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

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 Some of your Recent Anecdotes









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320 thoughts on “Home”

  1. Doug Endean said:

    Hi Brian and Dave, or is it Ernie?
    If it’s any consolation I worked at St George’s, not as far back as the late 50’s but like Brian we would have worked with people who were nursing in the hospital in those times. I can say that they were people who cared for those patients in their charge and generally knew them better than most nurses of today would know the people they work with, mostly in the community, as it is now. The hospital in my time, late 60’s and then into the 70’s, was a community in itself and going to work was a pleasure, you don’t find that said much today. The wards were comfortable, the food was very good as many a tubby nurse of the time would tell you. Patients were treated with the dignity and respect by staff who did not judge them but understand the behaviour they exhibited and helped them in what was a safe environment for them to be different in. We had cinema, dancing and bingo to name just a few things that went on to make life as normal as possible. Medication was then basic by today’s measure as it has moved on much over the years. Unfortunately people who were patients with identity are now “service users” living in the community often with little support given the reductions in “real” trained nurses that have taken place as Mental Health Nursing has progressed with time. Now I will close before I get into a rant.

  2. Well said Doug. Many of the pre National Health staff may not have been up to date, with the rapidly changing knowledge base from the 50’s onwards, but they had learned to read, know and respond appropriately to those in their care. Those of us who came after had the advantage of modern nursing tuition in theory and practice in the Training School together with Practical, day to day learning experience on the wards.
    The old reliable Apprentice System – still valid – and being brought back today in so many more situations.
    Although an important part of our remit was about short stay acute conditions, into the 70’s we still had a large population of long stay patients to care for. So called Community Care, as is increasingly still the way today, was patchy, poorly planned and underfunded – some patients could never cope in the community anyway. Many had nobody and nowhere else to go to and the Hospital remained their home. There were some in the late 70’s and into the 80’s who were derogatory about “Locked Doors” and “Custodial Care” as they saw it. They didn’t fully see the concept of the Hospital based, extended family community where mostly, everyone knew each other, Patients and all grades of Staff. Some still think that way today.
    The term “Asylum” conjures up all sorts of horrors. However it’s real meaning is – a place of shelter to provide sanctuary, safety and succour.
    As for having a rant, I believe there are many of us who would express similar observations.

  3. Well put!!Brian and Doug I visit modern day sites regarding mental health ,and I am lost for words!!these newly qualified nurses appear terrified when taking their first posting after leaving university!!

  4. Sad News

      John Sandy, the late Beryl Sandy’s husband,has passed away. A larger than life character who will be missed by all who knew him. Condolences to Ann, Rosie and Family.

      Funeral at Stafford Crematorium – Tues 15th at 3.30pm.

  5. Received from David Johnson
    I read, with great sadness, about the death of John Sandy, the late Beryl Sandy’s husband. My brother Peter and I were their neighbours during our childhood. We could not have asked for nicer neighbours. We grew up with Ann and Rosemary, their children. Our thoughts today are with them. Rest In Peace, John you will be sadly missed. Regards Peter and David Johnson. late of 54 Marston Road,

  6. New Anecdote today – Do you have any to share ?

  7. SAD NEWS – Have just heard from Kath and Alf Cox that one of our old colleagues – Stan Callaghan – passed away, aged 86, over the New Year. Condolences to all his family.
    Funeral Service – 10.45am, Thurs 14th Jan. at St Bertelin’s Church, Stafford.

  8. Roy Shirley said:

    Stan and I started together, in the same PTS, a lot of happy memories RIP Stan

  9. One of life,s real gentleman reunited with his beloved wife Frances, who also worked at St Georges
    RIP Stan…condolences to his family at this sad time
    Kath,and Alf Cox

  10. Alison myatt Stan's youngest daughter said:

    Thank you for your kind words. St George’s was very close to my dads heart. He made a lot of very good friends over the years.

  11. There appears to be a problem over the Display of Comments in the last couple of days and the “Newer Comments” Link not being available. I apologise for this but it is out of my control – Am waiting for WordPress to fix it.

  12. Phil Warelow said:

    Dear Brian
    Thanks for letting us know about Stan. A good man – what a loss.
    Like for the rest of us St G’s was such a special place ( as his daughter said).
    Ian Ward and I talk about it always.
    Incidentally, I have just retired after 45 years.

  13. Roy Shirley said:

    It only seems like yesterday when that fresh faced lad called Philip Warelow, with his sidekick Ian ward started as cadets on League of Friends Ward. Congratulations on your retirement Phil

    • Received today from Peter Wood via the Contact Me facility.

      Good Morning. I stumbled across this website yesterday and this brought back lots of memories. I was a Nursing Officer at St. Georges from 1976 to 1979. It was a very friendly place to work and it is so sad to see what has happened to the place. My wife also worked at St Georges as a medical secretary her name is Sue Wood. Although we live in Norfolk we have moved a lot in the 47 years I have worked in the NHS. I am still going through the website and names still pop out which triggers of those days. I will write some more later. Best wishes to all of you and hope to make contact with some of you that may remember me. Best Wishes

  14. Doug Endean said:

    Congratulations Phil on your retirement but if my own experience is anything to go by the work starts now. I retired several years ago and now get no days off, holidays are without pay, I seem to work bank holidays and weekends as well as week days. If for some reason I find I have no plans to actually do something Germaine will get out the famous list, you know the one that every wife has, and there you go I’m busy. To tell the truth I would not have it any other way. I love the fact that in general I do what I want when I want with only Germaine to put me in my place. I mess about with the house, have 4 cars and a Honda C90 ( I must get it on the road this coming year ) to play with. If I remember correctly Ian once told me you had a Harley, it’s time to get them tattoos and torn greasy jeans on and get down to K Mart for the weekly shop.

  15. Phil Warelow said:

    Hi Doug
    thanks for your comments and you are not wrong about remaining busy. I haven’t stopped as of yet. I do have a Harley sportster which is nice and a couple of old cars – all needing attention. Fiona is now starting to return to her paid career and so I get to do the house husband role. Not sure how I feel about that yet.
    Good to hear you are well.

  16. Phil Warelow said:

    G’day Roy
    still feel like that fresh faced lad and it is odd that was 45 years ago. Ian Ward looks about 80 now whereas I still retain that youthful (almost Robbie Mullen) look.
    What did happen to Graham Simpson?

  17. Roy Shirley said:

    Mind you Phil,Ian always did look older than you,an advantage when you are young not as you get older! I wish I knew what happened to Graham he moved to Sussex and I lost his address

  18. Doug Endean said:

    Hi Phil
    I spent a few years as a house husband cleaning and shopping so can offer a little advice. If you don’t already have one get a Dyson with the various helpful attachments especially for dusting, it will save you hours and when you get bored you can pretend you have a light sabre with the tube which is especially good when there is a fly in the room. Shopping can be great as you loose the “list” and buy all the stuff you want to eat no matter how bad it might seem for you. This has two benefits, one you are given permission to continue to do the shopping or two you are banned totally and your wife does it herself after work and get to go out on the Harley instead, win win. I nearly had a Harley Sportster when I retired but the salesman would not let me test drive it on the main road and expected me to buy it after a couple of trips around the car park and a slip road, na. I have a couple of MGB’s, one GT which I fully restored and use regularly and a roadster which I am doing a V8 conversion on. I have a MG TF as well as there was a space on the drive next to our day car which is a simple Mazda 3. The GT will be up for sale soon to fund the fancy bits I need for the V8. We also have a holiday lodge that we rent out but that’s also going up for sale this year as the tax man is not very friendly and is taking lots of money from the meagre profits but is never there when there is work to be done.
    Give Ian my best when you next speak to him. Finally, and this is also for Roy, I think I may have seen Graham Simpson on Crime Watch when they showed an item on the big safety deposit box heist by all them pensioners.
    All the best

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