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Author Topic: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester  (Read 60599 times)

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paetke

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Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
« Reply #41 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.

grantidge

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Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
« Reply #40 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!

Jill

paetke

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Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
« Reply #39 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.


grantidge

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Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
« Reply #38 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.

Jill

paetke

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Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
« Reply #37 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.

grantidge

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Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
« Reply #36 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!

paetke

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Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
« Reply #35 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.

paetke

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Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
« Reply #34 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.

kevin payne

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Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
« Reply #33 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?.

paetke

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Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
« Reply #32 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

paetke

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Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
« Reply #31 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!!

paetke

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Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
« Reply #30 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.

kevin payne

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Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
« Reply #29 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.

Offline Lyn L

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Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
« Reply #28 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.
Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life tryi

Offline ann

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Re: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester
« Reply #27 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.
Ann

 

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