Yes - Huthwaite did site its own hospital. But fact the isolation ward never got equipped or actually used, it gave Sutton Councillors one 1933 reason to criticise past decisions made by Huthwaite Urban District Council. Nevertheless, reported minutes from Huthwaite Councillor meetings reflect careful considerations before deciding an iron building would be a cost effective safeguard against real risk of another Smallpox epidemic. There's claims Hucknall Huthwaite earlier suffered 38 cases, upping rates one full shilling.
Huthwaite Councillors already had an aptly titled Health and Hospital Committee. Their actions would be influenced through authoritative advice from an officially appointed Medical Doctor of Health. Whilst severest illness and industrial injuries were still referred to the one county hospital called Nottingham General, the local council could also be charged if sending patients similar distance to Derby or Chesterfield. And then came national realisation of the inherent risks when they dealt with quite common infectious diseases.
The Huthwaite Medical Officer invited referral to a Local Government Act 1929 after reporting February 1932 on two cases of infectious disease. First case sent to the specialised Sheffield Corporation Isolation Hospital became a matter requiring committee attention. Their Clerk is then delegated task of costing up a potential Huthwaite facility, although no action is taken pending development of a County Council scheme. A September request for elected delegates to attend the Notts. County Council conference appointed that post to the Chairman of both the Council and Health Committee, Councillor Goodall assisted by the Clerk.
An example of treatment costs is found following month, when committee considered quote of £70 10s. for treating two district cases at Worksop Urban and Rural Isolation Hospital. Huthwaite councillors voiced an appeal for lower pricing with larger attendance at a Worksop conference. Approving Decembers lowered weekly charges to £4 4s. per patient, must have come shortly before decision they erect a Huthwaite facility.
Purchasing lands for building a Chesterfield Road housing scheme timely presents the council a charming vicinity for an additional isolated plot to quietly site their hospital. Using corrugated iron prefab design is a cheap and flexible option. There's no public reportage detailing 1933 construction. Year is closest date now easily deduced by research, conversely better dating maps clearly locating a defined Smallpox Hospital.
This extremely rare sighting of the Hospital has only been discovered by zooming in on yet another very rare view of a Huthwaite railway ticket office sharing A Knighton's collection.
Looking south easterly over Chesterfield Road bridge, a Railway Inn serves on left.
Up on far horizon, the isolation ward sat above Strawberry Bank. If use had been demanded, then location would have recognised Nottinghamshire's highest situated medical facility. But no patients gained benefits here of clean air overlooking distant rural scenery. Those features are handed to relocated council tenants.
The unused hospital stood empty around a year. Its planned purpose was commended by the Duchess of Portland on one of her surprise visits March 1934, and Her Grace eagerly proposed putting it to good use as a social centre for Huthwaite Unemployed Workers. But councillors already had designs for reusing the site for new housing, after deciding back in January to dismantle and re-erect a Park storage room. It took Woodland area name, and still stands after being adopted by a Huthwaite Amateur Boxing Club.
Annual meetings of a Huthwaite District Nursing Association were held at the Library Lecture room. Notable local supporters on committee include its first chairman Simeon Watson JP, the influential New Hucknall Colliery manager. Administering home care was however, a devoted profession long led by Nurse Dickens. Her half yearly reports divide visiting duties between general, casual, midwifery, maternity and antenatal.
Huthwaite Nursing Association was financially run on charitable subscriptions. Most families realised the benefits of being given this care, so door to door collections were generously forthcoming. New Hucknall Colliery Company is just one major regular corporate contributor. Despite hard times, reported 1930s figures show its those miners who chiefly raise funds, sharing payouts between other good causes through a New Hucknall Workmens Hospital Fund.
An equally significant 1932 grant from Nottingham Nursing Federation specifically wishes to assist a Huthwaite Maternity and Child Welfare Centre. The annual treat for mothers and babies to a 1934 tea reveals earliest antenatal clinic was hosting alternative large classes accommodated by Sherwood Street Methodist Church Sunday Schoolroom.
Under later authority of an enlarged Sutton Council, 1935 consideration was given to reorganising district maternity, child welfare and antenatal services. New Medical Officer of Health asserted all existing localised premises would suffice for at least another three months, and he'd place orders for necessary equipment. Nurse Dickens retained her Huthwaite position, and there was no reason for changing existing schemes dispensing free milk, or for free dental surgery offered to both expectant mothers and children to age five.
Among a variety of public uses, its quite possible the Lecture Hall beneath Huthwaite library went on hosting local nursing association meetings, if not later serving time as a medical dispensing clinic.
Certainty is, the former Huthwaite Urban District Council offices next door are remembered for serving greater dire need through World War Two. Older generations told of visiting this designated Welfare Clinic to collect doled out drinking chocolate powder. Calmed nerves advertised by a well known brand promoted benefits of hot milk. The collection of fresh rose hips gave youngsters a war effort role, while this clinic dispensed orange juice and codliver oil to supplement vitamin deficient diets through rationing.
The Welfare of Huthwaite children was clearly demanding a purpose built medical facility. That looks to be primary reason behind opening a New Street clinic. Vaccination jabs gave reason for my earliest memory of being dragged into this building. Greeted by an overpowering smell of disinfectant, the echoing shrill cries coming from other children behind closed doors could have been unnerving without kindly faced nurses.
Sender suggests year 1948 when this Whit parade passes the newly built New Street Health Clinic. And no coincidence at all if dating from around time Britain introduced the present day National Health Service.
Inset image shows Wood's dairy farm which had stood bottom end New Street. Clearing that plot between New Hucknall Colliery Institute and below a long row of early 20th century housing, provided a suitable area for building a centralised medical clinic. Initially fronted by a wall, windows and roofline can indicate original size, compared with 2006 photo of a fully extended Huthwaite Health Centre familiar to all local patients.
Two storey far end section is understood to have been built replacing home for an Institute secretary. Dating when it was incorporated into an extended clinic is all loosely suggested through the 1950's to add extra rooms creating a single NHS Huthwaite Health Centre. This eventually replaced past need for individual doctor surgeries. Accommodating all registered General Practitioners came by joining on cabins at rear.
Written 16 Apr 15 Revised 11 May 15 © by Gary Elliott