|The Rushden Echo, 17th November 1961, transcribed by Jim Hollis
He Will Take With Him The Grattitude of Thousands
Forty-five thousand people have gone before Dr. Gilbert Lord in the thirty years that he has been associated with Rushden House Sanatorium.
It is not surprising, therefore, that he is held in high esteem, and for every person present at tomorrow’s retirement presentation to him there will be hundreds more who would join in the good wishes extended to him.
Dr. Lord leaves the sanatorium this weekend and will go into retirement at Stratford-on-Avon.
There, with a leisurely life free from the routine of examinations, ward visits and paperwork he will be able to look back on his service at Rushden and contemplate with pleasure the number of seemingly hopelessly tubercular patients he has cured.
“I’ve always been away when anybody important has visited the sanatorium,” he told an “Echo” reporter, “and I think those difficult cases are what I shall remember most. They made my stay worthwhile.”
The 45,000 people who have gone to Dr. Lord were not all patents only a very small number of them had anything wrong with them. This large number of people a rough estimate by Dr. Lord is the number of people who have attended for examination or X-rays.
Methods of treatment, of course, have changed completely since the days when the sanatorium’s patients were housed in blocks of buildings which looked almost like Army barracks.
In those days the TB rate of patients was very high. But through the years it has been drastically reduced. In the Northamptonshire county area in 1930, 150 people died of tuberculosis. Last year only 13 died.
The better drugs available and the expert care available at Rushden have saved the lives of many people from various parts of the county who, thirty years ago would have had no chance of survival.
When Dr. Lord is settled in his retirement at Stratford, he will have a constant reminder of his service at Rushden and of the many friends made during that time, for on his wall he will have a painting by the French artist Rene His. This picture of his own choice is to be presented to him tomorrow.
Dr. Lord is a bachelor and he was born at Rochdale, Lancashire. He studied medicine at Manchester University and did post-graduate work at Manchester Royal Infirmary.
Specialising in chest diseases, he went to hospitals in the Isle of Wight and at Northwood, and then returned to Manchester Royal Infirmary.
In 1929 he joined the Northamptonshire County Health Department and although his work took him all over the county his visits to the Rushden Sanatorium as consultant chest physician soon established for him a special place in the town.
The high regard in which he was held was made even greater when, in 1940, he succeeded the late Dr. Crane as the sanatorium’s medical superintendent.
As a member of the Rural Shakespeare Society, Dr. Lord should be happy in retirement at Stratford, the birthplace of the great writer, and he looks forward to expanding his collection of original paintings.
But however relaxed he becomes in retirement he will find it hard at first not to be thinking most of the time about the sanatorium to which his life has been devoted.
Asked whether his greatest ambition would be to see the sanatorium close through lack of patients, Dr. Lord said: “I should certainly like to see treatment of tuberculosis improve to such an extent that there would be no more patients, but I should not want the place to close down.
“It should always be put to use and there are always plenty of other diseases to cure.”
Dr. G. B. Lord was wished a long and happy retirement when he attended his last meeting of Rushden TB Care Committee on Tuesday.
Dr. Lord told those attending the meeting that, as president, he would still be able to attend the committee’s annual meetings.
There was a record attendance of former and present members, who heard tribute paid to Dr. Lord for the great service he had rendered at the sanatorium.
Mr. F. L. Robinson conveyed the appreciation and thanks of NUBSO members who had been under his care, and a letter from the vice-president of the care committee, Mr. W. E. Capon, was read.