Welcome to aturnofthekey

 Memories of Old St.Georges Hospital 1818-1995  and Coton Hill Hospital 1854-1976, Stafford
A shared record of the Life and Times of these once-proud Old Hospitals. 25/02/2012



Reflections –  A Few Ramblings From Me.

It is now 3 Years + since this Site was first Published, and at least another 12 months of prior preparation, equating to over 4 Years in Total.
So I have have taken time out recently to do a review, giving much thought, to all that has taken place during this period, and to the future.

It’s not been easy to put this all together technically, even with having a reasonable amount of computer experience over some years, and it has been a bigger learning curve than I originally imagined.
The first major problem was where and how to contact people who may have something to contribute, and convince them it was worthwhile. Another  has been that the number of people in my age group and older, who maybe could have passed on first and secondhand knowledge from their and previous eras, are sadly shuffling off this mortal coil.
Connecting with and trying to enthuse others from the later period of Hospital life, in the decade or so before St Georges closed, has also been somewhat of a problem.
Inevitably there have been many difficult times when I began to wonder despondently, whether people would eventually respond and/or even contribute, and also about the eventual outcome.
This was never just a personal indulgence for self gratification. If so I would have done it in a much more private and different way, with access for my relatives only. Many of you who know me reasonably well are aware that I am very tenacious and – with no apologies – have not been afraid of ruffling a few feathers here and there to achieve what I believe in, whether it be about a personal or wider issue.
However the time did come when it was beginning to look as if it would be possible, due to the generous co-operation and interaction of enough people like yourselves, who also wished to preserve these memories, so I tentatively took the plunge and Published the Site in 2012.

I think that due to our joint efforts, we now have a Web Site well worth all the effort. It is turning out to be a vibrant site, with a good variety of interesting content. Although we may never be able to cover all eras, it still stands in it’s limited way, as a fairly good record, clearly depicting many facets of the lives of people and place.
The Site now has over 500 Photos/Images, some Anecdotes and many Comments etc. –  Keep them coming they are the Lifeblood of the Site.
Site Viewing numbers , see the Stats breakdown below, appear to be stable with many regular visits from Ex-Staff and some from Ex-Patients.
Increasingly, requests are up from Relatives of Patients and/or Staff, who are in contact with me, for help with finding  Information about them.
There would also appear to be a number of people visiting the Site, who may have no connection with the Old Hospitals, just a general interest.
Some interest has been shown about Site-Material , for University-Theses and an Australian Nursing Textbook reference – No feedback yet.
Judging by all of this, the present Site Contents, current Viewing Numbers, Feedback On and Off-Line and speaking personally to others, the Dynamics appear to be right. – I hope you are pleased with the outcome to date, if not please tell me.

Part of this review means that I have also had to take into account some negative changes relating to myself. This includes issues like the frustrations of getting older and  the unwelcome truths of increasing health problems, which do impact directly on my lifestyle. Despite this I
do think that I have still been able to maintain enough energy, time, and commitment to manage all the logistics of the Site fairly well. It is also true to say that up to this present moment in time, I have not received any feedback or reports of seriously negative problems about the Site.
On reflection then I am positive and still committed – So – Yes I am still Up for It, into the near future at least and as a result of, this have just paid my Fees for re-Registration of the Domain, Name and Mapping etc. for the next Year.

Inevitably this also leads to some questions about the longer term future of the Site. I have been and will continue to give this some thought and at least some of you may have been too. Nobody has yet come forward with any ideas or suggestions but I am sure that in all probability, the subject will generate some feed back, eventually………………

I have also been reviewing whether any changes are needed to the Site Layout and decided to make – Just a Few Tweaks including :-
A reworked Menu including some new pages  “About” and “Bits and Pieces”   some  “Info-Messages” and  a couple of “Basic Guidelines”.

I am very grateful and Thank You All for Your Contributions, Donations and Comments etc. and look forward to many more of the same.

So Current Ramblings Over  –  Food For Thought  –  Brian


Since Publication on  25/02/2012  Upwards of 67,000 “Views” have been Recorded from  Over 80 Countries Throughout the World

This is a quick approx. Number-Crunch of the Stats-Totals from 25/02/2012  to February 2015

United Kingdom…59,425) – Australia…(3,977)
Greece…(807) – United States…(598) – Canada…(277) – Spain…(359) – Brazil…(289) – Isle of Man…(242) – Ireland…(183) Guernsey…(139) New Zealand…(109) – Austria…(105) – Italy…(60) – Germany…(51) – Sweden…(28) – Netherlands/Czech Republic…(26) India…(24)
South Korea…(20) – France…(41) – Switzerland…(18) – Portugal…(17) – Argentina…(15) – Thailand…(14) – Philippines…(16)
Turkey/Belgium / Mexico / Singapore…(9) – Turks and Caicos Islands / Israel / Russian Federation / Chile…(8) – Hungary…(6)
Finland / Venezuela / Peru…(5) – United Arab Emirates / South Africa / Ecuador / Romania / Denmark / Colombia /…(4)
Pakistan / Indonesia /  Jersey / Albania / Trinidad and Tobago / Norway / Luxembourg…(3)
Saudi Arabia/Jamaica/Iraq/Jordan/Japan/Paraguay/Mozambique/Uruguay/Nicaragua/United Republic of Tanzania/Georgia…(2)
Angola/Sao Tome and Principe/Barbados/Cyprus/Hongkong SAR China/Taiwan/Vietnam/Nepal/Dominican Republic/Egypt/Lithuania…(1)
Maldives/Macedonia/Ghana/Algeria/Haiti/Macao SAR China/Slovakia/Latvia/Panama/Slovenia/Honduras/Syrian Arab Republic/Poland…(1)
Brunei Darussalam…(1)


Information about Developments to the Old St Georges Main Building 

After doing some investigations into the current situation I have discovered that Responsibility travels down the tree as follows:-
English Heritage – Staffordshire County Council Historic Environment Record Office – Stafford Borough Council Conservation Office
As a follow up to this for more specific information, I have been in touch with all of the above recently during February 2015.
The most recent response I have been given from a Stafford B.C. Conservation Officer is:-

“The building has recently changed hands and is now owned by “Shropshire Homes”, who will carry out repairs to the building and convert it to flats. I understand they are already on site, and you should see scaffolding being erected ready for the works to commence very soon.”

Please let me know if you see or are aware of any relevant activity

Having explored their Web Site I have also Contacted Shropshire Homes for Current – Information about the Status of this Development.
They do appear to have some sensitivity for similar Developments but  do not yet have Details and/or a Brochure until later this Summer.
Check out  “Past Developments”The Monklands  and  Woodland Cross, Shrewsbury – also – Home Park, Preston Upon the Weald Moors.
“Future Developments” –  include – our own  St Georges Mansions – and – Shelton Hospital.  See Website Link on the Links page or  HERE

Watch – This – Space – for Updates

Copyright © to All Site-Material is acknowledged as being Retained by the Donor, Named or Not –  Permission for Use Is Required

 Some of Your Recent Photos, Identified – Temporarily  by  “Red” Borders – Across the Site

If You have any Photos Relevant to the Site – Please Contact me

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

Uploaded –  28/03/2015   –         See  Place and People”  page

Some of your Recent Anecdotes – See “Here” for More of these

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

Washing up Quietly“- by – Ian Ward.

“Milk Shakes and Biscuits” – by – Martin Garvey . .

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, Doug Endean, Martin Garvey

Many Thanks to All of You for All of Your Contributions


We all have very individual memories/perceptions of the Old Places and People, some of them good, some of them may not always be so and the Site will always attempt to reflect these differing Viewpoints, in as acceptable way as is possible. This is an Open Public Web Site and is actively trying to avoid some of the problems exhibited by many Social Networking Sites out there; so – With No Apologies – be Aware that..
Although their Personal Details will Never be Published unless Given Permission to do so, people Are Required to Declare their “Correct Names”.
“All General Comments are Welcome and Appreciated”, however “Disrespectful, Insensitive or Unkind Remarks about People are Certainly Not”.


170 thoughts on “Home”

  1. Many thanks Ian(Ward) for contacting me re: your early Memories on League Of Friends Ward, not very “Politically Correct” for these days, but funny and a good flavour of it’s era.
    I have placed it on the “Anecdote” Page.

  2. Thank you Martin (Garvey) for your Anecdote – much appreciated.
    I have placed it on the “Anecdote” page.

  3. Roy Shirley said:

    I enjoyed reading Ian’s anecdote of League of Friends Ward and it bought back memories of that ward when Phil McVay’s father was Charge Nurse.

  4. Yes Roy – It’s good to read other peoples memories – often bringing back those forgotten ones of your own. Great stuff.

    There were many Hundreds of people who worked at the old place and yet we’ve only had around Eight or so Anecdotes.
    Many of them are still around, know about, and visit the the Site.

    I wonder why that is ?

  5. Roy Shirley said:

    I have lots of anecdotes about my 9 years at St. Georges and I still remember lots were told to me about the old staff. Perhaps I will have to send you a few.

  6. lots of ghost stories , !!!!especially. Fred on Palmer ward!!!!! and peg leg on G2 coton hill!!!!wonder if he still haunts the new general hospital???

  7. Thanks Kath and Roy – always willing to contribute – Send them in.

    There must be memories from lots of ex colleagues who worked there.

    To all of you out there somewhere – Please Share them with all of us.

  8. SAD NEWS – Have just read in the Stafford Newsletter – Trevor Harrison, one of our well known older colleagues has passed away.
    Funeral at Stafford Crematorium next Thursday 12th March at 2.30pm. Flowers are welcome.

  9. Very sad news regarding Trevor, although he must have been an impressive age. He was one of my first year tutors, alongside Tony McCoy, Jim Reid and Heather Blacker.

    His son started as a Student Nurse in about 1978, but I have no idea what became of him

  10. Phil Warelow said:

    I was saddened to hear of Trevor’s passing. He was such a good man. A good teacher, a wealth of wisdom and a very cynical sense of humour. The world will be not quite as good without him.
    Brian, if you get chance – my condolences to his family. Regards

  11. Roy Shirley said:

    I am truly saddened to hear the news of Trevor’s death. He was one of my first tutors, a man with a keen sense of humour

  12. I am glad that I attended Trevor’s Funeral today. Saw him off, in the company of Geoff Dewsbury and Bill Sim, as representatives of his St Georges Colleagues.

  13. SAD NEWS – Have just heard from his Daughter Liz that Eddie Hood has passed away suddenly, no details as yet. A colourful character, passionate about sports especially cricket (a Demon Bowler), loved parties and an old Club stalwart.

  14. Roy Shirley said:

    The news that Eddie Hood has died has really upset me, though I only worked for 9 years (1965-1974) at St Georges I have wonderful memories of Eddie. From the time he sutured my right hand, following a work related injury when I worked in the stores, to many a drink I shared with him in the social club. R.I.P Eddie

  15. Brian said:

    I spent two intensive learning periods as a Student on his ward, qualifying at the end of the last one, and then stayed on as his Staff Nurse for a while. Had another phone conversation with him about 5 weeks ago when he and Joyce were still settling in from a recent house move. Took an interest in the Site and did much reminiscing. So many memories both on and off duty.

  16. Phil Warelow said:

    Saddened to hear of Eddie’s passing. A real character – not sure they make them like Eddie anymore.
    A unique man.

  17. EDDY HOOD – Provisional Date for Funeral is (Next)Thurs. 23rd – 1pm at Carmountside Crematorium S.O.T.
    If any changes will let you know.

  18. Re Eddy’s Funeral Arrangements – Date, Time and place Confirmed as above.

  19. so sad!!RIP Eddy!!fond memories of bygone days
    condolences to Joycexxx
    Kath and Alf Cox

  20. David T Johnson said:

    I was greatly saddened to hear of the death of Trevor Harrison. He was my first charge nurse when I was a student nurse. During my three years of training he was my mentor and I firmly believe I passed my RMN, first time, because of his help. Rest In Peace Trevor.
    David T Johnson.

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