School Needles 1957

Now I could be wrong, but the nurse would shove that needle in with all her might and half the time you thought she was using a spear.

I had a needle at the doctors the other day and it brought back memories of the 1950s.

In these days I went to Western Board School in Lower Penman Street at North Shields and every now and again we would have a letter to take home saying we had to have a jab for this or a jab for that.  Where we were sent up to was the Clinic just up from Christ Church on Preston Road.  It was a pokey little place that was an off-shot of the hospital.

Now we always got those immortal words – it will not hurt a bit, but there was no change of needle after each one in this day.  If you were at the back of the line and had about thirty in front of you by the time your turn came the needle must have been well and truly blunt.  Now I could be wrong, but the nurse would shove that needle in with all her might and half the time you thought she was using a spear.  There you are, she would say, that never hurt a bit, get yourself a sweet out of the bowl which was always there and you will not feel a thing after that.  “Feel a thing” was her polite way of saying if your arm had not fell off everything would be fine.

I suppose it was just one of those things you went through as a kid but no matter what anyone says it terrified you next time you were lined up for another jab.  This was definitely not one of the happiest times for us school kids.

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