Montagu Hospital Comforts Fund

History of Montagu Hospital



Montagu Cottage Hospital was officially opened in January 1890 on Bank Street, Mexborough with a total compliment of fourteen beds. Its existence came about with a need for more local treatment being readily available as the number of accidents in the local industries was increasing. At that time, anyone who sustained injures had to be treated in their own homes with the more seriously hurt being transported, usually by horse drawn trap to the Doncaster or Rotherham Infirmaries. Consequently, the time had come for the establishment of a local hospital.


A Committee was formed with discussions taking place whether to buy, build or rent a property that would be suitable for the purpose. Unexpectedly, the building was provided on a long lease and at a nominal rent by Mr Andrew Montagu. Subscriptions to help fund the hospital were donated from local industries with annual donations of £20, churches and various charitable organisations as well as wealthy local residents. The first matron was a Miss Moore who remained in post until 1898 when she left to be married.


Over the first six years of the hospital’s existence the local population grew with the erection of more than 2,000 new houses being built which increased the local population to an estimated 10,000 – 14,000 people. Further extensions to increase the size of the hospital were required and were subsequently opened in December of the same year.


As the services provided by the hospital were called upon more and more it became necessary to look at a new location for the hospital to be sited. First proposals were put forward as early as 1895 but it was not until 1901 that the Trustees of the Montagu Family agreed to the sale of a small piece of land at the corner of Cemetery Road and Adwick Road.


Land was obtained from the Montagu Trustees at a price of £756 for one-and-a-quarter acres for the Montagu Hospital to be built on Adwick Road. The funding for the building: £2,000 from sale of the Cottage Hospital, £2,000 the committee had in hand and Mr F J O Montagu gave £1,500.


And so, the Montagu Cottage Hospital was to become Montagu Hospital as we know it today with changes taking place as follows:





The Hospital on Adwick Road was officially opened in May 1905 receiving surgical patients and patients who had sustained an accident. The hospital consisted of 2 male pavilions, one with 10 beds and the other with 8 beds. A pavilion for women and children which consisted of 8 beds. An isolation ward and a small ward for the accommodation of two private patients.


Other accommodation included an operating theatre and a small ward attached. A Boardroom, laundry, ambulance room and accommodation for the Matron, Nursing staff and the servants.


The total cost of the building was to amount to £8,000.


The continued funding of the hospital was from donations from local workmen who donated halfpenny from their weekly wages.



1909 –             X-ray extension

Up-to-date operating table purchased and installed


1914 –             Building of a Children’s ward commenced


1915 –             Children’s ward formally opened but used for wounded soldiers – 12 beds.


1916 –             Replacement of the hand-laundry equipment purchased at a cost of £400.


1917 –             Mexborough town saw a constant shortage of water. The Urban District Council set up special water supplies. Montagu Hospital Committee decided to purchase it’s won water tank storing 2,260 gallons of water. The storage tank was christened “The Zeppelin” and is still in situ today.


Local workers were asked to increase their subscriptions from half-penny per week to one penny per week per man. The decision was taken unanimously.



1920 –             The Children’s ward was officially opened for sick children and was named the “John Elliott Ward” with 20 cots and beds.


Kitchen accommodation was provided at a cost of £730


Charges for patients on the Private ward were increased from 2.2 shillings to 4.4 shillings but were later reduced to 3.3 shillings.


Rumours were abound of a desire to build a hospital at Goldthorpe. The Hospital Board contended this owing to the ever increasing prices of foodstuffs and other hospital requisites etc.


Subscriptions from local workers were increased from 1d per week to 2d per week per man, towards maintenance of the hospital.


1921 –             South Yorkshire Coal Industry dispute lasted 3 months and consequently severely effected the hospitals finances. When the dispute was over the miners made up the deficient subscriptions.


1922 –             Extra nurses accommodation and a rest room was provided. This also included sleeping accommodation for the domestic staff. Cost of this was £2884 – 13 shillings.



1923 and

1924 –             More land was purchased, 1680 square yards, at a cost of £262- 9s (shillings). This provided the hospital with 84 beds.


  • 2 Medical Wards each with 10 beds and an extension of the Surgical Ward increasing the number of beds to 24.


  • A second Operating Theatre, Laundry and Boiler House, Mortuary and Post Mortem Room, Porters House, Massage and Electrical Treatment Department and the provision of a lift and staircase to the roofs of the Medical Wards.


1924 –             Laying of 19 foundation stones in connection with the new extensions.


1925 –             More land was purchased at a cost of £695 providing the hospital with:


  • an extension to the boilerhouse.


  • A new Physiotherapy Department. Equipment was donated by George Dickinson in remembrance of his Son.


1927 –             The eye department was established.


1928 –             Ultra-violet ray apparatus presented by the proprietors of the “Mexborough and Swinton Times”.


A wireless set was donated and installed for patient use.


Sept.    The ‘Gloops Club’ Children’s organisation donated a cot to the Children’s ward. The plaque for this is displayed on Memory Lane.


Dec.    The Coucil put forward a proposal for the housing of an ambulance on site and for the two Medical wards to become Maternity Wards.


1929 –


Feb.     The scheme for housing an ambulance was agreed.


Feb.     A larger patient waiting room was provided


Nov.    Land opposite the Montagu Hospital was purchased from Captain Montagu at a cost of £500. The Board agreed to pay Captain Montagu the full amount over a 3 year period.


1930 –             check details re med wards  – old land was originally tennis court


May    The two Medical Wards had not yet been opened on account that the local Council was interested in one of the wards becoming a 10 bedded Maternity Ward. ???did this happen/? when


            May    Matron’s Garage was demolished to make way for extra Outpatients and Visitor’s accommodation.


1931 –             A new tennis court was provided on part of the newly acquired land opposite the front entrance of the hosptial.


1932 –             Tenders were received for the building of the Nurses Home on Cemetery Road.


1933 –             Building of the Nurses Home commenced at a cost of £8019.00.


The Massage Department was officially named as the ‘George & Mary Dickinson’ Ward.


1934 –             Official opening of the Nurses Home took place on 11th April.


The first telephone kiosk was installed with an annual rental of 2/6.


1935 –             Discussions were taking place to convert the Maternity Wards into either Orthopaedic Wards or Medical Wards.  The cost of running 2 wards of 10 beds each for medical cases would amount to £3.23 1 per annum.


To help fund the wards the Wath and Bolton Urban County Councils agreed to the equivalent of a penny rate towards the maintenance of Medical Wards providing the Mexborough, Swinton and Thurnscoe Councils did the same.


In order to make the project financially possible the local Colliery Management and various Workmen’s Branches were approached with a view to them possibly supplementing present subscriptions by contributing one-third the amount given by their employees.


Kings Silver Jubilee – Each patient was given a special tea with a permission to invite 2 relatives/friends to join them on Wednesday 8th May 1935.


Every member of staff was given an extra day’s holiday which had to be taken at times that were convenient to the effective working of the hospital.


At the end of 1935 expenditure for the hospital was £2005 16s 10d and income

was £2618 5s 2d. Charges for private patients was 12 shillings per day.


1936 –  Dr Kathleen Winterton, the first female ante-natal officer took up post.


1937 –

Jan.     The Federal Superannuation scheme was adopted whereby 11 out of 19 staff were eligible to join.


April    This year saw

a new sick room and bathroom for patients

a pathological laboratory

connecting corridor between the ‘bohler’ store and main corridor

balcony to the Children’s Ward


total contract price for all this work was £ 16,936


The two Medical Wards were named George V and George VI wards respectively – 23 beds.


A switch house was provided on the east junction of the connecting corridor to the Medical Wards at a cost of £82.00.


Dec.    It was highlighted that a Blood Transfusion Service was needed with a register of blood donors.


1938 –

March Approval was given for Montagu Hospital to become a training school for nurses.


April    The County Council sent an instructor to teach staff “air-raid precautions”.


Captain and Mrs Montagu became joint Patrons for the Hospital.


The hospital saw a shortage of nurses available to take up employment.


The local County Council provided analgesia apparatus and agreed to supply nitrous oxide free of charge.



1945 –             Ward 4 – Male surgical and orthopaedic – 26 beds


Ward 3 – Female Surgical – 26 beds


1948 –             Relocation and opening of Accident & Emergency Department which included Outpatients No 1.


Montagu Hospital Comforts Fund founded.


1951                The Boardroom converted to use as additional Out-Patient Clinics 


1953 –             Ward 3 became acute male surgical with 4 orthopaedic overflow beds


Ward 4 became acute female surgical with 16 beds and male orthopaedic with 10 beds.


1954                Whateley House, Chest Clinic 


1956 –             Ward 2 opened – 25 TB beds (male and female)


1957 –             Ward 1 opened – 25 beds – female 11, Gynaecology 10,orthopaedic/ENT/Ophthalmology 4


1958 –             Ward 2 closed due to a reduction in the number of T.B. cases.


1959 –             Ward 2 reopened as female geriatric with 25 beds.


1965 –             King George V ward increased to 25 beds from 23 beds accommodating acute male and female medical patients.


The single storey nursing accommodation block became Maternity 2.



1969 –             Recreation Hall opened. Funded by staff.


1974 –             Theatres were upgraded.


1975 – Sep.     Outpatients was relocated the the new department with 4 suites and a reception area.


Oct.     Day Hospital opened







1977 –             King George V ward became Ward 5 Gynaecology  – 25 beds


Ward 1 became female orthopaedic with 15 beds . The remaining 10 were used for ante-natal patients and became Maternity 2.


X-ray relocated to new premises along side outpatients.


1979 –             Extension to Recreation Hall


1980 –             The kitchen area was upgraded.


1985 –             Ward 1 became Dearne Ward with 25 female medical beds.


Ward 2 became Harlington Ward. The number of beds was reduced to 21 and subsequently acute care for elderly patients.


Ward 3 became Rockingham Ward – 24 beds


Ward 4 was closed. It was proposed that new Theatres be built in this area.


Ward 5 became Clayton Ward – 15 female surgical and 10 gynaecology beds.


Ward 6, or John Elliott Children’s Ward was closed.


Ward 7 became Melton Ward with 25 male and female orthopaedic beds.


Maternity 2 closed. Renamed Cadeby Ward with 19 medical beds for male patients and 4 high dependency beds.


Relocation of Pharmacy in order to upgrade A & E.


The Dining Room was upgraded.




1986 –             Gynaecology was withdrawn from Clayton ward leaving 25 female surgical beds.


                              Ward 4 was demolished to make way for the new Theatres.


Physiotherapy moved to new premises adjoining Outpatients.



1989 –             Official opening of the new Adwick and Barnburgh wards. Both wards accommodating medical cases. Adwick being male with 28 beds and Barnburgh being female with 28 beds.

The official opening ceremony was performed by the Duchess of Gloucester.


1991 –             Doncaster Royal Infirmary and Montagu Hospital gained Trust status and became Doncaster Royal Infirmary & Montagu Hospital NHS Trust.


1996 –             MeltonWard closed.



1997 –             4.2 million upgrade to A & E, Pharmacy, OPD, play area, tea shop and WRVS shop.


Clayton Ward, Rockingham Day Unit & Memory Lane Check This


Ophthalmic laser purchased from monies donated by local fundraising events


Legacy of 13 million pounds to Montagu Hospital to be used for the Mexborough people from local business man Fred Green.


1999 –             Link corridor built connecting Adwick & Barnburgh Wards to the main building.


2000 –             Cadeby Ward became Rehabilitation Centre. Day Hospital integrated onto Rehabilitation Centre.


Fred & Ann Green memorial Garden created and improvements to landscaping on site improved.


Nurse Led Unit in Minor Injuries Unit launched.


2001 –             Fred & Ann Green Shuttle bus link between Montagu and Doncaster Royal Infirmary piloted.


Installation of a security access system on Clayton Ward and Wentworth Unit – Funded by the Comforts Fund.


The Doncaster and Montagu Hospital NHS merged with Bassetlaw Hospital to become Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospital NHS Trust.



2002 –             Refurbishment of Boardroom.


Aug.               Time Capsules found in cavities in Main Entrance stonework.


Oct.                     Comfort Cooling installed in Adwick and Barnburgh wards – funded by Fred & Ann Green Legacy.


Donation from  the sale of a church on College road helped fund the Dining Room Servery upgrade.


2003                The year 2003 saw the implementation of a security access system installed on Adwick and Barnburgh Ward and Theatres – Funded by the Comforts Fund


Old nurse changing rooms and portacabin demolished to allow for work to begin on the building of Dental Access Centre.


Services Supervisors Office relocated to ‘Old Pharmacy’


Mar.              Opening of Clinical Simulation Centre – Funded by Fred & Ann Green Legacy.


2004                Building of Dental Access/OMFS Centre


Installation of bedside TV’s


Became part of Foundation Trust


Closure of Clayton Ward



2005 –             Closure of Winter Ward 



2006 –              Opening of the new Theatre 4.


Opening of the new staff car parks and the extension to the patient/visitors car park. Both pay on exit. Charges apply as follows:


Staff – 5p per hour

Patients/visitors 70p up to 2 hours

1.20 up to 4 hours

2.20 all day



Purchase of Allotment Land


RE-opening of Clayton Ward to extend Pain Management services



2007 –              Demolition of Winter Ward


Temporary Multi-faith room allocated


Dining Room upgrade


2008 –              As part of extension to PMU services three of the offices in the ground floor of the Nurses Home have been utilised for admin services.


Deep clean programme commenced in clinical areas. As part of this Adwick & Barnburgh have been upgraded.


2009 –