Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Wayne Spencer- electrician -1983

Just stumbled across the web blog on Sully Hospital and thought I would share some of my memories there. Yet another account from a former staff member who remembers his happy experinces working in Sully.

 I worked at Sully as an apprentice electrician for about 15 months between October 1983 and Jan 1985. Can't remember the exact dates sorry. I remember Steve Parker when I was there. I remember first arriving there after being based at Llandough hospital and thinking Oh my god where have they sent me to! It seemed miles from my home in Church Village (in reality only about 20 miles!).

 After a week I discovered that one of the painters (a lad called Ferris whose first name escapes me now, think it was Neil) lived only 5 minutes from my house and we shared a car to work from then on. I have worked at few places before or since with quite the community spirit of Sully hospital. Yes there were arguments amongst the electricians, the fitters and the engineers in charge but the hospital as a whole had a unique atmosphere. There was very much a reciprocal help each other out attitude that is definitely missing from the NHS today. I remember several times going into the canteen after a long afternoon shift and asking what was for dinner to be asked "what would you like?" I spent four months of my time at Sully installing new lighting and power cables in the underground ducts running between the boilerhouse (now gone it seems from the new development pictures) and the main hospital. I'm sure I never saw daylight for at least a week at a time! I wonder if the service ducts still run under the old hospital now it is flats.

They were large enough to walk through in places. The boilerhouse and estates buildings were located to the left of the hospital as you look up the road, just near to the "sheep labs". From Sully Hospital we also had to look after the old Barry Hospitals. This was the best day of the week for two reasons. 1) I wasn't stuck underground in the ducts, and 2) I got to drive the automatic transit van! This was the first automatic I had ever driven and I've never disclosed this before but when I first was asked to get it out from the old bunker it was stored in, I put it in drive instead of reverse and hit the bunker wall! Nobody was about so I gave the bumper a few hits with my hammer and said nothing! When the charge hand asked who bumped the van I said it was like that when I reversed it out!

 By the time I met my wife to be in 1987 I was working at the University Hospital and living in the old Glan Ely hospital nurses home. I met my wife when she moved in there. She was an Occupational Therapy student and when she first came to Cardiff School of OT, her first residence was Sully Hospital! So we both had a connection with the hospital although her memories were not as fond as mine!

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