Letters to The Whistler

Dear Editor

Sheila and Peter Sheppard of the Patcham Poetry Group, Art and Health Walk leaders, and windmill enthusiasts, spoke in 2017 of their plans for Brighton and Hove City Branch of the NHS Retirement Fellowship to put on an exhibition for the 70th anniversary of the NHS. The exhibition ‘Timeline in Healthcare 1018 – 2018’ was recently held at the Jubilee Library.

I looked at an old picture of the General Hospital, a former workhouse, where I had spent a few days in a 6-bed ward to have my tonsils removed. Sheila said she had probably been in the bed next to me in 1951. It was the time of the smallpox outbreak in Brighton so we all had to have injections.

I heard a lady mention Crawley Hospital while several people talked to Sheila and Peter at the exhibition. I said that Miss Patel, a young midwife, had delivered my first-born daughter there in 1973 and she was still working as Mrs Patel in 1982 after my fourth daughter was born. In another part of the exhibition I saw photos of the Royal Pavilion being used as a hospital, and the Chattri, just outside Patcham, where Remembrance Services are still held.

In August my daughter and I joined a British Legion pilgrimage to follow the last 100 days of World War I and we visited Perseval Owen Hay’s grave at the Croix Rouge Cemetery at Quadreypres; he died on 9 September 1918.

In June I had attended an all-faith service to remember those from Brighton who had served or lost loved ones in the final weeks of the war. It was sad there were so few people present on such a beautiful, sunny day on the lawns of the Royal Pavilion to see the young cadets, and children scattering poppies, and the Salvation Army band playing tunes. We heard a tremendous cheer go up from the Old Steine as the match ended in which England had scored six goals for a win in the early stages of the World Cup.

In 1990 I was following the career of a Dr Ormerod, son of George Ormerod, historian of Cheshire, as part of my family history, and as he spent his last 20 years working at Sussex County Hospital I was lucky enough to meet the manager who showed me the old Victorian Photo Album, displaying early patrons of the hospital. His case notes were then at the Post Graduate Medical Centre at the General Hospital and were to be bound and kept at the East Sussex Record Office in Lewes. I believe they came back to The Keep after the Queen opened the new Archives. Recently I visited the Stroke Unit at the Sussex County Hospital and was impressed by the helpful staff and people as soon as I entered the building.

Sandie Cooper Mayers


Of all the competition entries, we loved this completely hand-drawn facsimile of the front cover of The Whistler – Ed

Dear Whistler

I don’t live in your area, I live in Cheshire, but thought I would share my take on your colouring competition page. I love Sam Toft’s work, she is brilliant.  Kind Regards

Jackie Cutts



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