Wednesday, 8 December 2010
Dr. Jonathan Atkinson Harrison & Family of Hazelwood
I have just received the above photograph along with the below communication with regards Dr. Harrison and the Harrison family and any further information would be warmly welcomed, especially by John Blake. Please contact me if you can provide any further information.
Have just stumbled across your site as I have been trying to research the background to my great grandfather and his sons. He was Jonathan Atkinson Harrison, and I believe he set up the first GP surgery in Haslingden, first in Regent Street, and then at Hazelwood, on Bury Road. He was the town Medical Officer. He was a farmer’s son, originally from Warcop in Westmorland. He married Margaret Whitaker, a mill owner’s daughter in Haslingden. He died in 1905. His eldest son, John Atkinson Harrison carried on the practice until he died in 1920. I attach a family photo, taken in the garden at Hazlewood, probably in the 1890’s
I have quite a lot more information if you are interested, and I would love to know if any of you readers have any recollections relating to the Harrisons.
John Harrison Blake
And below is a photograph of Dr John A. Harrison, the eldest son of Jonathan.
And here is another photograph showing Dr. Harrison with the St. Johns Ambulance
Could it be possible that Dr. John A. Harrison had the first motor car in Haslingden? Yes he did and here is a photo of the chassis of that car:
His younger brother was William Sandilands Harrison (John Harrison Blake's grandfather) who joined the Army. He was one of the team that developed typhoid vaccine before WW1. He became Medical Officer in Jamaica, but sadly caught one of the diseases he was researching, and came home to die in Haslingden in 1915. Another brother was Lawrence Whitaker Harrison, who was also in the RAMC and he was a pioneer of VD treatment for soldiers in WW1, and became a major expert on the subject. There is a wing of St. Thomas’ Hospital in London named after him.
Generally the family seems to move away from Haslingden after Dr John died, quite young, in 1920. His sister Beatrice had worked with him as a nurse. She moved to the Lake District, and his wife Etta (nee Worsley) moved to Scotland, I think.
(Notice of the death of Dr. Harrison, Taken from Haslingden Guardian Friday August 25th 1905)
The Late Dr. Harrison, J.P. A Zealous Public Officer
Dr Harrison being greatly respected by the people of Haslingden, where he had attained considerable popularity as a skilled medical practitioner, and as the medical officer for the borough for a lengthy period. Dr. Harrison who was sixty-two years of age at his death, was educated at Appleby Grammar School, while later, he served his apprenticeship with Dr. Blades at Kirkby Stephen. Proceeding to Glasgow he subsequently graduated and obtained the degrees of Licentiate of the Society of Apothecaries (1866), Bachelor of Medicine and Master in Surgery (1867), and Doctor of Medicine (1870). In 1866 or 1867 he commenced to practice in Hawes, North Yorkshire, but in 1872 he took over the Haslingden practice of the late Dr. Binns. Subsequently he married a daughter of the late Mr. John Whittaker of Waterfoot House, Haslingden, and since that happy event he devoted himself to the duties of a Haslingden citizen and displayed a keen and intelligent interest in local affairs. In the year 1873 Dr. Harrison received an appointment to the Rural Sanitary Authority under the Poor law Union regime. At the first meeting of the Local Board on September 9th, 1875, he was appointed medical officer pro tem, and in January 1876, he received the full appointment. In September 9th 1885, Dr. Macpherson was appointed medical officer, and on September 16th 1889, Dr. Harrison became a member of the Local Board. Following upon the subsequent death of Dr. Macpherson, Dr. Harrison was again appointed medical officer, on June 19th 1890, when he resigned his seat as a member of the Local Board in order to take the appointment. As medical officer for the borough, Dr. Harrison displayed commendable zeal, and he never hesitated to indulge in straight speaking when he conceived that the best interests of the people of the borough were endangered.. Although probably for economical reasons, some of his recommendations were disregarded by the Health Committee, he was so persistent in his advocacy of sanitary improvements that he gained the admiration and esteem of the members of the local authority and several of his suggestions were ultimately adopted, notably that referring to the discontinuance of the old smallpox hospital at Clod, which he denounced in and out of season as totally unfit for the accommodation of patients. In 1884 Dr. Harrison was deservedly honoured by being placed on the Commission of the Peace, and since that time he regularly and sealously attended to his duties as a magistrate. Another of his local offices was that of police surgeon. He was also a Past Master of Wolsey lodge of Freemasons, Manchester. Dr. Harrison was a staunch adherent of the Church of England and practically ever since the formation of Laneside Parish, he has held the honourable position of churchwarden, in which capacity he frequently elicited warm tributes from the vicar and parishioners of Laneside. As a total abstainer, Dr. Harrison evinced considerable interest in temperance work and he was a trustee of the Haslingden Blue Ribbon Club, upon which the flag was hoisted at half-mast on receipt of the news of his death. For some years, one of his sons, Dr. John Harrison, has been associated with him in his practice, while another son has attained recognition as an able member of the Army Medical Staff. Dr. Harrison is survived by his widow, five sons and three daughters. (Thanks to Jackie Ramsbottom for sending in this information)
Was used as a Doctors Surgery ever since the establishment by Dr. Jonathan Atkinson Harrison in 1881 (at Hazelwood, although he personally had established his practice much earlier from Regent Street). Hazelwood continued as a Doctors Surgery right up until 1985 (a period of 104 years). Hazelwood in the mid to late 1900s was the home of Dr. Arthur Ramsden and Coun. Dorothy Ramsden, but was also a Doctors surgery for Dr. Ramsden. In the latter years (70s and 80s) it became a partnered practice which included: Dr Arthur Ramsden, Dr. Richard Pettigrew, Dr. Marsden and Dr. Rishton. The practice at Hazelwood closed its doors in 1985, when it moved to the current Haslingden Health Centre on Manchester Road. Since 1989, Hazelwood has been used for a Nursing Home for several years. After which it closed down and was empty for sometime and in more later years has been the Offices to a Contracts Company.
Kathleen Eva has kindly sent in the following information (6th Jan 2011) I have some information to add to the passage about the doctor's on Bury Rd.
During the early 1950's just after the N.H.S. was formed, there was a Dr Weir who had that practice, then he was joined by Dr Armistead. Dr Weir later retired (I think) and Dr Armistead was joined by Dr Ramsden. Dr Armistead left Haslingden about 1960/61, when Dr Ramsden took over the running of the practice. The surgery was in the celler of the house, you went in by the side door and turned left down the stairs, you all sat round the outside of the room till it was your turn. Somtimes we would move up as people went into the Dr.when it was your turn you were called through to the passage by Hilda the receptionist where you waited till Dr was ready for you. I remember it as always seeming to be dark.
I think these dates are about right , Dr's Armistead and Ramsden were my doctors when I lived in Haslingden. -Kathleen.
Below is a couple of photos of Hazelwood from back in 2003. When the photos were taken it had just closed down after having been a "nursing home". The old garden which lay to the South East side of the building enclosed within its own perimeter wall bordering both Park St and Bury Road, has all been dug out, and is now a car park for the Offices. Also a extension has been attached to the South West side of the building.
And also information about Doctor Carr who practiced at No.4 Helmshore Road.I kindly received a email today (12th Feb 2011) from Michael Carr (Doctor Carr's son):
"Good afternoon Bryan.
I grew up in Haslingden and lived there until 1966 when at the age of eight the family moved to the North East.
So why my discord to you? – well my father was a doctor and had his practice in Haslingden at No.4 Helmshore Road.
He may also be remembered for being the local Conservative Councillor and we have many press cuttings from his days; it seemed the local papers were plastered with his picture all the time or maybe we were just a big nepotistic! Lol!
My father, alas died some ten years ago at the age of 85 and now rests quietly on a hillside in Southern Eire. Mother was/is some twenty years younger than may Dad and still lives happily there.