Middlewood Hospital. Sheffield

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A photo tribute to Jack Lunn

Middlewood works yard in the 1950's
This picture was taken in the 1950's in the works yard of the hospital (L to R) Jock Mclaughlin, Jack Lunn, Walter, Henry Challesworth.
Photo supplied by Margaret Hague.

These four images show Jack Lunn who worked at Middlewood Hospital all his life. He joined the service as an apprentice soon after leaving school and became foreman carpenter. He was one of those rare breed of men who gave his talents and skills to one group of people because they need him, rather than seek more lucrative employment elsewhere. Always cheerful and courteous, he was ever ready to give his time to fulfilling the requests of those who sought his help for this or that job of work around the hospital and latterly in the group. In summer of 1971 Jack was not well for some weeks and died in Wharncliffe Hospital following an operation. (This information printed in the 'Contact' Middlewood magazine (Summer 1971). Supplied by Margaret Hague, the daughter of Jack Lunn)

Photo taken in 1960'sPhoto 1960's












Outside Joiners Shop in the 1960's. (L o R) Jock Mclaughlin, Jack Lunn, patient, Alan Fowler    ----   Hospital grounds in 1960's (L to R) Alf Wilkin, Jack Lunn, Bill Berrisford.
Photos supplied by Margaret Hague

Photo taken in January 1940
Snow on 25th January 1940. The third person from left is Jack Lunn.   Photo supplied by Margaret Hague



A few facts about the laundry facilities at Middlewood hospital in 1971

What is laundry?  Middlewood laundry served 15 hospitals or hospital units in all. The service provided the whole range from the cradle to the grave one might say. Some 92,000 articles per week were processed by a staff of 45, who worked from 7.30am to 4.15 pm with voluntary shifts on Saturdays mornings and occasionally working Bank Holidays as well. Work was collected daily from most of the hospital units and three times a week from some smaller units. There was a colour system in place to identify different units; Wharncliffe in blue bags. Middlewood and the peripherals hospitals in green bags. Barnsley in white bags.
    A typical washing machine was capable of a 200 pounds load taking 40 minutes. The extraction of the water process took 4 minutes and the tumbling took 7-20 minutes depending on the items inside. After tumbling, the clothes went to be calendered or pressed.

What happens when laundry arrives? First of all, It was received at the back entrance of the laundry and then tipped out of their bags onto a conveyor belt and was carried up to the sorting room. Here, three members of staff sorted and loaded them into hoppers which fed the machines downstairs. Each hopper took a certain type of article and then weighted. A specially punched card indicating he washing machine programme and its contents was attached to the hopper.

The washing process. After the garments are washed and rinsed, the machine empties its loads on to a conveyor belt which carries the items into a steel drum, which is then wheeled into the extractor plan. A giant ram-rod, exerting a pressure of 1,150 lbs. per square inch, then squeezes the excess water from the garments. At this stage all garments looked like a giant cheese which is then wheeled into the tumbler room to be dried in giant tumblers. Currently on trial there is a washing machine capable of doing 800 lbs of washing, if the test is successful the manufacturers will no doubt be able to go ahead with the sale of more of these gigantic machines. After the items are clean, they are sorted, placed in appropriate bags and located to particular wards. They are then taken to the dispatch department where there is usually a lorry or a van.


All the laundry information and pictures extracted from the 'Contact' Middlewood magazine printed in summer 1971. Supplied by Margaret Hague

Weight hoppers «  The soiled laudry is fed into the weighing hoppers


 and is then loaded into the washroom machines » Washing machines


Extractor  « the clean laundry goes to the strike extractor


and then into the tumbler dryer  » Giant tumbler dryer


Sheets are calendered  « sheets are calendered


clothes are pressed » Clothes are pressed


Sorting department  « area laundry is sorted here


and group laundry here » Items are placed in boxes


Clean items ready to be dispatched « the finished article is ready for dispatching




A Lift Up

This picture looks like a lavatory seat on stilts, but is nothing less than a very helpful and labour saving device for handling patients who are very heavy and unable to help themselves. Its real name is a Macanaid Ambulift which was used in Wharncliffe and Middlewood Hospitals.

The Mecanaid
The Mecanaid in use on Ward D at Wharncliffe Hospital.

Photo and information extracted from the 'Contact' Middlewood magazine printed in summer 1971. Supplied by Margaret Hague



Mr Jack Spencer
After 22 years service, Jack and his wife moved to St Annes in Lancashire where they spent their retirement. Jack hoped to give more time to his hobby of music.


Miss Rome
Miss ROME. Assistant Matron at Aughton Court.
Miss Rome commenced her service at Middlewood in 1934 and after qualifying in 1938 became successively a staff Nurse and ward Sister. After three years break from service, she returned to Middlewood in 1960 where she was appointed Assistant Matron to the Aughton Court Hospital and stayed until retirement.


Photo and information extracted from the 'Contact' Middlewood magazine printed in summer 1971. Supplied by Margaret Hague



Administration block
The Administration building in 1992.   Photo: Luis Arroyo

I have received several e-mails enquiring about my connection with this hospital. Well, I started to work here in 1991 as a part time House Keeper. At the time, many wards and buildings within the hospital site were already closed. The reallocation of existing patients to other parts of the city was in full swing. I think this legal process was called "Care in the community". I have to admit now that one of my biggest regret in photography was not being able to record the life inside these magnificent buildings. I did not see any significant importance then.

Hello, this is me in 1991
My identification badge at the time.

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