School Medicals in 1950’s Nissen Huts

David Wood’s story this time talks about 1950’s & 60’s children’s healthcare in Sandyford and Goldenhill.

David goes onto say, I had my paper round just after my thirteenth birthday but first I had to have a medical at the school clinic at Hollywall Lane.

A Nissen Hut Building similar to the former Doctor's Surgery in Hollywall Lane, Sandyford

The building was actually a Nissen hut which smelled continually of dental anaesthetic and the Ozone given off by the sun lamps. The sun lamps were supposed to give undernourished children a boost of vitamin D.

When I was very young some children had their heads shaved and painted purple, I don’t know why, I never asked just in case they wanted to do mine.

What about the nit nurse, how embarrassing was it to stand there and have your hair examined, knowing that if she found any, all your friends would disappear instantly, fortunately, I never had them, honest.

David goes on to talk about his life when growing up in Goldenhill and making the good old soap cart, and then goes on to tell us how it was done.

The height of sophistication in boy’s toys was a soap cart, or trolley as we called them. All you needed was the wheels off an old pram, some scrap timber, a few nails, a hammer, a saw, a  piece of rope, a little ingenuity, loads of enthusiasm and lots of nerve to ride it when it was finished.

Personally now, I wouldn’t let a child of mine ride on one of these contraptions because we couldn’t design a brake good enough to stop it.

Until next time keep on reading David’s stories through the local memories tab at the top of the page.

1 comment to School Medicals in 1950’s Nissen Huts

  • angela cooper

    how lovely hear David`s memories of the Nissen Hut surgery in Hollywall lane. It brought back memories of the smell of it long forgotten. I remember going there 50 years ago to do exercises to correct my “turned foot” as I walked with my right foot turning slightly inwards or “Timber toed” as I recall being told. Even now I could do those excercises as they were drummed into me. Harsh maybe by today`s methods but they worked, and the treatment was effective, so perhaps there is a lesson learned for today`s standards of care.

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