Fullerton Hospital Denaby – Opening Ceremony by Mr. Buckingham Pope

July 1905

Mexborough and Swinton Times July 8, 1905

Fullerton Hospital Denaby
Opening Ceremony by Mr. Buckingham Pope
Denaby Colliers Solve The Problem Of Maintenance

Unostentatious seems to be the watchword of the committee of the new Fullerton Hospital, Denaby. The word is applicable to the ceremony on Tuesday afternoon, and the committee, architect, and builder have apparently kept that word before then in the building operation, but only as far as the exterior is concerned.

Internally, the new hospital wants for nothing. Everything has been done on the most up-to-date principles. At the minimum of cost, conductive to the comfort of prospective patients. A description of the building has already appeared in these columns. The building is of local bricks, with stone dressings. Mr. H. L. Smethurst, of the Colliery, was the architect, and the building, as it stands today will ever remain a monument to his abilities, he had made excellent use of the space at his disposal, and still leaving plenty of room for future extension. If such is necessary the contractors, Messrs. B… Wortley and Sons, of Doncaster, have satisfied the committee in every way in carrying out the erection of the hospital, and, as Mr Gibbons remarked in his speech, had given full value for the money expended.

During the eight months in which the building was erected, the work was under the personal supervision of Mr Benjamin Wortley. It might also be stated that the hospital was completed three weeks within the stipulated contract time.

Maintenance of the Institution.

At the present time, the question of maintenance of suchlike institutions, is one that is occupying a primary place in the decisions of governing committees of hospitals, especially the Montagu hospital at Mexborough.

When the question of the cottage Hospital was mooted at Denaby, a mass meeting of the workmen decided to consent to levy of 1d. per week per man and 1/2d per boy being made, this sum is estimated bringing about £900 per annum thus assuring the upkeep of the hospital and still having sufficient funding to lend a helping hand to neighbouring institutions

The Procession

The procession assembled in and started from Lowfield Square, and proceeded to the hospital by way of Doncaster road, Balby Street, Blyth Street, Loversall Street, Walker Street, Clifton Street, Doncaster Road, Milton Street, Annerley Street, Thrybergh Street and Co-operative Terrace. At the head marched the Denaby Main price band; the committee, Messrs. John Soar (president), Wm. Wright. E. Stribly, Jos. Makin, Skyneston, T.W. Moseby, R. Whimpenny, C. Basforth, J.Hassel; the Denaby division of the St. John ambulance Brigade, second officer Simpkin in command, with Sgts. Beale and Brough; ancient order of foresters. Court Rotherham district, Montagu Lodge with banner; Salvation Army band; Cadeby branch of the Yorkshire Miners Association, with banner; Sheffield Equalised Independent Druids, pride of Denaby, with banner, Conisborough Castle Lodge; Independent order of Oddfellows, Denaby Main Branch, with banner.

The Opening Ceremony.

A large crowd gathered in the grounds of the hospital, and it is a query which was the greatest attraction, the opening ceremony, or to have a glimpse at and hear speak. Mr Buckingham Pope, who though so well known by name in Denaby and district, had not previously visited the town and so, to the great majority entirely unknown (by sight). Many complimentary things were said by the gathering when the full beauty of the view from the hospital was enjoyed. A better site could not be obtained and the grandeur of the day appeared to bring out the beauty of the North Cliff’s, and Denaby Thicks to their full extent, surely a most pleasant view for the patient lying on the bed of sickness.

Mr.W. H. Chambers presided, and was supported on the platform by Mr J. Buckingham Pope, Lieut-Col. Beswicke Copley, Rev. Joseph Brookes, B. A., Mr. C. Kilner, Mr. Geo. Wilkie, Dr. Twigg, Dr. J.J. Huey, Mr. Wm, Gibbons, Mr Jno. Soar, and Mr. Jesse Hill (secretary of the hospital committee). Amongst those present we noticed Mrs. J. Brookes, Mr. and Mrs. H. S. Witty, Mr. and Mrs. A. H. Barnard, Mrs Twigg, Mr. and Mrs. Williamson, Mr. and Mrs. Smethurst, Mr. C.N. Nicholson (Liberal candidate for the division), Miss Berry (Matron Mexborough hospital), Nurse Annie (Mexborough), Mr. H. H. Wray, Mr Tom Weston, Mr and Mrs. Brearley, Mr C. Bury, Mr Sam Whitefield, Mr. Farmer, Mr P Bury, Mr E. Sheldon, etc. etc.

Mr W.H.Chambers said that afternoon saw the culmination what they had been looking forward to for many years. It was 20 years ago since it became necessary to consider the question of hospital accommodation in that district. He then dealt with the matter down to 3 years ago, when the present scheme was formulated. The difficulties in their way to obtain land were almost insuperable, they could not get any land required by begging, borrowing, or stealing. Then, a year ago, Mr Fulton came to their assistance, and generously give them the site on which were now standing. (Applause)

They had not lost much time in erecting the building, and he sought they would all agree with him that the site was a most desirable one, it was an ideal spot for a hospital. He was close to the works and collieries, and when accidents occurred the sufferers could be removed there with a minimum of suffering. They were pleased to have with them that there is a director of the large undertaking in which they all depended, he referred to Mr Pope, (hear, hear) who had come to show that the company and himself took an interest in all that concerned the welfare of Denaby. It was to the company that they owed their daily bread – he did not say that they did not earn it. (Laughter)

They had in Denaby a Roman Catholic church, English church, Wesleyan, Baptist and primitive Methodist chapels, Salvation Army barracks, Football, Cricket and Rifle clubs, Library and Reading room, Bands et cetera and last, but not least, they had added to those this splendid building. Those institutions they were all indebted to Mr Pope. (Hear, hear)

Denaby was the envy of good many places who had not similar privileges, and Mr Pope that afternoon was going to open the door in the last of these institutions. (Applause)

Mr W Gibbons said that as chairman of the building committee last year he had had as much work to do with the hospital as any other workman. He had visited other institutions in the past few years, and he was convinced that here in this cottage Hospital that they had full value for their £3000. Their thanks as workmen, in the first place were due to Mr Fullerton, who had so generously given the site, a better one could not have been chosen. Secondly, there must thank Mr Wortley for the splendid work he had put in the building. The furnishers, Messes Eyre and Sons of Chesterfield, had carried out their part in a highly satisfactory manner. In Mr Brooks Denaby possessed a clergy man was always ready to meet the workmen in any way. With regard to the staff of the hospital, he considered they had an excellent one; he reminded his hearers that they were the owners of the hospital, and he was sure they would always receive every consideration at the hands of the staff, if it was ever their misfortune to enter the hospital as patients he would always treat the staff the same. One thing that pleased him was that this was not a charitable institution, the men have provided the money, and all gentleman what so kindly assisted them have been informed so when the committee wrote in asking any support.

Referring to the visit of Mr Pope, he said that until that day Mr Pope was only a name in Denaby. It was a name of power in the commercial world and it was a name the people of Denaby should sign and they could assure themselves that they had the sympathies of Mr Pope. Their thanks were due to Mr Pope for his presence there that afternoon. (Hear, hear)

Mr C Kilner said he was greatly struck with the beauty of the scene. He had no idea that Denaby was such a pretty place (laughter). Certainly the best part of Denaby was not in the front. (More laughter) another thing that struck him was that the hospital had been erected, I was going to be maintained by the men themselves. He was not going to inflict a speech of them but will conclude by saying that he had not as yet subscribe, the secretary could put the firm of Kilner brothers down for £50. (Applause)

Mr H.L.Smethurst (the architect) said that the one thing which had been kept before him when getting out the plans for the hospital was the cost and he thought that the committee had succeeded very well. He would like to say that the contractor had completed the part of the building three weeks before the stipulated time. When preparing the plans he had put himself in the places of a good many people, first and foremost he had imagined himself a patient, and knowing what a patient would like, at tried his best to design good, lofty, well lighted, well ventilated wards getting as much sun as possible. He had then studied the nurses, and in their rooms had made use of any odd spaces and corners for cupboards.

Other people who may have considered were the caretaker and the washerwoman; he had provided the latter with a nice large wash house, with plenty of water laid on to save her the trouble of pumping. With regard to the exterior, they are not gone in for ornamental work. £75 have been saved by having local bricks instead of press bricks. The contractor had done his best in the building and in conclusion, if on examination of the building, the public were satisfied, the committee, contractor and himself would be gratified. (Hear, hear)

Mr John Soar, chairman of the committee, then presented Mr Buckingham Pope with two keys, want to the door, and another, a small gold one, suitably inscribed, to keep as a souvenir of the opening ceremony. In asking Mr Pope to lock the door, he expressed the hope that it would remain empty of patients for some time. The committee were all indebted to Mr Pope for his presence there. Thank you Mr Kilner for his generous gift, you hope that it would prove an incentive to others on the platform (laughter) they could do with it. It would take them a long time to get clear of debt with 1d and 1/2d levies. Presented the keys expressed the wish that Mr Pope would live long to where the souvenir. (Hear, hear)

Mr Buckingham Pope, who was cordially received, expressed his pleasure at meeting the workmen of Denaby. After many complimentary things that have been said of him by previous speakers, he should have to seriously consider whether he was better than he really was. (Laughter.) He was pleased with the observation that fell from the previous speakers at the hospital was not a charitable institution. He considered that the workers at Denaby had shown an excellent example to other districts. At the present time there seemed to be a sort of wave over the country in which people had an idea that they should do nothing, but let it be done for them. At the opening of the Mexborough Montagu hospital, Mr Montagu spoke in a similar strain. Here at Denaby the men at shown that they could do something for themselves, and those remarks could not be levelled at them will stop he did not think that he could add much more to what had already been said. He thought that there was some feeling that this institution was erected in rivalry to Mexborough. That was not so. They would all know that in a serious accident, a few minutes could sometimes mean to the sufferer, life or death, and that was the reason this hospital had been built. In looking over at the Mexborough hospital report for 1903, you notice that Denaby contributed 28 patients, Mexborough 27 and Swinton 20. It was a matter of enormous importance that they should have near at hand means of attending to the patients who met with accidents in the collieries.

With regard to the souvenir that had been presented to him, he should always treasure it. In conclusion, he expressed the wish that all his heroes will keep out of the hospital, as patients, as long as they could. (Applause)

Mr Pope then unlocked and threw the doors open.

The building was then besieged by an eager throng anxious to inspect the interior. A posse of police, under Sgt Horton, rendered assistance in maintaining access to the approaches.