A scene from my life (2)

More about Tadworth Court Hospital.

By chance, since writing about my experiences in hospital, I found some more negatives that have been undisturbed for 60 years or so. These were not labelled and obviously considered unimportant at the time. It just goes to show how your views change. Instead of ephemera they now seem to me to be a precious insight into another time in my life.

Life on the ward (2)

In the 1950’s getting specialist follow-up and post-operative supervision was hard to arrange reliability. At least in hospital you could keep an eye on your patients. Nor were the psychological and social disadvantages of a long hospital stay fully appreciated. Thus I found myself experiencing a protracted post-operative stay.

One of the consequences was that we were encouraged to get outside and explore the grounds. Off we went as a little group, totally unsupervised by any adult.

The outing begins
The outing begins.

I’m not sure what the official name is for this travelling device. It looks as though it was designed for a single patient who could lie flat. Here, it is pressed into service for two young patients. I think my job was to push the wheel chair that you can see just behind.

Friendly horse.

The horse looks friendly and must have been accustomed to young visitors. But on the edge of the frame we seem to be keeping our distance. It is possible that we had never been up close to one before.

Now back from our outing, here are a couple of shots taken on the ward terrace.

Girl in wheelchair.
How are you?

What is the girl in the picture thinking about? I suppose these days this would be a video and she could tell us herself.

Young girl in coat.
Did you enjoy the outing?

I’m glad I took these photographs – but what was it that so strongly motivated me to do so at the time?

Was it an interest in photojournalism, an unconscious recognition that this was an important experience for me, an interest in people, or at the age of six, just the excitement of having a camera? I guess it was a bit of everything.