School of Massage, Medical Electricity and Remedial Exercises

Description

The School of Massage, Medical Electricity and Remedial Exercises – later known as Physiotherapy - was located on Moy Street, part of the Western Infirmary. In 1919 the Scottish Branch of the Red Cross Society donated £10,000 to provide and equip the School of Massage with a suitable building. It was designed by Burnet, Son & Partners and built from 1919 to 1921. The building was merged with the X-Ray Department, built in 1930. Until the closure of the Western Infirmary on 30 May 2015 the building housed the X-Ray Department, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech & Language Therapy, and the Bone Metabolism Unit.

In 1917 the Board of Managers at the Western Infirmary recognized the urgent need for trained masseuses for the treatment of the large number of wounded men returning from the front, war pensioners, and of civilian patients. The Board decided to establish a School of Massage, Medical Electricity and Remedial Exercises. The School opened on 14 January, 1918 with 15 students and by the end of the year the number of applicants for entry was 319 of whom 51 were enrolled.

The School was originally located in the basement of the south-west wing of John Burnet Sr’s 1874 Infirmary. They were provided with a gymnasium and classroom equipped with necessary apparatus provided through a generous donation of £2,000 from the Scottish Branch of the Red Cross Society. The accommodations soon proved inadequate for both teaching and the treatment of patients. The Managers of the Western again applied to the Red Cross for help in providing and equipping a suitable building resulting in a £10,000 donation. Building plans were passed in 1919 and finished in 1921 – an inscription located underneath the road crossing roof leading to the West Medical Care Centre (former Beatson Oncology Centre) reads “Erected by the British Red Cross Society Scottish Branch 1921”. In addition to the donation made by the Red Cross, a gift of £400 towards the equipment of a curative bath department was made by “The Women of Argyll” in memory of the 8th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.

Summary

School of Massage, Medical Electricity and Remedial Exercises
Western Infirmary
Glasgow
Record last updated: 17th Jul 2015