THE late Mr John Gloag, a former resident of Watford Abbeyfield Society, wrote down his memories before he died. Here he writes about hospitals.

The Victoria Cottage Hospital situated in Vicarage Road was built in 1885 and served the needs of the citizens of Watford until a few years after the ending of the First World War, when, due to the expanding population, it could no longer function on a satisfactory basis, and a new and modern hospital was erected in Rickmansworth Road.

This hospital was named the Peace Memorial Hospital, and was opened by HRH Princess Mary in 1925.

It was my privilege on this occasion to be a member of the Guard of Honour formed by the Countess of Clarendon's Own Scout Group.

It was not the function of the Peace Memorial Hospital to accept cases of infectious disease, and such cases as diptheria, scarlet fever, ringworm etc, which were not uncommon in the 1920s, were admitted to the Isolation Hospital which stood at the bottom of Tolpits Lane.

This was a somewhat forbidding building being totally surrounded by a high brick wall with a large entrance gate fronting on to the lane.

Cases of smallpox were still a possibility in those days, and a small hospital at Holywell Farm was kept in readiness.

I remember, as a small boy, seeing a horse drawn cab containing a young child suffering from smallpox being conveyed to the hospital.

After 50 years of service to the town the Peace Memorial Hospital has been superceded by the new and modern hospital at Shrodells, and the building in Rickmansworth Road has been closed.

It is with a feeling of some regret and nostalgia that I have seen both the opening, and after 50 years, the closing of the Peace Memorial Hospital, as it was here, that despite excellent medical and nursing care, my mother passed away in 1938.

June 21, 2002 11:30