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Doctors Fees

Wilf Bells article on Insurance agents in the village and Alf Rothwells reply got me thinking who our Insurance man was and I cannot remember. However I can remember the collector who used to call for our Medical Fees. This was before the founding of the National Health Service in 1948 when medical care became free to all. Prior to that medical care had to be paid for. The man that collected from my home was a Mr. Foster who lived in Hall Avenue. Our doctor was Dr. Dickison whose surgery was in a front room near the top of Arthur Street. He was a great man and always had a cigarette in his mouth, even in the surgery. He wore round 1930s style glasses, a pin striped suit, usually brown and always wore a Homburg style hat. My mother tells me that he visited our house at 29 Harvey Street, New Brancepeth the day I was to be baptised at St. Josephs church at Ushaw Moor. My mother was torn between the names Anthony and Terence and could not make up her mind which name to choose. Dr. Dickison suggested I was named Brian after his son and so I got my name from Dr. Dickisons suggestion.   I am off at a tangent again.   Another caller at our house was Mr. Wilson from Bearpark Colliery.  He was the collecting agent for Doggarts Store which was situated in the Market Place in Durham. I think it is now Boots the Chemists.

I can only remember Doggarts selling clothing but I stand to be corrected.  Mr Wilson was the Dad of Betty Wilson who became a teacher at St. Josephs at the same time as Joyce Quinn arrived at the School.  This must have been in the late forties.  I have gone off at a tangent fron Insurance agents in the village but I hope my memories jog a few more memories and they end up on the Web Site.    Mr Welsh or Dickie Welsh as he was better known was the Council Rent Collector and lived in Whitehouse Court next to Tom Gibb.  Does he jog anyones memory?

Brian Mc.

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  1. Alf Rothwell
    September 25, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    I can remember Dickie Welsh he lived in 23 Whitehouse Court, The Gibbs 24 and I lived in 25.The green in Whitehouse Court was fenced off and we often climbed over to play football or cricket, it was very rough grass.

  2. wilfb
    September 26, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    It might have been rough grass when you kicked about there Alf; not that many years later it was much better than the Baseball Ground. I can remember imagining a section of the fence being the Cardiff City goal, at a time when snow was on the ground. I was Ray Straw or Tommy Powell and slammed many a goal past the Cardiff City goalkeeper! Why I can remember that escapes me; I suppose they are the memories of a youngish old fool. I can also remember playng football on that grass when both Newcastle and Sunderland were either playing FA Cup quarter finals or semi finals on the same day.

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