Saturday, 24 March 2018

Staff memories – Sully 1950s- Shirley Russell ( nee Clogg)

Photo: Staff outside the administrative office block -(from left to right)
Shirley Clogg (Paul’s mother), Pat Edwards, Diane, Enid and Gaynor Morgan
All  worked in the admin. department  except Enid who worked in the laboratory.

Shirley is still in contact with Diane who has lived abroad for many years.

Paul Russell from Barry, shares some of the stories that his mother Shirley told him about working in Sully in the 1950s.

It was like rabbit warren
My mother recalls entering the hospital on her first day of work in March 1954 at the age of 19, she remembers being daunted by the sheer size of the building saying it was like a rabbits warren with the many corridors leading onto other corridors. She did not want to venture too far from her office where she was working in the fear of being lost and never finding her way back!

Mesmerized by telephone operators
She recalls going into the telephone exchange office located near the entrance and being mesmerized by the huge number of telephone operators plugging in leads when transferring calls around the hospital and she wondered how they could all concentrate as it was so hectic and noisy.

Language from the laundry room
She would often take paperwork around the building where she met many people, from those in the huge laundry room to the sisters on the front desk at each of the wards, although she was not allowed any further than the sister’s desk.

She recalled how the language from the laundry room was quite choice as she approached but how they all hushed each other as they saw her coming and would then be nothing but polite and courteous towards her.

Grandmother admitted as heart patient
She did not often go on the wards themselves until one day when her grandmother Lilly Neale was admitted with a heart condition. She would often visit her during her lunch hour and recalled that the lady in the bed next to her grandmother never seemed to have any visitors so my mother would often sit with her.

The last haircut
She remembers the day when she was talking to the lady who was quite upset as she was having an operation that day. However, that is not what was upsetting her but the fact that she was due to have her haircut before the operation but the hairdresser had not turned up. Although no hairdresser, my mother offered to trim off the ends of her hair and went and got scissors from her office. The lady was delighted and my mother recalls her saying how thankful she was as she was a proud lady and wanted to look presentable for her operation.

My mother returned to see her later that day and was devastated to learn that she had died on the operating table... I could see that my mother was visibly upset recalling the memory.
Lunch on the lawns
Returning to nicer thoughts, she recalls that on hot summer days, her and the friends pictured in the photograph would often go into the wonderful grounds of the hospital and sit and have their lunch... These were truly happy days for her.

Thank you Shirley and Paul for sharing these memories with us.

"Searching for Sully - our stories"by Ann Shaw,  paperback,£9.99, available from Amazon

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