Nurse Margaret Crowley

Memories of Nurse Margaret Crowley

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Miss Margaret Crowley 1912- 2001

My aunt, Margaret Crowley, trained as a nurse at Stobhill Hospital and nursed in Mearnskirk Hospital from 1934.

The hospital, which was originally known as Mearnskirk Hospital for Children opened in 1930 and was originally intended to treat children suffering from tuberculosis (TB), which was prevalent in the first half of the 20th century.



Theatre Sister At Mearnskirk

Throughout her long life my aunt often recounted incidents and details about her life at the hospital. It was clearly more than a place to work - it was a way of life - and she felt privileged to work there, first as a theatre nurse and later as a ward sister in charge of one of the male TB wards. One of the operations performed at the hospital was straightening the legs of those who had rickets. In the 1930s, Rickets (softening of the bones) caused by poor nutrition and lack of sunshine, was prevalent in the over crowded cities in Scotland.


The condition results in deformity of the bones and my aunt recounted to me the number of children who had rickets and who were admitted to the hospital to have their legs straightened surgically. Afterwards the children spent some time in the hospital recuperating in the fresh air and benefiting from a good diet.  Mearnskirk was out in the countryside and the wards had doors leading to south facing open air verandas.


Laboratory Technician at Mearnskirk

My aunt herself contracted tuberculosis while working at the hospital. After recuperation at home, Dr. Wilson, the medical superintendent, arranged for her to train as a laboratory technician at Mearnskirk. (There was no formal certification at this time). After many years at Mearnskirk, she held posts as a Laboratory Technician at the Elder Cottage Hospital, Govan, and then in the Southern General Hospital, in the Bacteriology Laboratory. She always continued to speak very highly and often about Dr.Wilson, the Chief Medical Superintendent, his title was always given. She also spoke highly about many other doctors, especially Dr. Dale, who succeeded Dr. Wilson on his death in 1946.

Dr Wilson 3rd from right front row & Dr Dale centre second row


Social Life

There were wonderful staff dances. She would invite her brother Jerry to these dances as her partner. These were occasions on which to dress formally and she referred to them often. She ‘lived in’ and only went home at the weekend. The journey took her up to Mearns Cross. Mearns was still in the countryside then. On the way the bus passed Rouken Glen Park. This was a park to which people would walk to from the north side of the city at the weekend or during the summer!


Stella K. Neil (February 2010)



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