Friday, 19 January 2018

Sister Morgan

The view from the entrance to The Mineral Water Hospital, Bath.  Etched forever in my memory, this view:

The Min, 2017.  Pentax ME Super, HP5+, Adox paper.

So in the mid 1980s when I started attending The Min for physiotherapy all of us patients with ankylosing spondylitis stayed on Cambridge Ward, up on the second floor.  Of course we weren't sick per se and we were encouraged to get out and about whenever we weren't being stretched or pulled in the gym or the hydro pool.  And naturally, being young and adventurous types, in the evenings we did our fair share of exploring the local hostelries - of which there are many within staggering distance of the hospital.  Drink was taken. And, on occasion, it is only fair to admit that perhaps one or two more beers were consumed than absolutely necessary...

I recall one such evening when we all came back to the hospital in even higher spirits than usual.  Of course it was (and still is) a hospital and there were patients who were genuinely ill so we were trying our best to calm down as we came in through the front door.  At the top of the stairs in the print above was stood Sister Morgan, hands on hips with a face like thunder.  Sister Morgan was pretty scary at the best of times, it has to be said.  'This is not a hotel' she hissed at us as we shuffled sheepishly past her en route to Cambridge Ward.  From memory that did little to dampen our spirits - it probably had the opposite effect, truth be told.

By the time I was due in for another course of treatment a couple of years later they had put all us AS patients into a dedicated house in Trim Street, just opposite the hospital.  Good plan.


  1. If you can crawl back home (i.e., no driving required), then have that extra beer!

    1. Back in the day Jim we needed no excuse. It's a rare situation to find yourself in - plucked from the real world/family and set down into a hospital for 2 weeks, surrounded by other people with the same condition. So yes, in younger times we had beer, chat and lots of it. Nowadays a cup of tea seems to work just as well.