On our charity website, we keep an archive of stories of former patients and staff, and we've just added former nurse Juliet Priest's* recollections of Mildmay in the 1970s to our Staff Stories pages.
Juliet told us:
I've been quietly celebrating the fact that 40 years ago, I completed my training at Mildmay Mission Hospital, and I'm still going strong!
It was a wonderful training for me in more ways than nursing - I was a hippy converted to Jesus with very few practical or people skills. They were important formative years both as a Christian and a young woman. We had to lead a little morning and evening service on the wards each day and pray with patients before they went for surgery. How politically incorrect that would be today!
I have some great memories:
matron had a white poodle that went everywhere with her, including the ward rounds
the day the building was rocked by a gas explosion across the road. I was in charge of a ward on nights and thought a bomb had gone off in the basement - it was at the height of the Irish Troubles. The noise triggered a fit in one of the patients, but I couldn't get hold of help because the switchboard operator was across the road seeing what was going on!
I well remember Sister Eunice - it was interesting and lovely to read about her life story. She definitely was a little dynamo!
My maiden name was Priest, and in my set were Sheila Bishop and Barbara Monk. Our names were on our nurse's home doors and our rooms next door to each other - a very religious corridor!
I want to give thanks to God for that period in my life and also pray for God's blessing on all the staff and patients at Mildmay that you will continue to receive and share God's love.
Juliet also added:
"I retired in September 2020 after 30 years of being a GP practice nurse (a job I adored!) and 46 years after qualifying as a nurse at Mildmay. I moved to our house in France and had three years of restoration. I loved being in Brittany, but I was really missing my daughter and my friends. I moved back to the UK only two weeks ago!"
We wonder if any of her former colleagues remember her and would like to get in touch. So much was lost, misplaced, or put away when the NHS closed Mildmay Hospital in 1982, and we need your help to restore the archive of our unique institution.
Find out more about Juliet's story on her page here.
*As she was known then.