput.  I used to call every other day, from Vancouver, Canada, and my first question was to find out if her aid had been repaired.  I finally had a friend in Sussex to call and it was quickly sent to the Medway to be attended to.  I arrived in December.  Mum had been discharged home.  Very frail BUT the hearing aid was totally non-functional. We had to wait for a few weeks for an appointment to have a technician to help.  Which she did, so at least the last weeks of Mum's life she had a little hearing. Bye for now.
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: lingage on December 19, 2010, 15:31:10
Hello Paetke, Yes i do remeber your mum, a nice lady, Sorry i made a mistake i put my maiden name down it was Gage in the 60s when i was a messenger, but have been married for 44 yrs and is now Smeed, silly me. My daughter worked also as a messenger then as a nurse at Barts her name is Jane ,she now works in the respiratory team. My son Scott is nursing Officer for medway hospital site.If anyone wants to ask any questions about St Barts I would be glad to answer them, love to hear from anyone who remembers me or Jane, Linda.
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: lingage on December 19, 2010, 15:37:15
Sorry Paetke I meant to say i am so sorry about your mum,Linda
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: paetke on December 21, 2010, 02:17:40
Dear Linda, I am very interested in your reply. your children have attained such great heights.  You must be very proud. No apologies required about Mum.  I understand the care she received was second to none..even if she thought otherwise. That was her!!   Now, tell me, I gather Mum was on "William of Hoo" ward. I looked up who he was, nasty end, poor chap, funny to name a ward after him. But can you tell me if that ward was made from one of the old existing wards?  If so, which one.  And what is the remaining areas of St. Bart's used for.  And, being me, I have to ask, where on earth do do park. When I was there there was a car park, to the north of the hospital, almost abutting the High Street. Not having a car at the time, it was of little consequence. But, these years later I do wonder how staff and visitors manage.
Till next time.
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: Barrowboy on December 21, 2010, 12:58:50
hello Linda,
you don't know me, but reading your account of life at St Barts and the Medway brought back many happy memories. I too, like you, was a nursing auxilliary, first at Preston Hall in 1982 then at the Medway starting in 1984 with Marilyn Matthews on C2. I remember the surgeons you mention very well. In fact Mr Giralami did a hernia repair for me. When Marilyn retired (1999) I worked on Astley Cooper where I met your daughter Jane. Transferring to Trafalger ward I had the pleasure of working with Scott, who was ward manager. There was never a dull moment with Scott, he had a great sense of humour. Although I retired in 2007, I still keep in touch with friends I made at Medway.
Sue Towell
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: lingage on December 21, 2010, 15:39:51
Hello, William of Hoo Ward was mcCulloch ward, which was a male urology ward, Ludford Cooper ward was a male surgical, do u remember sister Curran a force to be reckoned with, Sheppy Tower was a male medical as was Gundolph, Watts ward a female medical ward.I too remember dr telfer in the path lab, in the 60s he would let me look through the microscope at the specimens which i loved, but shudered when i saw a Telfers meat pie for sale. Do either of u remember Ted  the porter he came into the hospital last year hardly looks any different.What about lovely Molly and aunty in out patients that would take you back,If they sell St Barts off and turn it into flats , I will have to buy one as i feel like its home. Best wishes Lindax
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: lingage on December 21, 2010, 15:57:56
Paetke,The car park is at the back of the hospital, When i worked in the theatres in Barts I would get all the instrements ready for each op, that looked over the car park, id stand there day dreaming sometimes,any thing was better than going into the actual theatre which i had to do, as i then worked on the day surgery befor it all went over to mmhosp.I was much happier on the ward with awake patients, Id stand in theatre thinking any minute now i am going to do something wrong, i never did, and the boss Pat baker said i did very well.She was someone who workwise i looked up to, very strict but there, when it realy mattered well before i bore u rigid im going to shut up, lLinda.
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: paetke on December 22, 2010, 21:47:53
Lingage, do you remember Sister Rosemary Edridge??  A theatre Sister. Great person and taught me well.  She lived just around the corner from Mum's house and we often talked about the "good/old" bad days.
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: lingage on December 29, 2010, 17:54:05
Dear paetke,    Do not rememer Rosemary, awful with names, but never forget a face,Sorry you can see i never had to do typing it was all hand writing when i was a ward clerk,And all notes are hand written, when we go over to computer with pts notes i hope i have retired by then.By the way i left out Scott when i said i would like to hear from anyone who remembers any of us, and any one else from St Barts.Is there anyone out there who remembers aunty from out patients.I remember a young Dr ,who thought he was the cats whiskers, he lived in the Drs residence, he said I am good cook please let me cook a wonderful meal for you,(i was a lot more alluring then) I said , how lovely ,what time would you like us to be there   a pause " we" he said Yes me and my husband. I have never seen anyone back track so fast.Well once again dont want to bore you. have to go feel lousy had the flu this has worn me out.Will talk more when i feel a bit better.Linda
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: caholu on January 28, 2011, 16:07:43
Dear Paetke,

You seem to have a great knowledge of St, Barts...I wonder if you can help? I was admitted into Spong Ward in 1964, aged 10 and stayed 4 weeks. I remember Sister Nixey very well. However, a Staff Nurse Josephine Willoughby remains in my thoughts to this day. I was seriously ill and just survived. Staff Nurse Josephine Willoughby came to my house in Sittingbourne to see me when i was discharged! I will never, ever forget that day.

Do you recall this modern day, "Florence Nightingale?"

Hoping you can!

Kind regards,

Ronnie Slade.
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: lingage on March 24, 2011, 09:33:23
I remember josephine she was a staff nurse and a good artist too, dont know where she is now ,a loveiy woman.Just what the children needed back then.
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: peterD on March 25, 2011, 21:37:25
Hi Jill.  Don't know if you remember me?  I think we went to P.T. S together at Greenwich in 1962.  I trained at All Saints but spent time on Gundulph ward for Orthopaedic experience.   In 1976 I became ward sister on Gundulph ward (medical ward) by this time. My name was Val Shearer when I was training, later becoming Val Dagnall.
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: lingage on March 27, 2011, 19:30:42
Hello val I remember you well, I was the ward clerk on Helen Lloyd ward, Hope you are well, I am still at barts with physio team. Not as it was, but still happy to be there, there are 3 wards all rehab after strokes, orthopedic,and medicine sometimes after surgery. I do remember Kath your ward clerk, have you seen her.Nice talking to you, Linda
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: Lin Northover on April 20, 2011, 19:46:49
I worked on Spong Ward as a Student  nurse and then a staff nurse in 1971  under the wonderful Sister Nixey  who has now sadly passed on .Sister  Nixey was me role model mentor and friend until she died. I also remember and worked with Mr Tompkins ,Mr Jennings Mr girolami And of cours the Lovely  Dr Fisher Working on Spong and then onn the childrens ward when spong was closed and the childrens ward was transferred to Medway hospital were the most enjoyable days of my Nursing Career from which I am now retired

Linda Wright (Northover)
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: GP on April 22, 2011, 20:09:08
I have great memories of St Barts Hospital. Worked there in 1964 for a year, mainly in the Casualty Dept as it was known then. I was a 21 year old lad, and worked as a Orderly, which meant that I was a general gofa. Taking patients to xray, collecting X rays from the dark room, getting notes from records Dept.

At about 10 30 am, sister Leahy would ask me in front of the patients , 'to go and get Mrs Brown'. This was a coded message to go and collect 2 pots of coffee from the restaurant upstairs. The sister and doctors would then retire to a small office for coffee.

Other members of staff would get teas and coffee in Auntie Seward tea bar in the Outpatient waiting area,and hide behind the door.Auntie ( a Volunteer) was held in high esteam, she worked very day Mon -Fri, and seemed to know everyone, and had a delightful personality.

Aother job I had to assist with was transporting bodies that had been brought in by Ambulance, or who had died in the dept, to the mortuary. It was particularly difficult to steer the trolley round down the steep hospital Lane and round into the mortuary. Dr Telfer was the pathologist, and I remember him allowing me to see a post mortum. The mortuary attendant was 'Big Bill', and head Porter Bob Alston, who wore a bow tie, another portes was Ted Cooper, who had worked in theatre
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: lingage on April 26, 2011, 18:59:12
Hello GP you perhaps remember me I was a messenger then and i remember Bob head porter Do you remember Bernice Telephonist. I remember Ted Cooper Saw him short while ago hardly changed, Still at Barts with Physios My 2nd Home best regards.
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: GP on April 29, 2011, 18:36:21
I remember a girl called Sue, as messenger. I think her mum worked in Xray as a Nursing assisitant. When I first started at the hospital, all the x-rays were processed manually in a dark room. This was entered by a passage way with bends, to prevent light blurring the plates. The wet plates were held it metal frames, which were returned for fixing ,after being seen in the casualty.

Mr Gerald Townsley was the big chief of the hospital, held in high regard by many in Medway Towns, his lady friend was Mikki Vargner,( a theatre Sisiter) a delightful lady from Luxemborg, who drove a frog eyed Austin Sprite. Mr T had a Rover 2OOO and a Ford Classic , the Rover  was garaged under the kitchen at the back of the hospital. It was looked after by Monty, who was also an ambulance driver.

It was amazing how few admin Staff there were. The hospital secretary was Mr Mason, assisted by Miss Mayes, and I think there was a junior.  Wages were paid by cash, through a serving hatch in the board room.

Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: lingage on April 30, 2011, 19:42:08
Hello, what a good memory you have , i remember the hatch in general office where we collected our wages now you mentioned it. Did you know a miss Glendening a scotish lady.I gave my wages back one week, i was only 16, they had payed me too much, and the hospital secretary gave me i think it was 10 shilling note out of his own pocket for being honest; i never forgot that as i did not earn much money .The back door before you went out with notes trolley to go to records dept is still the same a dip which i had to be careful of or the trolley with weight on the first bit of path would nearly go over, I stood last week at the door lookin at it for ages, im most likly losing it.but nice thoughts, was like a family back then. keep on please with memorys thankyou .
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: GP on April 30, 2011, 22:34:18
Can't say i remember Miss Glendening. I do remember Miss Valerie Banning the medical records offiicer. she was a large lady with a good sense of humour, but used to huff and puff about things, especially tracer cards not being used when taking out medical notes.

Then there was Joyce Cochrane, the inpatient clerk. Freddy Sykes the ECG techinician. Jack Jackson the plaster technician

I also remember the paging sysytem. It was an array of red , yellow and white electric bulbs. these arrays were position all over the hospital. Before bleeps were invented , the telephonist would ' Flash up for a Dr'. Various combinations of flashing , or continuous lights were particular to a specific houseman.
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: lingage on May 01, 2011, 16:27:50
Thankyou GP. Yes, remember big Freddie and VI`alerie Banning. Do you remember the yorkshire man who cut pts toenails and im sure other feet things he was nice.I walked along corridors with a small transistor radio in my pocket (no apple ipods then) listening to my guy and various other songs, but was careful not to get caught. Casualty was at Barts. then, all the pop up seats with the wounded on them, agh good times, or was it just that I` im older now.
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: GP on May 03, 2011, 19:55:27
Just had another memory of my time at st Barts in 1964. This was the twice weekly morning dental clinic, in the OPD theatre. It was a free service for dental extractions, and usualy attracted a good number of patients.

My job was to pull an old brown dental chair, from the corridor by Pharmacy to the theatre. Then to be on hand to assist the dentist and nurse. Often patients became rather aggressive and confused on coming round for the aneasthtic. I had to take them round to the recovery room, also hold a kidney dish in which they spat blood. The dentist worked at quite a pace, so it was usually  a busy morning.!!
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: Lin Northover on May 27, 2011, 19:27:36
Hello GP!  My name is Linda, I worked at St. Barts. as a cadet, student, and staff nurse. I worked in theatre with Mr Townsley, Mr Tompkin and Mr Jennings and of course the lovely Miss Vargner. I also remember dear auntie working in the tea bar -  what a great lady. I also knew Monty the ambulance driver very well as he was my late husband`s driving partner on the ambulances and we remained friends with him for many years. Sadly both have now passed away.
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: Leofwine on June 14, 2011, 18:01:45
The Hospital viewed from Victoria Gardens. I think this one dates to around 1900-10.

Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: ann on March 04, 2012, 20:30:11
Report for year ending 1874


Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: I.B.Igor on January 27, 2013, 17:09:20
I am hoping the memories of this site can help myself, and my family.
We are trying to find anyone who worked on Spong ward in 1963.
We had a sister called Ann Joy Flint, aged seven, who sadly died of childhood leukemia on December 7th, 1963 in St. Barts. and was buried on Friday the 13th December, 1963 in Woldham Kent, All Saints Church. Did you, or anyone you know go to Ann's Funeral?
Her parents were Peter and Jean Flint, she had three siblings at the time of her death, Elizabeth, Roy and Christopher. Her Mother was unusual as she was disabled.

The reason I ask is, as her surviving family, we are attempting to place a Headstone for our sister in Woldham Church, Graveyard, and it seems the Church have no records of where her grave plot is. We have been trying for several years to do this for our sister, Ann.
Do you know anything or have memories of Ann, or even photographs of the Churchyard? January or May 1963/4 with a view across from the Church to the Medway, you may have a picture of my sister`s resting place.   
I know it`s a slim chance but any information would be wonderful.
Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: merc on October 11, 2014, 19:30:00
I just found this bit of film from 1929 :)

Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: smiffy on October 12, 2014, 15:06:11

Already covered here:

Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: merc on October 13, 2014, 13:20:30
Thanks Smiffy :)

I did do a search of the forum before I posted but I didn't see that thread for some reason. Having said that, I couldn't get the film in the link to work as it's copyright and restricted access. My link let's you watch the film without any trouble :)

Title: Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
Post by: smiffy on October 13, 2014, 14:44:24
Yes, it looks like the original link is no longer working.

Better that it's now on Youtube, I often use Downloadhelper and watch whatever I want at my leisure at some later date. It also means that if something is removed you've still got a copy.

I seem to find myself watching stuff on the net more than broadcast TV these days!