CH and flu

Share your memories and stories from your days at school, and find out the truth behind the rumours....Remember the teachers and pupils, tell us who you remember and why...

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Great Plum
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Re: CH and flu

Post by Great Plum » Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:53 pm

The school shut down twice whilst I was at ch (between 92 and 99) - on both occasions I think it was on my juniors.

One was for a horrendous run of flu which half the teachers caught, the sicker was full and they may have started using Maine as an overflow - they thought it best to send everyone home for a leave weekend a day or two early - that seemed to fix that.

Another was for a school wide power cut that lasted for more than 24 hours due to a jcb cutting through the main power supply into the school somewhere on little side. After one night of candles and emergency lighting (along with house tutors up all night), they decided to send everyone home as the emergency lighting and fire alarm batteries were running down. Predictably, the lights came on again!

What getting communal flu at ch has meant is that I have only taken 2 days off work sick in 15 years!
Maine B - 1992-95 Maine A 1995-99

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Re: CH and flu

Post by scrub » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:03 am

Huh, I remember that (or a similar) power cut around 94. Killed the hot water system too IIRC which meant I was extra cranky waking people up as I had to have a cold shower rather than a few blessed minutes of hot water to start the day.
Funny how it's things like that I've been able to remember about the place.

Like others, a surprisingly strong immune system was one of the fringe benefits of CH for me. I swear it was the fear of getting stuck in the sicker for more than 10 minutes that made my system work overtime to kill anything off before it could affect me. I really didn't like that place.
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Re: CH and flu

Post by TMF » Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:35 pm

In the 1970s there was a fair amount of vaccinating, experimenting, and observing going on - the school doctor, Hoskins, was responsible. On one occasion Hoskins noted that 15% of those vaccinated suffered reactions:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl ... -0051a.pdf

Here is a list of Hoskin's publications - so you can get a sense of what Hoskins probed:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?te ... _uid=83475

(a bit of psychiatry, spinal column injury, and various vaccination investigations)

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Re: CH and flu

Post by CHAZ » Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:16 pm

There was a mass school vaccination for BCG in the early 80s but during my time can't recall any flu jabs being administered!
Paul Hoskins (son of) was a contemporary of mine...
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Re: CH and flu

Post by J.R. » Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:32 pm

There was some sort of mass school test, (BCG/TB) in the very early 60's. Out of the whole school, I think around six pupils including myself failed to reac correctly to the test and had to all go to Horsham Hospital for deep X/Rays.

It transpired after extensive investigation that I had been in contact with a boy, (same class as me), at my primary school in Farnham, Surrey, who was diagnosed with severe TB, and was treated at the Milford Chest Hospital near Godalming.

I remember Dr Scott telling me that this had rendered me immune to TB. Better safe than sorry, though.

Incidently, I see TB is on the increase again in GB.
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Re: CH and flu

Post by michael scuffil » Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:07 am

I had two inoculations at CH. One was for polio and I think was administered to everyone whose parents consented. It was a jab, not oral, and I remember it because I had a funny turn afterwards and had to lie down on a sicker bed for an hour or so.

The other was a smallpox vaccination. This was just before the Dramatic Society's tour of Holland in 1962. There had been a minor smallpox outbreak in Britain, and the Dutch authorities were demanding that all travellers from Britain be vaccinated.
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Re: CH and flu

Post by sejintenej » Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:32 am

michael scuffil wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:07 am
I had two inoculations at CH. One was for polio and I think was administered to everyone whose parents consented. It was a jab, not oral, and I remember it because I had a funny turn afterwards and had to lie down on a sicker bed for an hour or so.

The other was a smallpox vaccination. This was just before the Dramatic Society's tour of Holland in 1962. There had been a minor smallpox outbreak in Britain, and the Dutch authorities were demanding that all travellers from Britain be vaccinated.
I can't remember any innoculations at CH. I remember having the polio one when the Salk vaccine first came out - there was an epidemic of polio in the late 40s early 50's causing great fear.

I did visit a girl who had just been diagnosed with TB in the hospital in Gib; there were no precautions whatsoever for me.

I had to make a rush business trip and the company sent me to see their doctor - 12 hypodermics lined up and then the polio drops! That included smallpox but several such as TAB which require a series of injections (I was travelling the next day!) and some which were already current.

Another trip I had to land in one city, go by train over mountains and work in a small port; that required three different sets of anti-malaria pills. The crazy thing was that I already had malaria and carried a sort of "universal" pill with me.
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Re: CH and flu

Post by postwarblue » Sat Aug 11, 2018 5:11 pm

I remember a condition of going to CH was that one had to have been vaccinated against smallpox.
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Re: CH and flu

Post by J.R. » Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:38 pm

postwarblue wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 5:11 pm
I remember a condition of going to CH was that one had to have been vaccinated against smallpox.

Quite true Robert.

I remember going with Mum to our GP to have yet another vaccination prior to Horsham and still have the marks on my arm to show for it.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: CH and flu

Post by sejintenej » Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:48 am

J.R. wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:38 pm
postwarblue wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 5:11 pm
I remember a condition of going to CH was that one had to have been vaccinated against smallpox.
Quite true Robert.
I remember going with Mum to our GP to have yet another vaccination prior to Horsham and still have the marks on my arm to show for it.
According to her my mother didn't want me to have an unsightly scar so, when I was a baby, it was done in my lower leg - it is over 3 cm long and very narrow.
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Re: CH and flu

Post by wurzel » Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:32 pm

in the mid 80's we were all used as a human trial for a drug called Amantadine (with parents permission) I cant remember if it was a double blind trial with some getting placebos (it was a a small red tablet) or just we all got the drug - i do remember a graph of admission to the infirmary for flu over the proceeding 4 year plus that year being posted on a cupboard door in the lab above Kirby's lair. It was striking how it cut off transmision - pity was it made everyone feel like they had mild flu so I guess that is why it did not become widespread (although i believe it is now use din some parkinsons cases)

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Re: CH and flu

Post by J.R. » Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:23 pm

wurzel wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:32 pm
in the mid 80's we were all used as a human trial for a drug called Amantadine (with parents permission) I cant remember if it was a double blind trial with some getting placebos (it was a a small red tablet) or just we all got the drug - i do remember a graph of admission to the infirmary for flu over the proceeding 4 year plus that year being posted on a cupboard door in the lab above Kirby's lair. It was striking how it cut off transmision - pity was it made everyone feel like they had mild flu so I guess that is why it did not become widespread (although i believe it is now use din some parkinsons cases)
Sounds like shades of Porton Down to me, and we all know where that lead !
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Re: CH and flu

Post by MrEd » Sun Aug 26, 2018 8:47 pm

I recall, probably 1981/1982, that there was a severe outbreak of illness at CH and the top floor of the Sicker was used and it was rumoured to be at the point of overflowing. The outbreak came just after an unusual change in the food, some round pies with minced beef (horse?) and a flaky pastry which were comparatively tasty appeared, a noticeable change from Mince Cobbler, braised liver (the only liver I have ever been able to eat, the offal flavour was almost gone) etc. and then almost everyone was ill. The message came out that the pies were not to blame, but rumours persisted that the School had been used to test a 'flu strain or vaccine. However, when in the Sicker a few months later, I did glimpse a memo about a 'flu outbreak that was identified as of a strain that particularly affected 13-25 year olds. My first thought was 'How convenient' but looking back, it would most likely be a question of looking for something where it's most likely to be found as CH was almost ideal for spreading disease with some many mingling in close proximity.

I also remember the BCG injections for new boys, I had already had one before CH (my mother had had TB as a child), and I was excused a second dose.

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Re: CH and flu

Post by JustRob » Mon Aug 27, 2018 6:48 pm

michael scuffil wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:39 am
There was a severe outbreak in1957 - no vaccines then. I did not catch it and remember helping in the infirmary. Several houses were used for emergency beds. Can anyone shed any more information about this? My memory is poor.
Er yes, because I apparently started it. Anyway, at the time that's what Dr. Scott told me. He also told me not to mention it to anyone for fear of being found hanging from a tree in The Avenue. Here's how it happened. My father was a porter on London Bridge Station, which was probably a pretty easy place to catch whatever bugs were doing the rounds. At the beginning of term he wasn't feeling well that day and stayed in bed while my mother took me to catch the school special train. By the time that he found out that he had the flu I was already at school and soon fell ill with it myself. After that the bug spread like wildfire. As the first to get it I was also one of the first to recover, so experienced the aftermath amongst those left still standing. I was in Lamb B, which was taken over for use as an emergency ward, so I was relocated to a bed in a house on the other side of The Avenue.

There was another outbreak later on, which wasn't my doing, but I had to be the bane of Dr. Scott's life yet again. On that occasion while ill I ended up in Lamb B itself, which was again being used as an emergency ward, but while there I mysteriously developed a rash of spots as well. I was rushed off to the infirmary and put in isolation in one of the single bed side wards. Dr. Scott suspected that I had German measles, although how I had got that while everyone else had the flu was a mystery. As a consequence I spent that epidemic in a comfortable side ward in the infirmary being tended by the nurses while everyone else was coping as well as they could in the rudimentary conditions in the house dormitories. It just proves that there's no justice.
Lamb B 1956-63

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Re: CH and flu

Post by ZeroDeConduite » Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:57 pm

I too was immune to that epidemic, but I suspect Peele A was too far from the centre of things for me to be involved in the care of the infected.
PrepA 1951-2 Peele A 1953-60

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