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Rectory Road Clinic

The Rushden Echo, 26th October 1962, transcribed by Jim Hollis

Criticism of New Health Centre

Three Rushden mothers strongly criticised the town’s new health clinic, officially opened yesterday by Mrs. Enoch Powell, wife of the Minister of Health. Their main criticisms, they told the “Echo” were directed not against the actual building, but the casual way they were treated.

But the three, who declined to give their names, were decidedly in the minority, for others who talked to “Echo” reporters at the £28,000 clinic were full of praise for it.

They all agreed that it was a vast improvement on the premises in Queen Street, formerly used for child welfare purposes.

‘Not Wanted’

The mothers who claimed the new clinic did not provide for their social needs felt they were unwanted.

One said: “We feel we are not wanted. We can’t sit around and have a chat like we did at Queen Street clinic. We just have to get what we want and get out.”

Another claimed: “I have nothing against the clinic itself. It’s the way we are treated. We get a cup of tea, but as soon as we’ve finished we have to leave.”

The third added: “In the other clinic they could all get together while the mothers talked – it was much more of a social centre. We don’t feel that now.”

Other improvements were suggested by some women interviewed: The waiting room, with children’s slides, was not large enough and the outdoor pram facilities would be better fully enclosed.

Mrs. A. U. Muxlow, chairman of the county health committee, agreed that the waiting room could be extended. “At present it is a little small for the needs,” she told us.

About the three women who felt unwanted, Mrs. Muxlow said that she hoped eventually the clinic would acquire more of a social atmosphere and become a “mothers’ club.”

Mrs. J. Green, of Newton Road, commented that the new clinic was well organised, better than the old one because of better facilities.

Pleasant

She said: “The waiting room has a pleasant atmosphere. One can make friends over a cup of tea. The old clinic didn’t promote this – I just wanted to get in and out as fast as possible.”

Mrs. A. Springs said she thought the new clinic was a good example to the town. “Certainly it is a step in the right direction,” she told us. “The cleanliness is a good example to the mothers who bring their children.”

Mrs. Jean Cooper, of 54 Blinco Road, praised the staff at the Rectory Road clinic. “The way it is functioning is a real credit to them. They deserve a lot of credit.”

Much Better

Mrs. Mabel Andrews who, along with several other women, serves cups of tea to Rushden mothers at the clinic on Wednesday afternoons said the facilities were much better than those at Queen Street.

Mrs. A. Betts also liked the new building. “There is more room where the babies are weighed,” she remarked. “It’s much quicker and more efficient than the old one.”

The clinic, which opened several weeks ago, houses all the county department services in Rushden, including child welfare, relaxation and mother-craft classes, dental care and speech therapy, and will also provide office accommodation for visiting health staff.

In addition, Mrs. Powell opened a £3,000 mobile health clinic, which is towed by a 12-seat field vehicle.

2nd November 1962

Health clinic opened

  “Rushden has had its health clinic for a great many years, but now both staff and the mothers and children who come here have been given a building which is worthy of them,” said Mrs. Enoch Powell, wife of the Minister of Health, while opening Rushden’s new £28,000 clinic last Thursday.

  The building was designed by Northamptonshire County Architect Mr. A. N. Harris, with Mr. G. Smith, senior assistant architect, supervising at the site. It marked the end of a 32-year wait by the town’s health workers for their own “home.”

Services

  The clinic incorporates all the county health departments’ services at Rushden, including the child welfare centres, relaxation and mother-craft classes, dental care and speech therapy, besides office accommodation for health visitors, and is said to be the “very latest” in design.

Rushden’s new health clinic opened on Monday, after a two-month delay caused by bad weather. Since 1930 the clinic sessions had been held in the schoolrooms in Queen Street, but now everything, including the child welfare centre, has been transferred to the new building. Among the first things to be moved was the filing system.
in the new clinic
Above: Dental Surgeon Dr R D R Hopkinson
& Miss S Rootham

  Onlookers at the opening, which was held about five weeks after the building was unofficially opened to the public, included senior members and officers of the county council, senior officers of the Ministry of Health, voluntary workers, doctors, representatives of Rushden Urban Council and other guests.

  Mrs. Powell opened her remarks with a reference to her own experience of health clinics and said that neither she nor her two young daughters were strangers to them.

  “In fact, I felt some regret at the ending of an era when the younger of them last year reached the age of five,” she said. 

  “I find it hard to imagine how any mother can voluntarily go without the help which a maternity and child welfare clinic has to offer. Everyone with experience of them will agree that the atmosphere is something quite unique,” Mrs. Powell said.

  Introductory remarks were made by Mrs. A. U. Muxlow, chairman of the county health committee, and of the voluntary committee of Rushden Child Welfare Centre.

Mobile Clinic

  Mrs. Powell, who also opened a new £3,000 mobile clinic for county use, was thanked by Mrs. T. Thornton, chairman of the maternity, nursing and care sub-committee of the county health committee.

  A prayer of dedication was said by the Rev. I. E. Douglas-Jones, rector of Rushden.

The Rushden Echo, 22nd March 1963, transcribed by Jim Hollis

New clinic popular with Rushden mums

Rushden mothers are finding the new clinic amenities in Rectory Road much more convenient than those of the clinic formerly held in the Queen Street Schoolrooms. It is a new light and pleasant building, always comfortably warm, and a number of the services connected with clinic activities now share the same roof.

About 75 mothers attend the sessions each Wednesday afternoon – about the same number as used to take advantage of the scheme when it was held in the Queen Street Schoolroom.

Miss Mair on the slide
PC and Mrs T M Bolton look on as Miss A Mair weighs their daughters, Helen and Jane.
Playing on a slide can sometimes become quite a serious business, especially when there is a photographer around.

Meeting Place

The clinic has, and probably always will be, not only a place where mothers receive expert attention for their children, but also a social meeting place, where even the busiest of housewives can take a few minutes off from shopping and household chores to meet others and chat over a cup of tea and biscuits.

Perhaps one of the most appreciable amenities that the mothers noticed when they moved to Rectory Road was the large “pram bay,” where they are able to leave prams in the dry while taking their babies inside.

Last week a group of teenage girls from the Rushden Secondary School for Girls (picture below) were taken on a tour of the clinic and watched health visitors weighing the babies in the special weighing room, and recording the details on cards which are then filed away to give complete records of each baby’s progress.

At the clinic
A group of pupils from the Rushden Secondary School for Girls, who are due to leave school shortly, look on as mothers undress their babies
ready to be weighed at the clinic. The girls were taken on a tour of
the clinic last week to study local infant welfare.

Some of the welfare workers have been with the service since it started in 1930 and among them is Mrs. A. U. Muxlow, the Infant Welfare Centre organiser.

playing
Four youngsters enjoy the playing facilities at the clinic. Their mothers are able
to keep a watchful eye on them in the playroom-cum-reception centre.

Milestone

Last week saw another milestone in the history of Rushden Centre, for Mrs. L. M. Burfield celebrated her 21st year as registrar for the clinic on Wednesday. To celebrate the occasion a twenty-first birthday cake was shared by the welfare workers.

Not all visitors to the clinic are mothers; one father regularly accompanies his wife and twin daughters to the clinic.

“We think that this is a very good attitude,” said one of the health visitors, Nurse G. B. B. Millgate.



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