OldCiren - Cirencester, Gloucestershire, UK
Modern day Ciren has about 25 GP’s from 5 Surgeries who cover the town. Back in the 50’s and 60’s you could count the number on one hand, and you knew them all by name – formal name that is. Doctors were once an important fixtures in the lives of their patients; many of which were brought into the World by the same Doctor that they then went on to see for many years in times of sickness and ill health. Judging by the responses to my recent posting of pictures on OldCiren (Facebook), of the “Old School” Doctors of Ciren: Dr Hope-Simpson, Dr Grey, Dr Winters, Dr Westwood, Dr Guest; many people not only remember these Doctors, but still hold them in great affection as being once friends-to-the-family or people that they regarded as personal confidants to whom they would share their secrets and personal worries. It was a time when unless you were fortunate to own a telephone or have one at the end of the street, you simply walked into the surgery and asked to see your personal Doctor. You might have had to wait for a while in the waiting room, or be asked to come back later, but when you did, the Doctor would greet you by name – and ask after your Father or Mother. Rather than a Locum which you might get today, your local Doctor would pay home visits if you were deemed too poorly to leave your bed or in an emergency. I remember once being in the waiting room at 45 Dollar Street and Dr Westwood putting his head round the door to apologise to the patients that he had to dash out to see a patient, but he would be back! We whiled away the hour he was away; reading old copies of National Geographic magazine, Farmer’s Weekly and the last week’s “Standard”.