Nitshill Memories “Healthcare”

The History

Nitshill Memories


When I was a wee girl my Dad actually got T.B., in the 1950s, when we lived at Ibrox, and he was hospitalised for it, and he was treated successfully. But there was a national campaign that you would be screened for T.B., but before all that happened, our whole family got screened for it, because my Dad had it and because we were all cooped up in that one room.”

Janette Aitken, East Renfrewshire
Years ago, Dr Corbett used to come down from Barrhead every day, and Mrs Frew, who lived in Nitshill, if somebody had come to her and asked for the doctor,  she used to put a tin up on her window and if the doctor passed in a horse and cart, he knew if he saw the tin that he had a house call, and he went in and got the address.”

Catherine Carlton (Rena), Glasgow

Elizabeth remembers there being a GP, Dr Gerber, and a couple of dentists in Nitshill Road. However, she attended a dentist in Shawlands as the dentists in Nitshill didn’t have a good reputation… Many children were born at home and Elizabeth was born at home in the Gorbals, but the Southern General Hospital was the most local hospital for maternity care. It was also the closest Accident and Emergency provider.

Elizabeth Cook, Erskine

Dr Wattsman was our doctor and he, up in Glenlora Drive up going on to Prestwick Street, up that way, there was the back of Newfield Square, there was two roads, one road going that way, one road coming this way, with a tree-lined border going down the middle, and that’s where he had his surgery and that’s where he had his house.    When he started practicing, he wasn’t married or anything, so he had his practice in the house, I’m talking sixty-eight years ago… When he did get married, he moved up to Newton Mearns way, but where the dentist is now, he built a building and that was his practice.”

Sandra Dunbar, Melbourne, Australia

John talked about local doctors. He was delivered by Dr Kivlichan ,who was the wife of a local doctor, Dr Boyle. Dr Boyle lost several fingers during the Burma War. Dr Boyle diagnosed that John had problems with headaches and this should be explored. In later years this was diagnosed as M.E.

John Paul McBride, Glasgow

Colin played football all of the time but there were no real sports facilities at Craigbank. He used to ride his bike to school and on one occasion, he lost control on black ice and fractured his skull and had to be hospitalised in the Victoria Infirmary. He and his dad travelled home from the hospital on the bus, as his dad did not have a car and people were looking at him. He did not realise that his face was very badly skinned by the fall.

Colin McEwan, Glasgow

 The nearest hospitals would have been the Southern General Hospital or the Victoria Infirmary. When Coreen’s brother was diagnosed as a diabetic at the age of 12, he was taken into Yorkhill Hospital. Her mother had to stay with him, and her dad got the other two kids to school. It was a lot of travelling, staying to late evening. This upset her mother because, not only was she looking after her son in hospital for three and a half weeks, but her other two children were missing her and thought she had left them. When her son was released, Coreen’s mum and dad had to learn how to give injections. They had to buy the needles from Nitshill Chemist, they were not free.

Coreen McKechnie, Glasgow

Dr Corbet, I remember my mother crying “he charged me half a crown”, that was for him to see me. When the N.H.S. came in, it was a Dr MacGregor. It was up at the top of Crookston Road and that’s where we went to the doctors when the N.H.S. came in; before that you had to pay money to see a doctor.”

Alistair Mutrie, Glasgow

Letty was taken back to her GP in Kinning Park for a short time after moving. Then it was Dr Gerber on Nitshill Road, until a surgery was opened in South Nitshill. Her dentist was Mr Whitby on Barrhead Road: “If you had an extraction you didn’t get the bus back but walked to get the fresh air at your face!” The nearest hospital was the Southern General in Govan or the Victoria at Battlefield. Maternity care was at the Southern General and Letty does not remember any home births at that time.

Letty Smith, Glasgow

Our doctor was Dr Todd, who had a practice on Paisley Road West. Our dentist was near the roundabout. I remember my Mum taking me to get my tooth removed and my Dad took my sister to get a tooth removed. It was the only time my Dad ever allowed us to spit! He said, “It’s okay, you can spit this time.” My sister and I were feeling very sorry for ourselves and were tucked up on the bed-settee in the living room, watching our black and white TV.”

Elizabeth Walker, Sydney, Australia