Re: [Histonet] Re: Polyester wax (with earlier citations)

From:Paul Bradbury

Hi Steve,

I was the Chief Tech at Nottingham City Hospital, so I knew all the 
staff at Queen's Medical Centre. I know Neil Hand well, he started as a 
student at QMC while I was at the City. Alan Stevens, Janet Palmer, 
Keith Miller, the brothers Keith and Clive Gordon were all good friends 
of mine.Before the existing building was built, the Pathology Dept was 
housed in a row of ex-army huts. This was a very humble beginning for 
what is now a very well respected department. John Bancroft was the 
Chief Tech back in those days. We used to teach nightschool together in 
the labs at QMC or the City. This was always followed by several pints 
at the hospital pub ... that's another feature of hospital life that 
sadly seems to have gone. Darts tourmaments between the two labs were a 
regular event.

Thinking about old pathologists reminded me of one at the City. The 
first automated knife sharpener we got was the original Shandon Elliot, 
this was the highlight of the department. This old pathologist was so 
excited about this new equipment that in his rush to see it he backed 
into two cars parked outside the lab, and fell over the curb. He then 
proceeded to sit on a stool and watch the plate rotate and the knife 
flip from side to side for the next four hours. Unsophisticated times.

Food was big thing in our lab too. One of the staff always went to get 
tea and bacon sandwiches at 10 o'clock, these were then eaten while 
cutting sections. Getting bacon grease on the slides was sure way to 
make sure the sections floated off later.

A dress code was in effect in our lab too. Shirt and tie was the rule of 
the day. Suits were the standard, apart from Saturdays when we wore 
sports jackets (more casual). We worked alternate Saturdays, just until 
lunch time, to get any urgent specimens done. One very quiet morning, we 
made a cannon from a length of 1" glass tube, a length of hose and the 
CO2 tank from the freezing microtome, bals of wax were the ammunition. 
Boy, did that thing work well!

They were the days ...

Cheers,  Paul

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