1950s GP’s bag
Sarah Waddington

Member Article

1950s GP’s bag goes to auction

A GP’s bag from the 1950s, with many instruments dating back to the turn of the century, is expected to make up to £500 at an auction by Newcastle-based Anderson and Garland this Thursday (2nd August).

The bag is being sold by Dr Victor Harrison (known to patients as ‘Young’ Doctor Harrison), who practised at the Tyne Docks in South Shields over a period of 35 years. Well respected by colleagues within the profession and patients alike, he was a founding member of the Royal College of General Practitioners, which was established in 1952.

The medical equipment within the black bag includes a sterilisation kit, vials of liquid including lozol and distilled water, as well as a trepanning kit and cased sphygmomanometer. Forceps, clamps, scissors, syringes and a rectal dilator also feature. Many of the instruments were used by the vendor’s father, who was also a doctor, during and after World War I before being passed down to his son.

Retired and soon to turn 90 years old, Dr Harrison now lives in Ponteland. He qualified at the end of World War II, after which he was posted to Germany with the Royal Army Medical Corps where he was stationed for 2 years, before returning in 1948 to join his father’s practice as it became part of the new NHS.

His daughter Vanessa Browning said: “My father followed in the footsteps of his grandfather and father by becoming a GP and he was quite literally born into the practice in South Shields - this was based at the family home at the time, as was the norm.

“We’re very proud of everything my father has achieved and are very hopeful that this GP bag and kit will go to a collector with a real interest in the healthcare provision during that fascinating era.”

Fred Wyrley-Birch at Anderson and Garland, said: “This is particularly good quality GP’s instrument set that we are confident will do very well at auction. The history of the set really adds to the appeal for collectors so it’s no surprise interest is already mounting. Many of the instruments were used by the older Dr Harrison in Tyne Dock in patients’ homes long before the idea of the NHS was even conceived.”

For more information on this item and about Anderson and Garland’s auctions, please visit www.andersonandgarland.co.uk or contact Fred Wyrley-Birch on 0191 430 3000.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Sarah Waddington .

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