X is for X-Rays

X is for X-Rays

This is Leeds Chest Clinic where I worked for six years in the 1970’s. The building looks a bit lop sided as a piece was lopped off this left hand side when Vicar Lane was widened.
It was a very awkward place to work in, lots of steps! The x rays were stored in the basement which was ruled over my Mr Lyndon Fitz-Payne. He was well in his 70’s, very deaf and one of the old school.
The attics had older records stored and what had been a caretakers flat was our rest room. There was a bathroom and I have been known to soak my feet in there, though I never took a bath!
I presume it has been updated (though it is a listed building) because the Gents lavatories were up a flight of stairs and the ladies down in a small cellar. Any patients who could not manage the stairs had to use a bottle or a bedpan!
Staff were x-rayed each year and tested for TB. When I first joined the staff my Heaf test was positive , as it had been at school, so I was saved the BCG jab. Later my Heaf was a bit borderline so as we worked with TB positive patients I had to have the BCG. As I still had some immunity my arm swelled up like a long fat sausage. Travelling to and from Leeds each day was a nightmare. I had to try to get a seat with my left arm to the window so as not to be knocked. We were living at Rodley and I used the West Riding, Red Keighley busses from the Vicar Lane Bus Station. They were the old rattle and roll kind, more like a fairground ride than a bus.
We were right in the city centre, with the Market for vegetables and Lewis’s food hall a stones throw away there was no problems with shopping.
I wanted to work part time and so I had to move on to pastures new. I still remember the vinegary smell of the x rays but I’m glad not to be lugging them about!


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