Buckingham Road

The maternity hospital

By Belinda Lumsden

 
Photo:Buckingham Road

Buckingham Road

Photo by Tony Mould

A formidable character

My twin sister and I were born at the Maternity Hospital in Buckingham Road on June 27th 1956. Being a twin birth, the consultant, Dr Constance Benyon, was in attendance. She apparently was a formidable character but an excellent obstetrician. As a midwife myself, I have read some of her articles from the 1950s and she was very pro-natural birth. Her views were probably influenced by the fact that she at least once carried working on the delivery suite right up until going into labour.

Do you remember the blue or pink ribbons? If you can share your memories with us, please leave a comment below.

Shaped my choice of career?

As we lived in Buckingham Road, when I grew up, I did a paper round from Tuppen’s the newsagent in Upper Gloucester Road. I actually delivered papers to mothers in the Maternity Unit. I remember the Nightingale post-natal ward, with the babies in calico cots in a line down the middle of the ward. They were only moved to the end of their mother's beds at visiting time. Blue or pink ribbons were tied to the top of the cots. Maybe those visits helped shape my future career.

This page was added on 20/04/2014.
Comments about this page

I dont think the building shown is the maternity hospital!  I think the site of the maternity hospital is further along the road, however the original building was demolished, and replaced with a concrete structure!

Editor's note: The photograph is not of the maternity hospital as it is not there any more. That is why this page is in the Buckingham Road section and entitled 'Buckingham Road'. The subheading 'The maternity hospital' indicates the content of the reminiscence. Jennifer ;0)

By Peter Groves (20/04/2014)

I was born in Buckingham Road hospital in 1947, I think it was called Sussex Maternity Hospital then, and my four brothers and sisters were also born there, the youngest sibling in 1968.  The last time I went there was in 1970 when my nephew was born.  I remember the same set up with the cots all lined up in the middle of the ward, and what stayed in my memory was the fact that smoking was allowed in the ward, with one of the visitors smoking very close to my sister's new baby son, and my sister must have realised how bad it was even then for a new baby to be inhaling cigarette smoke, and she used very colourful language to tell him to stop smoking around her baby. I don't really know what the smoking laws are in the UK, as I left to go to Australia soon after my nephew was born, My son was born six months after in a little Australian hospital, and smoking was banned.  No doubt the UK stopped people smoking anywhere in hospitals many years ago, thank goodness.

By Sandie (21/04/2014)

My late mother, Mary Doogan was a midwife there up until it closed. I was born there in 1957 and my brother, John was born there in 1955. We used to visit the Christmas Day babies each year! Mum always said the hospital was haunted and said it was a very eerie place to work in at night! 

By Maggie Williams (nee Doogan) (11/05/2014)

I was born at the Sussex maternity hospital in 1958.  Old family photo taken by my grandmother.

By Malcolm Marshall (13/07/2014)

Nope, that photo is definitely not of the maternity hospital! I was born there on June 21st 1968.

By Uncle Ruckus (13/07/2014)

I was born at Sussex Maternity Home in 1945. I am told that the Latin quotation over the door read "Absque Labore Nihil" as it had been a boys' school before that!

By Rosie Rushton (14/07/2014)

The [then] Brighton Grammar School was at that spot until it moved to its location on Dyke Road in 1913, now BHASVIC.  Absque Labore Nihil ["Without work, nothing"] was the school motto. At the Old Boys Reunion last Saturday it was sung with great gusto. I was at the school 1961-66. There is a plaque hidden away on the adjacent building to Mr Marshall the headmaster at Buckingham Rd; the boarding house at Brighton & Hove Grammar was known as Marshall House.

By Geoffrey Mead (15/07/2014)

Hi there Belinda, I think I have the right person. Is your twin sister's name Vanessa? I used to do a paper round (am and pm) for the newsagents in Buckingham Road (near the corner with Guildford Road) and I also used to work in the grocer's Shop when it was run by Alf Portnoy. I lived at number 37. How the devil are you and your sister? Do you also have a brother?

By Graham Maskell (18/11/2014)

I was born in this hospital in 1969.  How things have changed! My Dad wasn't allowed in with my Mum whilst she was in labour and she stayed in hospital for 2 weeks after a normal delivery. And I have had the pleasure of working with the lovely Belinda Lumsden. 

By Katie Mciver (19/06/2016)

I was born in this hospital in 1969.  How things have changed! My Dad wasn't allowed in with my Mum whilst she was in labour and she stayed in hospital for two weeks after a normal delivery. And I have had the pleasure of working with the lovely Belinda Lumsden. 

By Katie Mciver (20/06/2016)

Late reply to Graham Maskell -yes my twin sister is Vanessa and Brian my brother. We all still in the Brighton area but a lot older! Did you go to Brighton technical college?
Hi to Katie, very nice of you to mention me. I am still a midwife in my dotage working at Worthing hospital.

By Belinda Lumsden (21/06/2016)

Dear Simon,
Sorry but we have had to delete your post. We are no longer allowing the posting of requests to find third parties, as sharing information like this breaches their privacy. We recommend you try social media websites if you want to track old friends or neighbours.
Comments Editor

By Simon Daly (14/10/2016)

Dear Stephen,
Sorry but we have had to delete your post. We are no longer allowing the posting of requests to find third parties, as sharing information like this breaches their privacy. We recommend you try social media websites if you want to track old friends or neighbours.
Comments Editor

By Stephen Daly (14/10/2016)

Reply to Belinda Lumsden. Hi Belinda, yes I used to go to the Secondary Technical School. I remember waiting at the bottom of Elm Grove in Lewes Road with you and Vanessa for the 38 bus to take us home. I now live in Lancing and have been married for 39 years. Hope you are all well. Just thinking, the time we are talking about is about 1971 that's 45 years ago....Good Grief.

 

 

By Graham Maskell (30/12/2016)

I was born in the Buckingham Rd Hospital in Feb 1947. Very cold year I am told.

By Brian Reynolds (29/08/2017)

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.