Welcome to-aturnofthekey-Memories of the old  St.Georges and Coton Hill Hospitals-Stafford
A shared record of the Life and Times of these once-proud, old Hospitals. 25/02/2012

This Web – Site is Open To All who may have been involved with Providing and/or Accessing throughout the years, any of the facilities of
these two Old, Local Hospitals. This includes All grades of Ex-Staff, Volunteers, Ex-Patients and their Relatives. There also appears to be a
number of People from the Stafford Area and beyond, Young and Old, who have an interest in what these Old Places were really all about.

I hope this Site and it’s Contents are put together in as Sensitive a way as is possible – Please feel free to tell me if you think otherwise.

Many sincere thanks to all who have helped me with encouragement, advice, and their trust in me to share all of their donations of images, reminiscences, anecdotes, stories etc., towards this Collection of Memories, for everyone to see – I could not have done it without them.

It’s continued development depends  –  Very Much on You  –   through your Donations of  Images, Suggestions, Comments, Anecdotes etc.
All of these add extra layers to the  varied and vibrant record of these, our, old hospitals – So Please, Keep them Coming.
Explore the Site – Participate – Reminisce – Share Those Memories – Tell Others About It – Brian Simms.

I hope you Enjoy the Site,  But – If You Notice Anything Untoward – Please use “Contact” Page to let me know


Some Recent Photos –  Identified – Temporarily by  Red – Frames – Across the Site

Hover over Photos for Donor ID, Info., etc.  –   Left Click to Enlarge

Uploaded –  24th August  2014          See “Place and People”  page

Newsletter 008 © Courtesy of Staffs Newsletter- Harry Cliff, Hospital Secretary. From the late 60's, Group Secretary to  all Hospitals in the Mid Staffs Group .

Copyright © to all Images is acknowledged as being retained by the Donor unless otherwise stated


If You have any Photos relevant to the Site – Please “Contact” Me

Some of your Anecdotes

“The Mortuary Goose”  –  A Personal Experience   by – David Johnson. .

See “Anecdotes” Page for More of these – and – Please Send me Your Stories to Share

List of  Current Donors

Peter Anthony – Anne Appleby – John Aris – Sue Astle-Kath Cox – Trisha Hayward – Tony Lakin
Chris Peet – Beryl Sandy – Roy Shirley – Bill Sim – Brian Simms – Ian Ward – Jeanette Watson
Kevin McConville – Phillip Warelow – Eddy Hood – Mary Balahura – Geoff Dewsbury
Margaret Dooley – Mark Melvin – The
Staffordshire Newsletter – An Anonymous Donor
Dave Plant – David Johnson – Philip Locke

147 thoughts on “Home”

  1. Phil Warelow said:

    Hi Brian
    Kevin McConville informed me that Mick Nixon (Magnus) had passed away. I was saddened to hear of this. He was such a good man – always too much to say but done with his own impeccable (Monty Python) sort of way. Love to Di and his family. He will be sadly missed. Regards Phil Warelow

  2. Yes – always sad to lose one of our own – and at such an early age. Condolences to all the family.

  3. Phil Warelow said:

    Despite trying I still haven’t managed to get in touch with Brian Hartill.
    Is there anyway you can either supply his email or give him mine please.

  4. Phil requested Email address on it’s way to you – privately – Not via the Comments Box

  5. Siobhan annabel said:

    Hi did any one know a doctor called Enrique mateu ??

  6. Doug Endean said:

    Got that awful feeling of distress and shock when I read Phil’s note that Mick had passed away. I did have contact with him a few years ago and he visited me with Di for a weekend. We’re looked in on him in Stafford then lost contact again. Last time we spoke was when he rang me to let me know Pat Bourke has passed away. What a bugger eh. Our love to Di and family.
    Odd that there is a question about Enrique Mateu as Mick and I worked with him in Milford Ward in 77/78 with Mick Morgan. Good times and a great doctor to work with.

  7. Dave Newman said:

    Blimey. There are some names on here from the past and a picture of Bernie as well :-)

  8. Further to Siobhan and Doug’s comments above – some references can be found to Dr Enrique Mateu-Lopez on Google.

  9. Received 25/7/14 from Wayne – via Contact facility – who is happy for it to be Published on the Home page.

    Hi Brian, I used to be a patient at St George’s in 1989 to 1990 but my memories of that time are very patchy to say the least. I do remember that the ward I was on was a secure one that was kept locked but I can’t remember the name of it. I remember I was an inpatient for several weeks before becoming an out patient, and remember that my doctor’s name was Dr Mateau. Unfortunately I don’t remember any of the nurses names but do remember they took very good care of everyone on the ward. I remember we used to have meetings at night before bed where everything got wrote in a book then the guys went in one dorm and the girls in the other. We had daily group sessions with the nurse in charge and then I used to go to the workshops to make signs and badges. I remember getting drunk for the first time at a party in the canteen on wine(my first time), I was only 18!! Would you happen to know the name of the ward i’m talking of? I believe it was in the main building? Also do they still keep records from old hospitals and are we able to access them as it would be good to jog the old grey matter again. When I think back at my time at St George’s I remember it was really scary to begin with, but the staff were amazing and really looked after us all. I made some good friends who unfortunately I lost contact with as I moved away from the area due to work, and would really like to put some of the pieces back together if I could. Any help you could give me would be really appreciated. Thanks.

    After replying to him I received further contact as follows –

    Thank you for the information on the ward i was on, I’ve been trying to remember the name of it for a number of years now so as i’m sure you can imagine it is a relief to finally know it’s name. I’m now based in Nottinghamshire so don’t get to Staffordshire very often, even though I have family there, but as i’m sure you can imagine my shock when I tried to Google map St George’s only to see what had happened to it, i had no idea, such a shame. Why was it allowed to become so neglected?? I’m going to try the link you sent me to see if I can gain access to my old records and of course you may publish all that I have written you. Thanks again for your help and your site is saved to my favourites. Keep up the good work. Thanks Wayne.

  10. Doug Endean said:

    I have just got back from a holiday in Gran Canaria. I did keep an eye out for Emile Martin (Spain’s answer to Cliff Richard’s as I think he would like to be remembered) but did not seen him so again a plea for any information that might help me seek him out.
    Also my partner in the “St George’s Auto Repair Service” was Brian Hartill and I would be grateful for his email address just to catch up with him. It was good to have contact with Phil and look forward to the odd email to keep in touch.

  11. Doug, Margaret Dooley might know.

  12. Hi Doug – Re Brian Harthill query

    I have his email address but he would not thank me for publishing it online.
    The “Contact” page was set up for this purpose mainly.
    I will pass on your email to him so that he can reply direct to you if he wishes.


  13. karen said:

    i was an inpatient at St Georges for anorexia in the early 80’s. I actually enjoyed my time there and getting away from all the pressures at home and work was a great help. I learnt how to do hospital corners when making a bed! I still don’t have gravy on my dinner as for several days I had some one elses meals who couldn’t take MSU due to medication – and found I prefered it. The whole place – staff and the facilities probably saved my life. I think I would have just become worse if I have been treated in the community.

  14. Hi Karen – Thank you for your comments on the Site. I am sure that those who cared for you will be pleased to have positive feedback from you. I hope all continues to go well for you.
    Regards Brian

  15. Hi Doug and Phil – Re B Hartill.

    I think it is sorted now – check out your InBox

    Regards Brian S


    Regards Brian S

  17. Hi, Site Ticking Over again . . . .

  18. SAD NEWSDaughter Liz has asked me to let you all know that her Mum, Mary Balahura, has passed away. She was a much respected colleague. A Caring, generous, big hearted lady with a great sense of fun who will be remembered fondly by all who knew her.
    Will let you know about Funeral when arrangements have been made.

  19. Ian WARD said:

    Hi Brian

    Phil Warelow has just emailed me at work in Adelaide to tell me the sad news about Mary Balahura. She was indeed a caring lady and I recall with great affection my time as a student in her ward, she was most maternal in her approach to me, very nurturing. A great lady who will be sadly missed. My condolences to her family.

    Ian Ward

  20. Phil Warelow said:

    Saddened to hear of Mary B’s passing. Mary was one of those special people. Caring yet real.
    Condolences to Mary’s family. Regards
    Phil Warelow

  21. Roy Shirley said:

    I entirely agree with Ian and Phil, Mary was always very kind and caring and I will always remember the kindness she showed to me and Graham Simpson. My sincere condolences to her family
    Regards Roy Shirley

  22. Mary Balahura – Funeral at Stafford Crematorium on Friday 10th October @ 12 Noon. Family Flowers Only Any Donations to the R.N.L.I.

  23. many fond memories ofMary Balahura,a good friend,and very caring nurse
    RIP Mary. deepest sympathy to her family

  24. Martin Garvey said:

    Very sad to read of the passing of Mick Nixon, taught me a lot on Brocton ( I think ) when I was near the end of my training. Knowledgeable but always in a relaxed, good-humoured way that encouraged learning. He always saw the funny side of people mistaking him for Dave Plant, something that wasn’t reciproctaed by Dave ! I was in touch with Mick’s brother, Tim, a few years ago, out of the blue, and asked after Mick, and Tim said he had no idea – I have never quite understood that !

    I haven’t driven through Stafford for about 18 months – has there been any development with the building or is it still the tragic sight it was then ?

    Still keen to hear news of people I worked with – Dave Anslow, Dave Hill, Colin James, Maddy Harris, Julia Farmer, Bill Stead, Margaret Joseph, Andy Lago, Christine Shahed, Pearl Doherty, Brian McDonnell, Shelagh Conkey, Bev and Clarissa Ventress……and anyone else who may remember me, granted it’s a long time ago

  25. Phil Warelow said:

    do you have any idea where Julia Morrison lives?
    Phil Warelow

  26. David Hill said:

    Re Martin Garvey

    Hi Martin
    I can be contacted via Linkedin if you fancy a chat.

  27. Martin Garvey said:

    Dave – thanks, I just searched for you on there but couldn’t find you ? If you could possibly – via Brian, if he would be happy – let me have your Linked In “name” that would be good

    Or, if you can find me, do it that way ?



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