Site News
December 2010
(Vol 4 Issue 5) 

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Welcome to our seventeenth news page here at Schools of Nursing.
Our final edition for this year and for what we hope has been a good 2010 for everyone.

Since the last news page we have gone right in with both feet and have commenced two new nurse histories
Since our last news page we have added our latest nurse history - Sister Marjorie Earley - which has been generally very well received by all who have made comment. If you didn't see/receive the forum notice the link is here. We are also proceeding with our next nurse history and have already collected much supporting material which is going to take some little time to compile. Not the easiest way to collect nursing history - it would perhaps be easier just to collect nurses - but then where could we keep them? Build a hospital perhaps!? No, nurse histories it must be...

Being Christmas it would be ever so nice to be able to kick off with a competition. Last year we were able to reward one or two no doubt happy competition winners with some very nice badges - and a copy of the DVD film 'Atonement'. This year we don't have a bountiful Santa sack so we are leaving the competition until our January 2011 news page.

One thing that must be said (before merry Christmas!) concerns our forum membership. It is growing slowly but surely, and every member is treasured, but sometimes the registration process is more lengthly than need be. All that is required is a user name and a valid email address. There are various mechanisms used to keep even that data safe - you can, for example, choose to hide your email address from view, but it must still be valid. Entering 'Jotmail' instead of 'Hotmail' could result in rejection of a membership.

Spammers also use several techniques in their attempts to join forums - one of which is almost unbelievable user names. The final arbiter here is human (very!) please, keep the user name simple - your dog, cat or even parrot are good sources. Or just use your own, it was good enough for your parents!!

Member Photograph Galleries.
Are still  accumulating at a very reasonable pace. The 'National' galleries now contain 2799 nursing/hospital badge photographs encompassing all areas of the UK; 328 photographs (buildings/people/ephemera); and 48 photographs of nurse uniforms, both civilian and military; and 2423 badge photographs. Have a quick glimpse of the two latest badges:-
(Logged-in members can click images to enlarge).

Gravesend Hospital, Kent. National Galleries -
Latest Member Uploads

All photographic rights
Essex County
Council. NA

The galleries are becoming a small on-line museum and are adding to our knowledge of nursing history quite nicely, thanks to our contributors. It is available to anyone who cares to register as a member - a very simple process. All is free...

Welcome to the Forum and Member Galleries - Register Here.
Please be aware, our site is rated on Google by Norton Internet Security as being absolutely safe. We intend to keep it that way. You can help by using a reasonable ID and your own genuine email address. Anything that appears dubious may result in failed registration. Whilst our site is free to users, it is hosted by the largest ISP in Europe at commercial rates - with highly professional back-up. Safe and secure!

The site forum - Membership and Visitors.
In January 2007 we opened the forum for business.  I new topic; 4 replies; 2 new members; and 5 unique visitors!! The current situation is just a little different. At December 2010 we now have 184 topics'; and 927 posts from 234 members. Not too bad for a history site, but since this one deals with nurses, nursing and hospitals we still have some way to go. We have that in hand. So far we have still not sought to openly promote the site. Our preference has always been to ensure quality and more importantly, 24/7 availability. We seem to have achieved that...

Our November 2010 visitors. 8146 (unique) visits. 25940 pages served up. A year on year increase in visits of well over 55.32% compared with the same period last year (2009). Very nice - But then your worth it!!.

Worldwide.. Certainly our visitors are wide ranging - from 44 countries worldwide... Australia & New Zealand and Canada are well represented in addition to the UK and USA. There are also some more esoteric sounding countries - China; Russia; Cayman Islands; Japan; Malaysia; plus Romania and Spain.

E-Mail Contact - the 'contact' link (above and throughout the site) arrives directly on the webmaster's desk. Use it to communicate directly with the site. All mail is considered confidential unless the contents are stated to be otherwise. Stated to be for public consumption by you. Publication itself is an editorial decision.
Collecting... And Even More badges!
But not exclusively so, and not only badges, although admittedly the majority of my latest acquisitions were, but also at least one nursing certificate obtained as a 'swap'. I think that not nearly enough of us bother to swap items - it often seems easier to bid at auction rather than go to the trouble of trying to get a swap of something like equal value. In addition auction sites like ebay add layers of security between buyers and sellers - and the promise of your money back if it all goes pear-shaped!

Perhaps we should start a swap-shop attached to the forum?

So how did my own collecting go recently? It went both up and down. I feel that I added a couple of very nice badges, one very nice, but I also found a lack of what I feel are nice items to bid on, and actually made a couple of lack-luster bids on ebay that went nowhere because I was bidding out of boredom and didn't pursue either to the end.

However, this RMND badge (photo courtesy 'tonto2k' -ebay) did take my fancy. Quite apart from the fact that it is from one of the less common Registers - Registered Nurse for the Mentally Defective - it is one of the less frequently seen 'buttonhole' fitting versions. Nurses could request either buttonhole or pin fittings, not too many requested 'buttonholes' - usually male nurses, and not too many were RNMD qualified.

But the real 'McCoy' , which made the badge a wanted item for me, the inscriptions on the reverse are not inscriptions at all, but appear to be stamped into the metal in a very neat font which I had not come across before. This one will be in the next article on GNC (E&W) badge differences. It is a nice item issued in 1955.

I did buy a second GNC SRN badge, but only because the year (1946) was missing from my collection of these badges.

But then came the reward for my persistence in seeking the not-so-common. This beautiful Royal Chelsea Hospital 9c Gold badge. Quite exquisite - it could almost be a piece of fine Jewelry. I sought the vendors permission to use his photographs having won the auction - have a look yourself. Isn't it really very nice?

I haven't been able to discover very much about the recipient of the badge, but I do have his name - Mr Sidney Edward Lockwood, and of course know, like almost everyone else in the civilized world, a little about the Royal Chelsea Hospital. I wonder if Mr Lockwood was a Chelsea Pensioner? Or perhaps a member of staff? Or perhaps... Any ideas will be gratefully received. 'Past-modern' (ebay) kindly donated the photographs.

I did, naturally (!) acquire one or two other badges - but, approaching Christmas, they are gifts for a close relative, an avid collector of military badges. Two very nice RAMC badges - I believe WWII vintage.  Already possessing a gold version of the one on the right, but neither of these particular versions, I have to confess that, since I had not revealed my relatives Xmas present to him, I was very sorely tempted to possess all three, but then....

Imagine. That you were in the same position, like myself, sorely tempted... And kept the badges for yourself.. Forgive yourself? You never would....! And there is always the ghost of Christmas past to think about!
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year!

Another Photograph from the past...This time
Christmas on Ward No 6
Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast.


Nurse May McConkey RVH 1922/23
(Photos from nurse in RVH Belfast Christmas 1922/23)

Well, we don't seem to be able to identify nurse May McConkey but it must have been quite a festive spirit - all those nurses just standing around in full view of Sister... And is that a doctor sitting on the foot of a bed?! The ward decorations can be clearly seen - though would paper garlands be allowed today? A piece of the magical past from member Eric Wilkinson.

Well, that seems yet another very pleasant note upon which to end the seventeenth Schools of Nursing Site News, so for now I will say goodbye and wish you all well. A very Happy Christmas...

Would you like to see your PTS or training group featured here? We desperately need more photographs to feature. Can you help?  If so please Contact us.

We express our grateful appreciation to those people
who have contributed the original photographs
used to produce the News Pages.

1. News heading photo (all dates) - John Reeves
2. Bristol Southmead Gold (April) - John Reeves
3. St Bartholomew's Gold (April) - Ruth Watkin-Jones
4. Haygarth Silver (April) - 'ukhistory' (ebay)
5. Newcastle LS (April) - Peter Backman (Nursing badges)
6. RRC Medal (April)  photo's- 'Caulgisbo' (ebay)
8. 'catandfrog' (July) - (ebay).
9. bokojnr (Dec) - (ebay).
10. blue.bottle (Dec) - (ebay).
11. 'backman' - (ebay).*
12. Hotminicooper (Jun) - (ebay).
13. Right-one50 (Oct - (ebay).
14. jcollinsmedals (Dec - (ebay).
15. Brittania Medals (Dec 2009).
16. elaine3080 (Feb 2010) - (ebay).
17. Fran Biley (Feb 2010) - schoolsofnursing.
18. St Andrews Children's Hospice - Grimbsby.
19.themedalcentre - (ebay).
 20. Christmas 1923 - Eric Wilkinson, schoolsofnursing.
21. past-modern - (ebay).
22. susie1156 - (ebay)
All Copyrights are Asserted

*11. -  'backman' is also creator and webmaster of the 'nursingbadges'
'historyofhospitals' websites.

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