18 Martin Hospital

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Stop 18: martin hospital

The Martin Hospital was built by Lady Waterford. It was called after the surgeon who the Malcomsons employed to take care of the workers in the cotton mill. Dr. James Martin was hired on January 5th, 1835. He worked until 1890. He was paid £100 a year. When he left Portlaw, a crowd of residents followed him all the way to Fiddown to say their goodbyes.

Hiring a doctor to take care of their workers is another example of how the Malcomsons tried to keep their workers happy and productive. They cared about their health and wellbeing. We saw that they had a school in which to educate the children, well-kept houses to house the workers and gas lighting for the streets. They also built billiard rooms, a handball court, a concert hall--which doubled as a district court, and shops. They even had a brass band. They had very high standards. Employees didnít smoke around their employers. A temperance society was formed so people wouldnít drink and a savings society was set up too.

            A few years ago, there was a Heritage Weekend in Portlaw. One of our teacherís sons, Dermot Keyes, dressed up as Dr. Martin and pretended he was him around the town. He delivered a famous speech that Dr. Martin gave outside the hospital.

           Go to Step 19


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