- The surgery in Leybourne Road opened in 1952, which was the year I was born.
- Dr Robert saw me into the world, at that time we were living at Norwich Drive. Dr Roberts had a housekeeper who also acted as receptionist. I think the housekeeper was Irish but I may have got her muddled with Dr Roberts who was Irish. On one occasion the housekeeper gave mum money to take one of my brothers to the hospital as she hadn’t got the money for the bus fare.
- I’ve always wondered why Dr Roberts moved to Bevendean but I still don’t know. Dr Roberts’ husband’s name was Mr Kidd, he was a driving instructor. I think his first name was Thomas, and he taught me to drive in the 1980s.
- As Dr Roberts practice grew she bought some land and had the bungalow and surgery built in Heath Hill Avenue. Two rooms of this were used for her surgery and waiting room.
- The Willows Surgery completed in 1959.
- Dr Roberts practiced for several years without a receptionist and when
she decided to engage one she had an extension built. The extension was
used for a waiting room and the old waiting room was used as the office
for the receptionist. (Permission for the extension was given in March
Looking at a photograph of the Willow surgery today, the bit on the end closest to Auckland Drive was the garage, the right-hand end of the ground floor in Heath Hill Avenue was always her surgery the left-hand end of the ground floor was her living quarters. She had a conservatory at the back. The surgery kitchen today was originally the garage and the original waiting room was very small.
I have a photograph taken about 1986 when we moved back into the surgery after it was all done up. We had to go into Portacabins and then come back, it was like a full circle and this was when Dr Pritchard took over from Dr Mary Roberts who retired on 1st August 1986. Dr Roberts moved back to Armagh in Northern Ireland.
Dr Pritchard started as a locum and then,
like Dr. Roberts, became a permanent GP; the others have all been
locums or salaried GP’s. Dr. Pritchard bought the surgery when he
took over from Dr. Roberts. We had to go into the house and help
clear it out prior to the refurbishment, that was myself and Yvonne
Raynsford who was the practice manager when I first started work at the
Willow as a part time receptionist.
Dr Pritchard practiced there for 19 years, when he left on 31 December 2003 it was taken over by the PTC then Chilvers & McRae and now The Practice plc.
Carol Hamilton - 28th May 2014.