Ann Williams

I joined the staff of the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Rhyl in 1965 and started my training in 1966. When working in the Alex we usually lived in Dolawen Nurses Home where the School of Nursing was also situated. We had to be in by 10 30pm  and as there were blocks in the windows so that they only opened about three inches it was almost impossible to get in other than through the door. We were not officially allowed out in uniform but did sneak out occasionally – but if caught you ended up in the Matron’s office. I remember Gaynor (Jones) and I being summoned to the office one morning – we had no idea why but assumed it must be for some misdemeanour or other therefore it was a great relief when we got there to be told we were to go to the Town Hall at 2 30pm to promote the Alex Hospital!  Richards Taxis would pick us up at Dolawen to take us to work for the morning shift and they would transport us back again at night. Jackie (Ellis) Gaynor (Jones) and I shared a room at Dolawen for most of the time I was there.  Dolawen had a wonderful large flat roof where we frequently used to sunbathe as long as Mrs. Evans the Home Warden didn’t find out.

I remember when I was in P.T.S.Mr Davies, one of our tutors took us all to Meliden to the sewage works and
water works, it was a bitterly cold day, but it had to be done as it was all part of our training.

Night duty was one nurse per wardwith a sister or staff nurse in charge of the floor.

When working in Abergele Hospital we lived in the Nurses Home there – and it was always possible to get in ‘late’ in Abergele either through the laundry or bathroom windows. I remember onenight when Mary (Brew) and I got caught by the night sister who was waiting for us on the corridor - it was Matron’s office for both of us the following morning.

Abergele Hospital had a number of male staff and Andrew, Stephen and Mike used to play tricks on us. There were small windows above the doors to the rooms and they would get in through these windows when we weren’t there and make apple pie beds or they would hide your bed in various parts of the home so that you had to go searching for the mattress, the pillows and bedding etc. We had lots of fun there and it’s in Abergele that I met my husband Norman when we were both working on Ward 8. He was very good at ‘clearing’ the tables in the Dining Room by telling of his visits to Post Mortems – he thought it was very funny – and
he still does!

Happy memories indeed.

Ann Williams. (Jones)