Black Notley Hospital

A Century of Service

A book on the history of this hospital is now available, covering the period from the opening in 1904, to the close in 1998. Two hundred pages of text and black & white photographs, softback.

The book can be obtained by mail order, price 5.75 in the UK. Price correct at July 2002.

For more information, including overseas orders, please

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Information on the book follows ......

Front Cover

Black Notley Parish Council 1998

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission, in writing, of the publisher.

ISBN 0 9533402 0 1

First published 1998

Published by: Black Notley Parish Council

134 Witham Road, Black Notley, Braintree, Essex, CM7 8LN

Printed by: PressXpress,

Fox Meadow, 23 Courtauld Road, Braintree, Essex, CM7 9BD

Cover photograph "Black Notley Hospital" 7th July 1988, PhotoVisual

315 London Road, Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex SS0 7BX

FOREWORD by Peter Turner

Black Notley Hospital has been part of the local community for almost a century, providing health care to literally thousands of people in Essex and beyond. A centre of excellence and the focus for pioneering treatments and great public service. A place of employment, with staff recruited from many parts of the globe. As the following pages will tell, a place of great ingenuity, real dedication and a sense of one big family.

With closure on the horizon, I suggested to colleagues on Black Notley Parish Council that we must find a way of paying tribute to this great institution. We invited some staff, past and present to a tea party at the former Hospital Recreation Hall, now a thriving community centre. Bringing former colleagues together, plus a sprinkling of old photographs soon generated support for the idea of a book on the history of the hospital, plus a steady supply of written and photographic contributions.

The Parish Council readily supported this initiative and a small project team was "volunteered", which brought together a rich mixture of skills and experience. Denis Dunn, FRCS, Ann Wood, Clerk to the Parish Council, former hospital administrator Doug Wellington, Liz Hooper, Chair of the Black Notley Community Association, who completed much of her nursing career at the hospital, fellow parish councillors Maurice Boutell, Bill Harris, Gordon Redman and myself at the helm.

It has been a real pleasure to lead such a hard working team and to receive so much support and contributions from staff, patients and friends, both past and present.

This book is a tribute to Black Notley Hospital, now closed, but still remembered in the hearts and minds of so many people.

Cllr. Peter Turner Chair, Black Notley Parish Council,

June 1998


Mr. Alvin

Jan Archer

Dr. J. R. Axon

Justin Bones

Mrs. J. Boutell

Maurice Boutell

Norman Butcher

Brian Chinnery

Colin Clarke

V. R. Davey

Mr. Denis Dunn FRCS

Renate Falk

George Frostick

Mrs. Phyllis Game

Pat Halden

Leif Haug

Mrs. Anne Harden

Bill Harris

Beti Hastings

Mary Hayden

Margaret Higginbottom

Joan Hodges

Mr. M. Honeyball

Liz Hooper

Evelyn Hornsby

Mr. A. C. Hume FRCS

Miss Mavis Ingham

Mrs. Jebbett

Mrs. E. Johnson

Allen S. Jones

Mavis Jones

Roland Jones FRCS

Ian Lawson

Janet Lindsell

Mrs. Gillian M. Marshall

Mr. Douglas Millar FRCS

Mrs. A. V. Mullane

Mrs. R. Mulryan

Dr. James Mulryan

Mrs. S. Partridge

Wendy Partridge

Ann Pease

Brian Pease

Sandra Peters

Dr. Ian Prentice

David Pritchard

Alan Purdy

Pat Purdy

Dorothy Redman

Gordon Redman

Norman Reid

Mrs. H. Revell

Denise Riglin

Sue Rowe

Mrs. B. Sanders

Mrs. S. Stewart

Leslie Strong

Ann Twohey

Peter Turner

Doug Wellington

Mr. A. Wheal

Ron Wildin

Derek Wiles

Paul and Helen Wilkin

Ann C. Wood

Mr. J. Wooding

Olive Wooding

Cohn Wright

Kate Wright


All the staff at the Essex Record Office

Jean Grice - Braintree District Museum

Robert Rose - Braintree District Museum

Staff at Braintree and Chelmsford Libraries

BBC Essex

Photovisual of Southend

Hospital Radio Braintree

Mid Essex Hospitals NHS Trust

Black Notley Community Association

Mike Letch of LetchWood Associates

Braintree District Council

Black Notley Parish Council

The Essex Chronicle

Black Notley Hospital Staff

East Anglian Daily Times

M. Nichols

Nursing Times

Essex County Newspapers

British Orthopaedic Association

Ray Studios Ltd.

And to the many people who have encouraged us to complete this publication

Main Time History


Hospital opens as a smallpox isolation hospital, run by the Braintree Urban District and Braintree Rural District Joint Hospital Board.


Essex County Council's scheme for the treatment of Tuberculosis is framed and the first sanatorium is established at Black Notley. The accommodation is for female patients only. Plans to build a large new County Sanatorium are put aside during World War I.


Sanatorium enlarged to hold 24 patients.


Foundation stones laid for new sanatorium on 3rd July and for King Edward VII Memorial Hall on 3rd August.


The new sanatorium is opened on 26th April by the Minister of Health, the Rt. Hon. Arthur Greenwood


Additional extensions to increase accommodation to 300 beds, are opened on 7th July by the Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley Wood. A new Nurses' Home is part of the enlargement, with accommodation for Sisters and nurses, 57 in all.

1939 to 1946

A complete emergency hospital is erected by the Ministry of Works, on behalf of the Ministry of Health on an adjoinirig field. This includes 19 wards, operating theatre, X-Ray and similar departments.


The general wards go out of use with the discharge of war-time patients. General Nursing Council agrees to the recognition of the hospital as a full training school.


With improved nurse recruitment, new wards are gradually established and by 1950 there were wards for general surgery and medicine, orthopaedics, paediatrics and gynaecology. Some of the disused general wards re-opened for the treatment of Tuberculosis to cope with continued heavy demand.


First orthopaedic cases received from The London hospital, Whitechapel and the link with that most famous of orthopaedic hospitals is forged. Patients admitted for treatment of Tuberculosis from Malta GC. Staff recreation hall opened.


Plastic surgery commenced at Black Notley.


With the closing of Alexander Hospital, Luton for the treatment of physically handicapped children, the remaining children are transferred to Black Notley to set up the Physically Handicapped Children's Unit (Lee Lodge).


With the rapid decline in incidence of respiratory Tuberculosis due to new drugs becoming available, the unit is closed and the remaining patients transferred to Broomfield Hospital.


Sick wards at St. Albrights Hospital, Colchester are closed and 72 geriatric patients transferred to Black Notley and a Geriatric Unit is set up.


The word Black is removed from the hospital title and it becomes Notley Hospital, in order to aid staff recruitment. The move proved unsuccessful and on 1 st November 1974, the hospital reverted to its former name of Black Notley Hospital.


Regional Orthopaedic Centre set up at Black Notley. Operating theatres rebuilt and opened by Sir Harry Platt, Bart.,MD,MS,FRCS


The Accident and Emergency Department closes and the hospital ceases to have an emphasis on local care.


Medical and surgical beds are transferred to the new Colchester District General Rospital leaving just 235 in orthopaedics, geriatrics, rheumatology and rehabilitation. Lee Lodge provides an assessment centre for handicapped children.


The management of Black Notley Hospital transferred from North Essex to Mid Essex Health Authority.


In December, the new building is commenced at Broomfield Hospital to replace the Mid Essex orthopaedic wards and the rheumatology ward based at Black Notley Hospital.

February 1998

The last patients are transferred to Broomfield Hospital

13th March 1998

The site is sold to the Cofton Group for development.


Essex County M. 0. H. Reports

Prosperity & Poverty, Rural Essex 1700-1815 by AFJ Brown

Kellys Directory 1914-1937

Braintree Local Board of Health Minutes 1868-1894

Braintree Urban District Council Minutes 1894-1900

Thirty Years of Public Health in Essex (1919-1949) by Wm Bullough

Programme of the Opening of the County Sanatorium - 1930

Programme of the Opening of the Extensions - 1937

Echoes of the Great War - The Diary of the Revd. Andrew Clark 1914-1919 Edited by James Munson