The Hospital ‘Next Door’ by Andy Trotter
This year Queen Mary’s Hospital Sidcup celebrated 100 years since it was founded to deal with the injured from The Great War. I’m now Chair of Oxleas NHS Trust which runs the hospital and we now have Guy’s and St Thomas’, Kings, Dartford and Gravesham, and Lewisham and Greenwich all providing services on the site. While there is no A&E and maternity any more there are cancer, renal, mental health, children’s, and urgent care departments amongst the services provided there. QMH was is real danger of being shut when South London Health went bust so it is great to see new buildings going up.
We at Cray Valley made great use of Queen Mary’s with our injured rugby players regular attendees at Casualty. I broke my leg during a match and as I lay on the ground I could hear Martin Carr shouting ‘where’s Trotter?’ because I was obviously failing to keep up with play. He and Alan Eaton refused to call an ambulance and a parent with a camper van was persuaded to take me to hospital and I suffered an agonising trip to Queen Mary’s.
When I was playing at Blackheath I called into Queen Mary’s on a number of occasions to get stitched after a match.
It is a shame that A&E has gone but it is good news to see some fantastic ultra modern services serving the local community.
Andy Trotter (1962-69)
From Bob Walker
Andy Trotter’s contribution made me smile and evoked some memories. Despite captaining the school’s rugby team for around three years (one of them unbeaten!) my relationship with Martin Carr was ‘interesting’. I still have the school report that says ‘No talent for summer activities.’
As an aside my mother worked in the school canteen and almost every time Martin came across her he told her that I had been sent to hospital. Well – he thought it was amusing. So, there we all were – in the gym in the summer – learning to do what I believe was called the Western Roll. Martin’s advice was to land on ten fingers after clearing the bar. As an individual with no talent for summer activities I managed to land on a single thumb. Said thumb immediately at least doubled in size. As was appropriate at the time I said “excuse me sir, I think I may have damaged my thumb.” Martin took one look and told me that I had dislocated said digit and that he would rectify that for me. He put my am under his, told me to look away and began wriggling my thumb. After a few minutes he told me that he couldn’t reset it and that I was to find my way to Queen Mary’s.
So I changed, walked to the hospital and was X-rayed. The doctor informed me that my thumb was broken rather than dislocated. To this day I’m not sure whether it was me or Martin who broke it…… Needless to say he went to the canteen to tell my mother who simply refused to believe him. Happy days.
Bob (formerly Robert) Walker (1960 – 1965)