When matron ruled the wards

Christmas 1956  and Ian Owen can be seen  front right in bed. Notice the sparse decorations of the time.

Christmas 1956 and Ian Owen can be seen front right in bed. Notice the sparse decorations of the time.

A marvellous photo of the Camber bridge,  Old Portsmouth.

Pregnant before the wedding ... so they ran away to Milton

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Do you remember when hospital wards were run in regimental fashion and matrons ruled the roost? Ian Ward of Bedhampton can as he was in Queen Alexandra Hospital in 1956/57 with Crohn’s disease.

Ian tells me that he was on Philip Ward for several months under the care of Sister Hislop and her team. He was then transferred to John Pounds Ward for another six weeks.

Ian says: ‘Everything was done to a routine of care and order under the watchful eye of matron, feared by one and all.’

Today of course, visiting anyone in hospital is almost an all-day thing. But back then it was strictly rostered.

Ian tells me he could have two visitors at a time and only for half-an-hour each weekday evening.

The weekend was a little more relaxed when an hour was allowed mid-afternoon on Saturdays and Sundays.

God forbid if you were seen sitting on a bed.

You couldn’t just walk into the ward either.

Visitors had to wait in an area outside and when a brass bell rang they entered. Thirty minutes later the bell rang again and off they went. Pronto.

I think these restrictions were relaxed in the children’s ward though.

The wards were spotless and kept clean by two or three women who took pride in their work and, no doubt, thought of the ward as their home and kept it to that standard.

The nurses also wore a uniform, which is how most of us of a certain age think a nurse should look.

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