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100 Years of Alder Hey – Wendy’s Story

100 Years of Alder Hey - Your memoriesThroughout our long history, millions of people have visited Alder Hey, including the United States Military during World War One. In this blog series to celebrate Alder Hey’s 100th birthday, we are taking regular trips down memory lane to share your stories of years gone by.

If you have memories or stories of your time at Alder Hey, we’d love to hear them. You can submit your story on our Centenary pages.

In her own words – this is Wendy’s story

I arrived from Trinidad W.I. in February 1959.

Sister Waugh, home sister, showed me to my room on the Night Sisters’ corridor. I was allocated this room because it was centrally heated and I was unused to winter.

My first interview with Matron Cawood was about getting my N.I., medical, a knowledge test and to give me information about the shoes that I was expected to wear. I was then introduced to another cadet who would help me to get these tasks done.

I was placed on L3 Boys’ medical ward until May 1959 when I would start my PTS training. My duties were helping the staff, running errands, tidying the linen room, packing dressings in drums for autoclaving, learning the ward routine. But I also had to make the ‘butties’ and jellies. I did not have a clue and had to be shown, causing a great deal of amusement.

Fond Memories of the next three years

  • Great Excitement on the first day that we put on our nurses’ uniforms
  • Great trepidation on the first day on the wards
  • Making many new friends
  • Great pride on receiving my first year belt
  • Living in the annexe above the kitchen and coming down in pyjamas and cape to get a snack from the kind chef.
  • Bathrooms locked at 10pm.
  • In the evening if you went out you had to be back by 10.30pm, or 11.30pm with a late pass. You had to report to Night Sister, and then had to wait in the main corridor until a few more colleagues with late passes arrived and then to be escorted to the Nurses’ Home.
  • Dances in the ballroom.
  • The routine carried out for discharging patients from the ward.
  • Orthopaedic patients nursed on the balconies whatever the weather.
  • Visits from Celebrities.
  • Christmas on the wards.
  • Receiving my second year stripe/ ribbon for my cap.
  • Learning always learning.
  • The fun, the responsibility, I loved it all.

I became a Staff Nurse, purple uniform, frilly cuffs and rolled up sleeves for on the ward, stiff cuffs and long sleeves on other occasions. Frilly cap, the frills held in place with a running stitch. My ward was F2 Boys’ Orthopaedics from November 1962.

While I lived in Liverpool I met and married my husband Don in 1963. His work took us away from Liverpool but I always kept an eye on what was happening.

After 49 very happy years, two sons and 3 grandchildren, he sadly died two years ago.
However my elder son is a radiologist and spent several months during his training at Alder Hey.

My elder grandson is undertaking a course which he believes will take him to visit and ‘study’ the new Alder Hey. So you could say that 3 generations have all ‘studied’ at Alder Hey.

I can hardly wait to see the new Alder Hey.

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