Past and Present Chap XXII
Hospital (Herbert Haddrell
remembers); Historic Scotland
with many photo links
For the interesting account of Bangour Hospital aka Bangour Village and its importance as a pioneering medical institution, see The Bangour Story by W.F. Hendrie and D.A.D. Macleod.
Employees paid a small sum of money weekly (docked from their wages by employers) to cover the cost of the doctors chosen by their employers to oversee their medical needs. However, none of the doctors lived in the immediate Armadale area. If medical assistance was needed, an intimation had to be sent to a specific location, or a watch had to be kept at as time when the doctor was expected to pass by.
1866: Dr J. Balfour Kirk of Bathgate was appointed Medical Officer for Armadale. He stayed in Bathgate and covered the needs of Bathville and Woodend employees on a daily basis.
Another doctor, Dr Clark, who stayed in Whitburn, later Harthill, covered the needs of Monkland Iron and Coal Company employees every second day.
When Monkland Iron and Coal Company had abandoned No 9 and No2 pits, Young's Paraffin Light Company took them over and re-opened them. The employees medical needs were then covered by Dr Longmuir who stayed in Bathgate.
Mrs Alison Douglas provided midwifery services and is believed to have
attended at over 4,000 births.
1883: Dr Stevenson became the second doctor for the area when he was
appointed to replace Dr Longmuir and to serve the needs of Shotts Coal and Iron
Company employees at Woodend. After a few years, he sold his practice to
Dr Jago who eventually sold it on to Dr Kirk and Dr Anderson.
1903: Goth fundraising secured a resident nurse for the town.
1912: Dr. John Anderson died. Dr William Anderson was appointed as the town's Medical Officer. During WW1 he became a Lieutenant in the Royal Army Medical Corps. After the war, 'Doctor Willie' continued to serve the people of Armadale. He was also a cine camera enthusiast and gave many talks about his travels with the aid of the films he had taken. Other lectures given by him covered his other passion, pigeons.
1917: A nurse was appointed for Armadale and its district.
1919: After interviewing 4 candidates, the panel appointed Sister Stevenson as Armadale's first Lady Health Visitor at a cost of £120 pa. She began a weekly child welfare service in 1920.
Dr. Anderson by Mrs Murgatroyd of Unity Terrace, Armadale.
In 1899, the total cost of building the hospital was nearly £7,000, Armadale's share being nearly £800. The land for the hospital, on high ground half way between Armadale and Whitburn, was bought from the Trustees of the late Sir William Baillie of Polkemmet. From its opening in 1901, it was administered by a Joint Hospital Board representing Armadale, Bathgate and Whitburn.
In 1902, a smallpox pavilion was added to the original building, but, once the need declined, it was used as a sanatorium for consumptive patients in the early stages of the illness.
Past Tippethill Staff and Conditions of Work:
Matron: Miss Johnston
Doctors Willox, Ruxton, Anderson
Caretaker / odd job / man mortuary attendant: Andrew Blake
At 17, applicants could apply interview by the
matron, Miss Johnston and by Dr Anderson, the Medical Officer. If
accepted, they would work a 48 - 50 hour week, for a year, earning
£1 18s a week. Out of that, parents would give them 2/6 as pocket money.
By the 1960s, most people needing medical care were taken to Bangour, Edinburgh or Glasgow as Tippethill was so small.
Gradually it was realised that the hospital in its current form was no longer needed. Instead, on 28 March 2001, a new hospital was opened by Susan Deacon, the Scottish Health Minister. The new name, Tippethill House, reflected its changed role. At the opening of the £2.3m community hospital, Susan Deacon commented:
'The new Tippethill hospital will offer continuing care for 60 older people in the West Lothian area. It will provide a modern and comfortable environment which will give older people high quality care......... Frail older people have many sensitive and complex needs. I am pleased that in designing this facility great care has been taken to ensuring that those needs are met, including advice and assistance from Stirling University's Dementia Unit.'
|Here's another postcard, which features Tippethill Hospital|
We think the addressee is Esther Gathercole, bc1881, who was living with her father, Joseph, a farmer, at Church Farm, Holm Hale, Thetford, in 1901
We wonder why this particular postcard was sent with greetings from Camberwell in August, 1908.
Does anyone know?