|The Rushden Argus, 3rd August 1928, transcribed by Kay Collins
Rushden’s New Clinic - Club’s Help for Blind and Crippled Children - A Source of Comfort
The fact that a new clinic for orthopaedic treatment in connection with the Manfield orthopaedic Hospital was shortly to be opened in Rushden, was stated by Mr Lewis, the secretary of the Hospital, speaking at the annual meeting of the Rushden and District United Working men’s Clubs’ Fund for the Blind and Crippled Children, held at Rushden on Saturday, under the genial chairmanship of Mr A E Haddon.
The meeting, held at the Band Club, Manton-road, was preceded by a tea.
Mr H Rice, in his secretarial report stated that although the previous years’ expenditure had been very heavy, it was gratifying to note the splendid support given to the Society by the public generally. Notwithstanding the trying times and trade depression, they were able to show a balance of £270 3s. 9d. to go forward to their next year’s work.
He thanked various people who had helped them during the year, the manufacturers in the district for their generous support, and the Rushden Skittles Championship Committee for the sum of £13, making a total since its inception of £42 11s.
“There are at present 80 cases of crippled children on our books,” says the report. “Several have been treated at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, the Royal Sick Children’s Hospital (London), Westminster Hospital (Margate), Lord Mayor Treloar Hospital (Northampton), and the Manfield Orthopaedic Hospital (Northampton).
Others are waiting for vacancies. When surgical boots and appliances have been prescribed they have been procured, and they have been of great benefit to the patients. The medical and surgical reports are very encouraging, as quite 75 per cent of the cases are making satisfactory progress.
“The usual grants have been made to the blind, and the spinal cases have bath chairs, etc., have been a great service to the children, and a source of service to their parents.
“We wish again to thank Drs Greenfield and Muriset and other surgeons in the district for their voluntary services and adc=vice, chiefly rendered to the cause of suffering children, which has added to the success of the Society.
The principal items in the balance-sheet on the receipts side were: Bank balance, July 1927 - £102 12s. 11d.; Rushden fete and gala, £172 11s. 10d.; Higham Ferrers fete and gala, £135 0s. 4d.; Raunds fete and gala, £61 10s.; Rushden Trades Hospital Fund, £18 3s.; Rushden Individual Skittles Championship, £13; clubs’ donations, £14 16s. Items on the expenditure side included: Grants to tre... ..., £96; surgical appliances and treatment of crippled children and travelling expenses, £224 0s. 10d.; grants to institutions, £40 10s. 6d.; leaving a balance in hand of £270 3s. 9d.
Mr F J Bass (Raunds) who moved the adoption of the report and balance-sheet spoke of a recent visit to Buxton which he said was the place to see crippled children being cured. There were not enough of such places about.
They were all very grateful to anyone who had done anything to assist the Society during the year. The ladies in the district had worked very hard. They were to be especially thanked, for many of them were not in any way connected with the club movement.
The doctors had been very kind to the Society once again. He was pleased that Mr Lewis the secretary of the manfield orthopaedic Hospital, was with them that evening, for that Institution and their Society could work well together.
In his (the speaker’s) opinion the County Education Committee were not doing enough for the Manfield Hospital. He didn’t think the county itself fully realised what it had in the Manfield Hospital.
With their Society they all knew what a difficulties they had before that Institution was opened. Orthopaedic treatment was one of the most expensive of treatments, and although the County Council had increased their grant this year and had provided a number of beds, there were still 45 cases on the education authority’s waiting list for treatment. He urged that the County Council in future years would increase their grant.
Mr Batchelor (Raunds), seconding, said he was one of those who attended the first meeting of the Society and had been connected with it ever since. He heartily congratulated the officials, who had carried out the duties of such a grand Society all these years.
So much work had been done and yet it had been all done voluntarily. In the Raunds district they knew of the great amount of good that was being done by the Society.
The report and balance-sheet were adopted.
Mr Thomson, the auditor, recalled that while the total receipts this year were £534/14/10, last year they were £532/9/10, so there was little difference. He gave comparisons of the various figures in the balance-sheet with those of the previous year, and spoke of the excellent way Mr Wheeler, the treasurer, had looked after the Society’s interest.
He was glad the Society had a balance in hand, for trade was bad, in fact worse than it was twelve months ago, and if the people did not get the money they could not give it to deserving objects.
All the officials were re-elected, viz.: chairman, Mr A E Haddon; vice-chairman, Mr F J Bass; hon. secretary, Mr F Rice; hon. Treasurer, Mr Tom Wheeler; auditor, Mr H Thomson.
The secretary stated in connection with the egg day appeal, 2,584 eggs had now been sent to the Northampton Hospitals.
Beds Always Full
A very interesting address was then given by Mr lewis, secretary of the Manfield Orthopaedic Hospital, on the work that was being done by the Institution. He spoke of the growth made by it and how three years ago they had not a bed, and now they had 120.
These beds, he said, were always full. Only this month a new pavilion with 40 new beds in it had been opened. Today they were in the position of having sufficient beds to deal with their most urgent cases, while they had cases which had been on the waiting list for 18 months.
What the Hospital couldn’t do was being made up by the excellent work done at the clinics. They could help Rushden, and they were helping them by establishing a clinic in the town. They hoped before now that it would have been in effect, but all the difficulties were now overcome, and today the local secretary was prepared to undertake the work.
They had a room fixer, and Dr Wilson Stuart, the surgeon of the Manfield Hospital, had fixed September 26th for his first visit. He hoped to be able to visit Rushden and Wellingborough in alternate months. That would mean that an urgent case could be seen by him once a month, for patients could be taken to Wellingborough if it was not the month for his visit to Rushden.
Rushden doctors were welcoming the idea and he hoped the Rushden Blind and Crippled Society would co-operate with them in their work. Co-operation was essential.
Mr Thomson asked where was the money coming from for this clinic.
Mr Lewis replied that the cost would come from the Manfield Hospital Central Fund. Of course it would be nice, he added, if the Rushden Committee found the money for it would cost the Hospital somewhere about £80 a year to run. If the Committee did not pay for it, then the Hospital would.
On the suggestion of Mr Thomson, the committee voted a grant of £25 to the Hospital, with promise of help later for the clinic.
Mr Lewis thanked them for their fine gift.
Councillor Spencer and Miss Dickson, secretary of the Wellingborough Clinic, also spoke, and a vote of thanks was accorded the Press for their assistance to the Society, the representatives present responding.
The Band Club Committee was thanked for the use of their club for the meeting.