A gentle and effective approach to whole body health, to help reduce pain, improve mobility and promote healing

Author Topic: patient 1960-1961  (Read 5244 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7817
    • The Marple Website
Re: patient 1960-1961
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2013, 04:23:27 PM »
Jenny has shared a photo from 1961 which I've added to the Virtual Tour with others from the hospital:


Or you can see it here:

This is what Jenny said about it:

Hi again, Mark,
Thank you again. I wondered if you could advise/help me one last time. I did find that little photo, with January 1961 printed on the back. Sadly, it looks as if I had sellotaped it to my wall, because the bottom edge was damaged. After cropping it, it's a bit better. I'll attach it here in the hope that you know a way of posting it. If you prefer, I could perhaps do this myself, but am not sure how to do so. I now remember that because my best friend, Irene was visiting me, a lovely nurse, maybe named Ayres, put curlers in my hair the night before( my hair is STRAIGHT). The ward had been decorated for Christmas 1960. Note the absence of curtains and blinds back then.
Thanks for everything, Jenny Daniel (nee Jennifer Syddall born 9/2/1948), so still 12 in the photo.


  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7817
    • The Marple Website
Re: patient 1960-1961
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2013, 05:09:25 PM »
What a fascinating story Jennifer, thank you for sharing it here.

One of the things that I always suggest to people like yourself, who may not have reason to visit the forum on a regular basis, is to click the "NOTIFY" button on each topic that you are interested in. This way, if there is ever a new post made you will be automatically notified by email. So as long as you have the email address that you registered with you will know if someone else has replied.

You never know, one day Glynnis may stumble across this site in the same way that you did.


  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
patient 1960-1961
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2013, 03:38:28 PM »
I accidentally found this site yesterday, and loved looking at the old photographs, bringing back so many memories. The hospital was a lovely old building, but I doubt if I thought that at the time. I had Perthes disease, but was a patient of Mr. Milner's in Bolton Royal when he decided to have me transferred to Marple. I remember being very upset and homesick at first, so I probably wasn't the easiest of patients until I settled into routines. I lived in Kearsley, and my classmates were asked/forced to write to me. I kept every letter from them and other friends and family, and have just read through them again. It's odd to see envelopes addressed to "Miss Jennifer Syddall, Children's Orthopaedic Hospital, Dale Road, Marple, Cheshire" postmarked Dec. 1960 and asking me if the girls' ward was getting a tree for Christmas.
The most painful part of my treatment was the earliest. I wasn't on a frame, which was a relief, but on what they called "extensions". This meant that my bed was tipped so my head was pointing down, my legs had sticking plaster down the sides, with ties at the bottom to tie my feet to the foot of the bed. The worst bit for me was having my heels on wooden blocks and the bedsores that had to be treated when my extensions came off. In my letters people ask me about Dorothy who might be going home, about my best friend Glynnis in the next bed and about the girl who was sitting her 11+. I did write about the teacher coming every morning, but I don't think I got a lot of school work done. It was hard to write at that angle. I probably did more reading than anything else. I remember all the older patients being entered for a painting competition. I remember mine was of a circus coming to town, and my prize of 10 shillings!
The younger girls' beds were in front of ours, and I remember most of them being on frames. A small child called Polly used to cry a lot, and I could quieten her down from my bed if I played something on my recorder or sang Little Donkey. She didn't seem to like any other tunes.
Visiting happened only at weekends, so I was never sure if my Mum or Dad had to give up their place to another visitor. I remember my Dad once giving up his place, but standing outside the window behind my bed, holding up a verse to add to the poem/ song we were making up together.
In another letter, Dad offered to put orange juice between my feet, so Glynnis and I could have lollypops. I was always cold until I was allowed up. He said that if we girls wanted to get warm, we should ask matron to let us go to Cherry Tree where "they had to lower the temperatures last week so the boys won't feel too great a change when they come back to COH".  I don't really remember why the boys were moved out of their ward.
I wrote about films we watched and about sweets which sister gave us at film time. When I was put in plaster, I hated having to lie perfectly still in the "drying room" with just a cage of lights and a sheet over me for 3 days and told that if I moved the plaster would crack.
Then came to day of being allowed up on crutches. Sister Howie told me to wait until the nurse helped me up, but I stupidly didn't wait, and found myself flat on the floor. I can still hear sister's anger at the prospect of another 3 days in the drying room!
I was glad to be allowed out sometimes on the balcony, once I'd mastered my crutches, being sent on errands to the boys' ward or serving food to some of the younger ones. Sister Howie did teach me how to do "hospital corners" and how to work the manual bandage rolling machine. Where was health and safety?
I haven't found it yet, but know that I have a photo which my Dad took to show that I had become an "up patient" months later. I am propped up by my bed at the back of the ward, playing the recorder I had been sent for Christmas 1960. I am in a full plaster cast from arm pits to ankles, but Mum has disguised it with tartan trews (!) and sweater.
I was discharged, still in plaster, some time the following summer, so I was one of the lucky ones. I missed the whole of my 2nd year at school, but my teachers helped me to catch up. I can't have got too far behind, because I am now a retired teacher.
A few months at MCH may not seem very long, but, as you can see, it left a vivid impression on me.
I have been trying for years to track down Glynnis. If you ever read this, Glyn, our friendship was precious, and I wouldn't have got through it all without you.