Memories of the Children’s Hospital in the 1960s & 1970s

“I remember the Children’s Hospital in Shirley which used to be opposite St.James’ Park on Winchester Road. My mother, who had eight children, worked there in the evenings. We used to get taken to the Children’s Hospital as children if we had an accident or emergency or were referred by our GP. As a child, my sister Teresa caught meningitis and was taken to the Children’s Hospital to be treated. I remember how upset we were and how worried and anxious we were for her safe return. We missed her very much. We weren’t allowed to go in and visit her and I remember standing at the bus stop opposite, waving to Teresa, who was waving from the Hospital window.”

Editor’s Note – Teresa was waving from the balcony of the Children’s ward – a photograph of this is held by SCC Museum Services.

“In those days children were not given antibiotics and medication intravenously and my sister had to have medication through regular injections. There was a wonderful nurse there called Rosie, who had emigrated from Trinidad. My sister wouldn’t let anyone else give her the injections. She was so dedicated to the care of the children that Rosie even came in on her days off to administer the medicine. Without a doubt, Rosie saved my sister’s life.”

“Rosie and the other staff of the Children’s Hospital, including my mother, were transferred to the East Wing of the new Southampton General Hospital, presumably in 1974. As an adult I became a paediatric nurse and when I worked at the Southampton General Hospital, I had the absolute honour of working with Rosie who as far as I am aware still works on G ward till this day.”

Editor’s Note – The Children’s Hospital was indeed transferred to Southampton General Hospital’s G Level East Wing in 1974. See here for more information on the history of the Children’s Hospital.
Cathy Barraclough (née O’Neill), June 2007

“When I worked at Wordsworth First School in the early 1970s I used to take pupils who had suspected concussion, or various serious injuries, straight up to the Children’s Hospital where the staff would check and treat the children. Being a small hospital they did not find it as intimidating as when later the hospital closed and we then had to travel to Southampton General Hospital.”

Mrs Rita Judd, July 2007

“My sister Rosemary, now living in New Zealand, remembers well having her tonsils taken out at the Children’s Hospital and being looked after by the nurse from Trinidad who had very little patience with her! My son Andrew was the last child to be admitted to the hospital before it moved up to Level G at Southampton General Hospital.”

Penny Hall (née Beytagh), April 2012