I was a student nurse at Lord Mayor Treloars from January 1962 until January 1964. Those two years orthopaedics were affiliated with other hospitals which allowed us to start training before 18 which was the minimum age for General Nursing commencement, when the students moved on the 3 year general training was reduced to two years.
The hospital was a very happy place because many of the patients were long stay, young, cheerful and perfect!
The nurses home is shown in this photograph, it was always warm and friendly. I had several rooms in the home, the attic window just visible beyond the second A was my favourite, the only disadvantage being if you got in from a date late, after 10pm lock up you could not get in a window, then you had to knock up a friend whose room was on the ground floor, she would then pass her laundry box out the window for you to stand on, then you had to lean out and pull the basket back in. Once or twice I was caught but the night sister unlocked the front door and did not report me. Bless her cotton socks! This was a very happy time for me, I loved everything about the hospital, the work, the nurses home, the friends I made, (several of whom I at still in contact with )but most of all the patients, many of them long stay children who were admitted for months.
I notice Nurse Johns has a special mention, I think this will have been Frankie Johns whose first Ward was on 5, with Sister Smith. Ward 4 was the teenage boys ward and believe me the nurses had as much pleasure looking after the boys who were great teasers as the lads had with the nurses. On one occasion a lad named Terry asked for a bottle on a Sunday when the ward was packed solid with visitors, there was only visiting once a week on a Sunday. Being a very new girl, it was my first Sunday visiting duty, I went and got the bottle, pulled the curtains around his bed and passed him the bottle. Terry was on a full plaster bed. A mould of his body had been made in plaster of Paris, this was cut in half. Part of each day would be spent laying on the top half, on his stomach, most of the day in the lower half on his back.
As I passed Terry the bottle he grabbed my wrist and yelled at the top of his voice “Oh! Oh! Nurse Nurse” Well imagine how red my face was when I scuttled out from the closed curtains. I left the curtains and hid in the ward kitchen until visiting was over.
I remember Michael who struggled with legs affected by polio. I remember Andrew who had Downs and lived on the ward all the time I was working on it.
I live near Salisbury now and remember my time in Alton, at Treloars, with great joy.
Bronwen Lovering, formerly Student Nurse Shawyer
A memory shared byon Oct 19th, 2010.
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