Ochiltree Ward

The Ochiltree Ward was one of a series of extensions opened in 1920 by the Duke of Northumberland, and the money to build this particular ward had been left by Mrs Hannah Ochiltree who unfortunately died before the building was complete. Hannah was born in Newcastle in about 1841 and had later married John Ochiltree from Seaton Sluice, 11 years her senior. Her contribution to the sanatorium was not the only philanthropic venture she was involved in and in 1914 she opened the Ochiltree Memorial Hall linked to St Paul's Church in Seaton Sluice in memory of her late husband.

Two former nurses from Stannington, Marjorie Wilson and Florence Parsons, who took part in the 2013 oral history project 'The Voices of Stannington Sanatorium' both recalled working on Ochiltree Ward. Marjorie began work in 1949 and remembered the ward being used to house the smaller children, most of whom were bed bound and so were presumably either very ill or being treated for TB of the bones and joints.

"The only ward name that I can remember is Ochiltree, that was small children, that's where Alfie Ferguson was, my lovely little patient who was very cheeky. I remember telling him once "To lie down in bed and be a good boy," and he said "I'm not going to do anything for you." And I had to stop myself from laughing out loud. ... Most of them were bed bound, some of them were allowed to get up but most of them were in bed. We washed them in bed."

Marjorie Wilson

Florence started work at Stannington around 1945 and also spent some time working on Ochiltree Ward but recalls how it was for the terminally ill and as a result the young patients on this ward received visitors once a month as opposed to the normal once every two months.


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