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#306477 - 3rd Apr 2009 10:03pm Smallpox outbreak
8HBob Online   content
Addict

Registered: 23rd Mar 2009
Posts: 205
Loc: Pensby
I remember sometime around 1960 there was a smallpox outbreak in Bebington or maybe further afield and that there was a clinic or hospital in New Ferry somewhere, which was used to treat patients & was then deliberately burnt down.
I was only 7 or 8 at the time. Does anybody remember this ?

Bob.

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#306481 - 3rd Apr 2009 10:09pm Re: Smallpox outbreak [Re: 8HBob]
jimbob Offline

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Registered: 26th Nov 2008
Posts: 1535
Loc: Birkenhead
dont remember that one, but in 1947 there was smallpox out break and the lad in the next street to me died from it. He lived in the end house of Brougham Street next to Gladstone Road in Lower Tranmere, i was living in Peel Street.
_________________________
Ships that pass in the night, seldom seen and soon forgoten

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#306485 - 3rd Apr 2009 10:18pm Re: Smallpox outbreak [Re: jimbob]
bert1 Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7850
Loc: tranmere
I don't remember the hospital, but i think smallpox was eradicated in the late 70s early 80s. a couple of labs in Russia and one in the States still hold the virus.
_________________________
God help us,
Come yourself,
Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


Bertieone.

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#306515 - 4th Apr 2009 12:40am Re: Smallpox outbreak [Re: bert1]
yoller Online   content
Smartchild

Registered: 7th Dec 2008
Posts: 453
Loc: Cheshire
There WAS a smallpox outbreak in the New Ferry area in the early 60s and, as I remember, several people died. Some of the cases were treated at the isolation hospital near New Ferry Baths, which was deliberately burned down in the early 70s to eradicate any possible traces of the disease. I was only about ten around this time, but I remember that New Ferry became something of a no-go area and we were unable to go to the baths - which was a very popular venue during the summer holidays. There have been quite a few previous posts about this outbreak and about the hospital.

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#306525 - 4th Apr 2009 8:32am Re: Smallpox outbreak [Re: yoller]
uptoncx Offline
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Registered: 24th May 2008
Posts: 683
Loc: Wirral
The Port Sanitary Hospital (also called the Bebington Infectious Diseases Hospital [1928] and the New Ferry Smallpox Hospital [1948]) which was opened in 1877 was closed in 1962 and the following year, contractors having refused to demolish the buildings for fear of catching Smallpox, it was destroyed by a controlled fire.

The last reported cases of Smallpox in the hospital appear to have been in 1958, when a two year old boy was diagnosed. His grandmother and seven year old sister also contracted the disease and were admitted to the hospital.

In 1946 there were 11 cases of smallpox in the hospital

There is more information on the Port Sanitary Hospital in the thread here.









Edited by uptoncx (4th Apr 2009 8:43am)
Edit Reason: still can't spell

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#306559 - 4th Apr 2009 3:29pm Re: Smallpox outbreak [Re: uptoncx]
jimbob Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 26th Nov 2008
Posts: 1535
Loc: Birkenhead
The death i have spoke about could well have been late 46 and not 47, i was only a kid my self those days. The process of been vaccinated against smallpox was by having a cut made on your upper arm just by your shoulder and the vaccine was blown into the cut. You then had to wear a Red arm band on outer clothes so that nobody knocked your arm till the cut healed. I have still got the scare and i am talking about from 60 odd years ago.
_________________________
Ships that pass in the night, seldom seen and soon forgoten

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#306581 - 4th Apr 2009 7:08pm Re: Smallpox outbreak [Re: jimbob]
uptoncx Offline
Veteran

Registered: 24th May 2008
Posts: 683
Loc: Wirral

A few notes on the early days of the Port Sanitary Hospital:

The Liverpool Mercury of 4th March 1875 reported the following:

“The Health Committee submitted for approval the plans of the proposed Port Sanitary Hospital at Rock Ferry.

Dr Taylor explained that the building would be of corrugated iron, and would afford accommodation for 24 inmates, besides attendants. The ground, eight acres in extent, would be surrounded by a stone wall nine feet high, and a road 36 yards wide. He had stated on a former occasion, that the cost would be about £3,000; but, owing to the cost of the wall and the road, the engineer now estimated that the cost would be about £5,000.

The plans were approved.”


Contracts for the construction of the hospital were awarded in February 1876.

The final cost of the hospital, including the keeper’s house and the kitchens not included in the original contract, was £14,137-14-3d.

The hospital opened in 1877, but it was four years before a single patient arrived.

In July 1883, the Birkenhead Medical Officer issued the following instructions in the event of Cholera:

“Should a case of cholera be imported on board ship, a berth remote from other vessels would be found for the infected vessel in waters designated by the Port Sanitary Authority. The vessel would be thoroughly disinfected, and all on board subjected to careful medical examination before being permitted to land. Accommodation for patients from shipboard is provided at the Port Sanitary Hospital, Bebington, and should this become full, the grounds in connection therewith would furnish area space sufficient for several hospital tents.”

On 18th January 1884 the Clarence Reformatory School Ship for Boys, which was moored off New Ferry, was destroyed following an arson attack, the boys were temporarily housed at the Port Sanitary Hospital. This only lasted until 19th July 1884 as the sanitary authority thought the hospital might be needed due to a suspected outbreak of Cholera on the St Dunstan, a ship newly arrived from Marseilles.

In April 1892, the health committee considered the “useless expenditure of money on the Port Sanitary Hospital” as it was costing around £700 a year, it hadn’t had a patient for many years and similar facilities now existed in Liverpool. However the motion to close the hospital was lost by 24 votes to 18.

The costs of running the hospital where proportioned as follows: Liverpool 82.5%, Birkenhead 9.2%, Wallasey 2.5%, Bootle 2.3%, Garston 1.5%, Toxteth Park 1.4% and Lower Bebington 0.5%.

On 26th November 1894, 18 boys were transferred from the Clarence Reformatory School Ship (which had been replaced following the fire) to the hospital, suffering from Smallpox.

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#307757 - 8th Apr 2009 6:07pm Re: Smallpox outbreak [Re: uptoncx]
ChrisNewcastle Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 10th Dec 2007
Posts: 457
Loc: Newcastle upon Tyne/Ex wirral
I remember my nan talking about this and I am sure she told me that there was a hospital that treated smallpox on what we used to call the 'old shore' in Rockferry.(next to the Admiral to the right if your facing the river).She would never let us go down there because she said we could still catch it,and that was in the 80's!
_________________________



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#395221 - 15th Mar 2010 4:23pm Re: Smallpox outbreak [Re: 8HBob]
kruger Offline


Registered: 15th Mar 2010
Posts: 1
Loc: nestoncheshire

Hi.
Lived right next door to it in Shorefields/ Mayfields. The drive into the Hospital ran alongside the park to New Ferry baths. As a child we used to climb over the wall and get chased by the caretaker.
The main building was brick built, the wards a number of long wooden huts.

Lascar sailors with Smallpox were brought into the Hospital from the river over the mudflats and into the rear entrance via steep steps up a banking.

A young boy from New Ferry contracted the disease and then two or three other people also.

They never found out how this came about. I myself always thought he may have caught it by doing something we kids all did .....building dams in the sand on the shore using water from the outlet pipe. belonging to the Hospital.

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#395339 - 16th Mar 2010 12:53am Re: Smallpox outbreak [Re: kruger]
Trearan Offline
Member

Registered: 16th Oct 2009
Posts: 66
Loc: New Ferry
Originally Posted By: kruger

Lived right next door to it in Shorefields/ Mayfields. The drive into the Hospital ran alongside the park to New Ferry baths. As a child we used to climb over the wall and get chased by the caretaker.
The main building was brick built, the wards a number of long wooden huts.

Lascar sailors with Smallpox were brought into the Hospital from the river over the mudflats and into the rear entrance via steep steps up a banking.


In case you weren't aware of it, you can see photos of the hospital, the steps up the cliffs and the jetty on www.newferryonline.org.uk go to "Memories and Photos".

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