When I stayed in hospital for operations I used to run messages for the staff, just to keep me occupied.
Editor’s Note: Derek was born in 1940 in Wallsend and took part in the Hand in Hand Reminiscence project in 2008
I had trouble with my eyes when I was a child and spent a lot of time going to the eye hospital in Newcastle. It was two houses converted into a hospital in St Mary’s Place, Newcastle. When I stayed in hospital for operations I used to run messages for the staff, just to keep me occupied. When I got home again I would be spoiled by my family and get treats.
I missed some school because of the operations, but not really enough to spoil my education. It went on from me being four to nine years old, when I was at Richardson Dees School on the High Street.
The family doctors were Doctors Ross and Towers, in Park Road, Wallsend and most of my treatment took place before the National Health Service started. It needed to be paid for through insurance and my mam and dad paid a collector every week for this sort of thing.