Long ago and far away…

December 21st, 2021 by Admin Leave a reply »

By Mike Jones

Christmastime once more. A time of year that encourages reflection and reminiscences about those bygone days and nights spent at Whitchurch hospital. For my own part, as a student nurse, I vividly recall one 1970’s winter night. Based on a ward, I looked through falling snowflakes at the white world outside. Trees, shrubs, grounds, bandstand, all smothered in a thick duvet of white, here and there dusted by a soft, warm glow from the light of a ward window. There was an almost spiritual, poignant silence; a Whitchurch Hospital silence. A silence that invited reflection. A silence that invited nothing more than an opportunity to marvel at the beauty of it all, away from the routines and crises of the day, where there was often no time at all to marvel at anything, apart, perhaps, one’s ability to complete the many tasks required in such a short space of  time.

And then, of course, there were the magical shows and concerts. Seasonal entertainment was a tradition in most hospitals, and Whitchurch was no exception. Records of entertainment exist from its earliest years via programs announcing songsters, choirs, vignettes, orchestras, musicals, comedians, instrumental soloists, and so on. This tradition continued to cascade down the decades, all invariably presented and performed in the magnificent, ornate main hall. For many patients and staff, the annual highlight was the Christmas pantomimes. These involved many hours of preparation and rehearsal, and I was privileged to write and perform in a number of these. Here are a few pictorial memories from yesteryear. 

Retired Whitchurch hospital nurse and nurse teacher, Mike Jones, has provided a number of seasonal memories of hospital life.

Please get in touch if you have any memories and/or photos to share


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