To combat threat of Cholera epidemics above other public health issues that swept a crowded capital, the first Medical Officer of Health was appointed by the city of London in 1848. Sir John Simon was a surgeon dedicated to sanitary reforms, who's concerns over fresh water supply, waste drainage and lack of clean air in designated slum housing set out basic guidelines for later Medical Officers overseeing local authorities.
Huthwaite UDC Medical Officers of Health
1881 A.K. Dyer M.D. Sutton-in-Ashfield
1888 Peter Standen M.B., C.M. Stanton hill
1891 Fredrick William Style LRCP
1894 Dr. Tweedie
1900 R. Irvine L.R.C.P. & L.F.P.
1932 John N. F. Ferguson M.B., B. Ch
Since forming a Hucknall-under-Huthwaite Local Board in 1870, their appointed Medical Officers of Health can date mention for these early physician surgeons within Sutton parish borders. Educated clergymen also often held a doctorate when freely visiting sick parishioners homes. While very few could readily afford to consult a fully qualified medical doctor, spiritual comfort was still possibly kindest medicine before real scientific advances.
Industrial injuries increased dire need for quickly seeking recognised care from a physician, or city hospital surgeon. One of the above named is now recognised founding a private practice in Huthwaite before the Liberal government introduced their 20th century welfare reforms. In combination with other Acts to mould foundations for our present National Health Service, their 1911 National Insurance Act gave citizens right to free medical treatment through a choice of registered physicians, encouraging more localised surgeries.
Robert Irvine LRCP & LFP took over official role as Medical Doctor of Health for Hucknall Huthwaite Urban District Council before Kelly's 1900 directory identifies he's a trained physician & surgeon.
Unlike Medical Officers before him, Dr Irvine took residence here, as well as founding his own private practice. Robert may therefore be regarded as first Huthwaite doctor able to fully serve this fast developing township. That surely sums up good reason why he retained a trusted Officer title through the next 32 years - without any exaggerated spin selling.
Dr Irvine proposed his 1907 plans for building a new residence to incorporate a future surgery upon Sutton Road. Location on corner into King Street points to a large and once single property, all later converted into present semidetached dwellings. Discovering this fact could be a revelation to Huthwaite residents, simply because nobody had been able to offer living memory dating back far enough to this practicing physician.
There's no listing at all for Robert Irvine in a 1932 directory, nor record to prove he died here. This leads to a presumed retirement relocating elsewhere, because same year identifies the next Medical Officer of Health as John N. F. Ferguson M.B., B. Ch. Apart from overseeing districts affairs, John is otherwise unrecognised.
Ernest Wardman Wilbourne was born just over the Derbyshire border at Hasland in year 1879. However, 1881 Hucknall-under-Huthwaite census reveals where his young parents Joseph and Fanny Wilbourne, aged 23 and 24 respectively, had soon after claimed their new future home. While his father long continued work in the later renamed Huthwaite mining area as a respected New Hucknall Colliery office clerk, Ernest was presumably raised among tied Pit Yard housing provided by that coal company for its key staff.
Educated beyond the realms of Huthwaite, Ernest Wilbourne returns as a qualified medical doctor seeking to open a private practice. This is best dated from Huthwaite Urban District Council records, from when E W Wilbourne Esq., MD, DPH made 1922 proposals to add a garage, plus open a surgery at his Sutton Road premises.
Amended plans concerning an anteroom soon followed. They confirm this large property still standing on corner the original Mill Lane entrance was indeed the residence of Dr Wilbourne.
Living memories asserted how the right side bay window fronted ground floor patient consultation rooms, when hallway doors connected the doctors own living quarters. Double doored frontage is seen after lastly being divided into two individual dwellings, but may have seen out another use through the doctors life.
Rumours alleging Dr Wilbourne committed a professional indiscretion with one of his female patients were vehemently denied. But then his undated departure only further fueled local gossip between patients given choice of another doctors surgery. Despite which, after a few years while gaining much broader practicing experience, the doctor is recalled from returning to reopen his surgery. A final 1941 directory listing qualifies the surgeon MB ChB Edin. DPH Camb. at 98 Sutton Road, where his practice likely saw out that decade.
Dr Ernest W Wilbourne died aged 75, loosely recorded in the Mansfield district quarter ending September 1954. Bill Clay Dove even offered words of remembrance in St Mary's vestry the morning after the funeral.
June 1932 finds the Huthwaite District Medical Officer of Health recommending Dr J Gaston be appointed to cover one months annual leave. A Notts directory for that year placed Joseph Gaston MB, ChB physician and surgeon already among the few notable private residents, although 7 Market Street address is a very modest property compared with others. It nevertheless managed to house a family wife, while front door access accommodated patient waiting plus consultation rooms. Reachable by telephone number 280 suggests very recent connection, undoubtably quickly installed for work calls just after settling at Huthwaite.
Moving into one of Huthwaite's grandest properties results by disposing a wealthy estate left by Simeon Watson. A 1933 sale of 'Mill House' set in large grounds didn't quickly attract potential buyers, when priced way beyond the dreams of any average working man.
Purchasing this large vacated house for a future family home certainly displayed Dr Gaston locally held high social status. It proved spacious enough to accommodate doctors surgery rooms, possibly at the cost of losing family privacy.
A small separate room was next built on front the Sutton Road driveway. Sharing that surgery continued to serve Huthwaite needs through related partnerships and retirement, until last replaced by a modern clinic.
Born 29th November 1893 at Belfast, Ernest S G K Vance was only son from the 1890 Shankill marriage between Dr George Alexander Vance and Mary (Minnie) Josephine Killen. The newly qualified doctor began a medical career as Public Vaccinator, in of all places Victoria, Australia. There's record next of marriage 18 Jan 1923 at St. Andrews Church, Mansfield, to youngest daughter Miss Edna Georgina Alice McKenzie of Mount Terry. But moving to Huthwaite a few years afterwards offers no clue of ever entertaining a wife.
Physician and surgeon Ernest Sydney George Killen Vance M.B., Ch.B.Belf. is loosely addressed on Sutton Road when a 1932 Nottinghamshire directory offers first Huthwaite listing. Notts Free Press can better date Dr Vance joining the Huthwaite parish church community from January that year. Professional services are then confirmed by a 1933 example, although that midnight callout could only verify reason for Mrs Barton's sudden death.
Dr Vance would not be the last physician to take lodgings at the White Hart Inn, but likely to make final use of rooms at 7 Market Street for a surgery.
That's where Dr Gaston had earlier opened a patient waiting room in the terraced row shown on right side. Vacated after move into Mill House then permitted Dr Vance to adopt the Market Street public consultations rooms for his own patient list. Unverified year of death could be 1980, leaving some chance he witnessed a New Street clinic centralising future NHS care.
If living memories sounded somewhat confused recalling a Dr Clitheroe, its likely because titled surname had been shared by two brothers. Rev G W Clitheroe raised three sons at his Coventry Vicarage. Writing a personal account of 1940-41 city air raids explains Donald, John and Maurice were then medical students.
Eldest two chose Huthwaite to independently start practice. It was no disrespect therefore in commonly differentiating local names for Dr Don or Dr John.
It seems John Clitheroe joined Dr Vance at his Market Street surgery. By coincidence, also likewise finding initial lodgings at the White Hart, where some folk recalled a morning queue seeking a sick note signature.
Reason why Roy Elliott called Dr John out this past public house, was to attend my 1959 Blackwell Road home birth.
Dr John Clitheroe did acquire a Huthwaite house before moving somewhere abroad. Elder brother Donald stayed here after marrying Dr Gaston's daughter. But Dr Don introduces another page covering later known doctors who began seeing NHS patients from beyond Huthwaite in a newly built New Street Health Clinic.
Written 12 Mar 15 Revised 12 Apr 15 © by Gary Elliott