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Bretby Hall Hospital

A Memory of Bretby

My name is Brian Spray and I first saw Bretby Hall when I was 4 years old. I contracted Infantile Paralisis (Polio) in 1944 and was referred to see the lady doctor who practiced at Bretby, Dr Greason and Mr Lund. I spent 6 months on my first visit in 1948 and another 6 months in 1951. My next visit was in 1955, again 6 months. My last visit to stay was a year later in 1956, again another 6 months, in this stay I took my eleven plus. School was provided for a few hours a day and other activities to keep us busy ie pottery and basket making and painting. We had our own record player in the library. Every couple of weeks there was a concert or a picture show in the main hall. Every morning no matter what the weather we were pushed outside so the wards could be cleaned, we had a morning drink outside, coffee in summer and Bovril in winter. I have no complaints, in fact the staff were brilliant, very caring. The children's wards were at the rear, separate from the Hall, the boys nearest to the hall, babies in the middle and the girls at the far end. Most of my time spent at Bretby was a happy time. I had an operation every year I was there, they did not make my leg better but they helped to make my life better. Thanks to the staff and all the people connected with the hospital. A happy time was had by most.

A memory shared by Brian Spray , on Jul 5th, 2011.

Comments & feedback

Fri Apr 7th 2017, at 11:48 am

eunever commented:

Hi Brian, I went to Bretby when I was 16 years old August 1956 as a cadet nurse, I do have a photograph of all the children's beds outside the ward , often it was so cold, I hated the cold weather and tried to wear as much as I could wear under my overall ,The children were there for such long periods but were always so cheerful . The sisters and matron were so strict in those days and I seem to remember the lady doctor had a limp, I remember her telling me I was not wearing the correct shoes .I have some wonderful memories of my 2 years there .Best wishes Eunice (Blakely)

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