The Former Children’s Hospital, Nottingham

I came across a reference to the old Children’s Hospital at Forest House recently and it brought quite a few childhood memories rushing back. I managed somehow to get myself knocked down (well up in the air actually) by a beefy Ford Consul when I was a kid and ended up a guest in said institution. When I eventually landed it was with two broken legs, one in three places, and concussion plus a few sundry cuts and bruises for good measure. I recall being upside down in the air and seeing my shoe flying up the street. I also remember then doggedly trying to drag myself to my feet using a bus stop to hold on to and looking down to see my leg bend in the wrong place. They carted me off to ‘The Children’s’ in an ambulance where I remained for a week. With physiotherapy (learning to walk again basically) my young association with that hospital lasted a year though.

I was terrified of the place but they looked after me very well (I’ve gone on to run a few marathons as an adult so they did very well indeed I guess!) but I was scared stiff of the building and the unknown in there as I thought they were going to take my legs away for good. I remember the above so well, being taken for physiotherapy there  by my mum so many times.

The kindest, kindest man, a jolly West Indian doctor, looked after me and made me smile – even though he was tasked with re-breaking my legs twice in operations as they had knitted crookedly. On another failed occasion they sawed the long plaster casts half through at the shins and banged wooden pegs in the gaps to straighten my legs. Looking back it was like something out of a Hammer horror movie. I wish I could thank that kindly doctor today though.

10 thoughts on “The Former Children’s Hospital, Nottingham”

  1. I work at old Nottingham children’s hospital for three years in early seventies lots of happy memories 1972 / 1975

  2. Thank you for your comments, Margery, they’re appreciated. It’s good that you enjoyed your time at the hospital. For the time I was in there during the 1960s and attending as an outpatient I was treated only with great kindness.


  3. I have a memory of being a patient at the Nottingham Children’s Hospital. It occurred at the time my mother was working in the Medical Records Department at the Children’s Hospital. It was one winters day back in the mid-1960’s and I was sledging where I live on Woodthorpe Park, when I collided into a tree and broke my right leg.

    To cut a long storey short. It was whilst laying on a trolley waiting for my leg to be plastered in one of the side rooms adjacent to the Out Patients Department. Knowing my mother was with me, who worked in the Records Department, there would be an occasional knock on the door and a nurses head would poke through and rather apologetically say: ‘Mrs. Swift, we’ve got a patient coming in and we can’t find the notes, you wouldn’t mind going to have a look for us would – please?’ My mother, of course dutifully went off to find them. As I remember this happened quite a few times as every now and then the same thing would happen and the same poor nurses head poked sheepishly through the door asking the same question, and out went my mother to look for the notes. It didn’t bother me, even at the age of 7, as I felt it was part and parcel of working in a hospital!

    As I still live facing on to Woodthorpe Park, that sapling I collided into is now a fully grown tree!

  4. Please could anyone that worked at the Nottingham children’s hospital in the 1960s,because I was trying to find out if anyone had photos,I was looking for my brother,he was four and a half years old,and he had to go to a convalescent home in Ilkeston,but we can’t remember the name of it,and I can’t find an nformation about it. Please anyone that could help.

  5. Just came across this. I was in the Children’s hospital for along time in the early 60’s having a kidney removed. Quite a rare event in the day. My nurse was Gwen Streets ( or Street ), please forgive the memory lapse. Whilst I hated the pain I was in at at the time, I cannot fault the care and attention I was given. I never sussed why they were so strict on visiting times back then, but knew everyone was terrified of matron – it really was a “carry ob movie” in real life at times 🙂

  6. I can only echo your thoughts about the kindess of the staff, Alan. I was frightened stiff as a kid in there after a bad accident but I remember in particular one Afro-Carribean doctor who was looking after me being fantastic and giving me confidence that everything was going to be okay.

  7. I was admitted to this hospital with TB as a 5 yr old. I was there for the best part of a year. recall being in the ward with the huge tall windows. I was looking out of that window and saw my mam carrying our baby Sandra (Muff) and street aunt Mable. They waved to me and l frantically waved back but as they disappeared below me, l was chased back into bed by the nurses. I sat up watching the door feverishly waiting for my visitors to come through it. The door opened and a nurse came in carrying a doll my mam had bought me. I raced to the window and sobbed as l watched them walk away. …….l was gutted.

  8. What a very sad story Joy. I can’t imagine how you must have felt. Those places could be quite scary and foreboding for a child. Such a long time to be in there too.

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