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One of Bacup’s earliest doctors was Dr Joseph Hardman Worrall, he had his surgery in Rochdale Road. On Todmorden Road, Burwood Houses was the home of  firstly Dr Whittaker, and then the Dr’s Brown whilst Rock House on Newchurch Road was the home to various doctors such has Dr Taylor, Brooks, McVean and Jones. Click above for a full List  of  Bacup Doctors  & History
The majority of the dwelling houses in Bacup  were in very poor conditon, many families were huddled together in cellars and houses with little or no ventilation and drainage. With very few privvies available open cesspools at every corner were a common scene. What was known as the night soil cart would makes it rounds between 6am and 8am, in some areas it came once every fortnight. Emptying the overfloweing pail which was then put back into place without either being cleaned or disenfected.  Water was hard enough to come by for drinking so the thought of using it for washing or bathing in was just unheard of.  The water in 1870 being described as either the colour of Worcestshire sauce or blue milk. One person commented that the smell emenating from some Bacupains was just overpowering. Not to mention the smell that permeated the streets between the hours of 6am and 8am which is when the night soil cart did its rounds. A report appeared in the Bacup Times July 1865, which read “ There are hundreds in our locality who are possessed of so little self-respect as to almost neglect the practice of bathing. I would entreat those who are restrained by fear and nervousness to put away unmanly timidity, assuring them that intimacy will engender confidence. Those who may be deterred by indolence merit no sympathy.” It is hardly suprising given the descriptions above that many of the families in Bacup and Stacksteads suffered ill health. Up until recent years many of the diseases that killed off our ancestors were thought to have been virtually eradicated, scarily some of these are comming back. Scarlet fever for instance caused thousands of deaths during victorian time, at this time it was better known as Scarletina, due to the red rash that would cover the victims body. Diseases like cholera, typhus, typhoid, dysentery, consumption and influenza were more or less endemic at the time, erupting into epidemics when the right climatic conditions coincided with periods of economic distress. The frequency of concurrent epidemics gave rise to the belief that one sort of disease brought on another; indeed, it was widely believed that influenza was an early stage of cholera. Smallpox was a prevalent disease throughout the Victorian era but despite government attempts to encourage parents to have their children vaccinated the uptake was low. After a particularly bad epidemic an Act was passed in 1853 making vaccination compulsory for all children born after 1st August 1853. Many people however still did not share the enthusiasm for vaccination and declined to have their children vaccinated, preferring to pay a fine in respect of each unvaccinated child. In 1867 more legislation removed this ‘escape route’ and the Boards of Guardians (which looked after health and some other matters in each area) had to prosecute parents who did not have their children vaccinated. Any unpaid fines would lead to imprisonment or to the seizure and sale of the person’s possessions. The process would then be repeated until he person complied. In 1898 a new law was passed giving parents the opportunity to object and obtain a exemption certificate for thier child. A report in the Bacup Times  of April 1898 reads “ I hope the Goverment will compel the Gaurdians to be vaccinated first, that they may have some idea of what a child has to suffer”. The Guardians being the Poor Law Guardians whos job it was to adminster the vaccinations. Anyone in the Bacup or Stacksteads areas suffering from smallpox was sent to the isolation hospital at Sourhall situated 3 and half miles from Bacup and 1 mile from Todmorden. A former two storey mill, it was opened in 1874 as a isolation hospital the costs being shared by Todmorden and Bacup Local Boards.
Bacup District Nursing Society
The Borough of Bacup District Nursing Society was formed  in 1897 and comprised of a President, three Vice Presidents, Chairman , Hon Treasurer, Hon Secretary a House Superintendent and a General Committee. In 1905 a  great deal of fundraising was undertaken  the funds raised being used to buy a house in Dale Street which would be used as a Nurses home and treatment centre the house was number 33 Dale Street. Click above link for a full history.
St Johns Nurses. Nurse Bridget Kelly. Miscellaneous Townhead dentist 1913.
11/10 1890 Artificial Eyes Mr G. Mitchell, Oculist, & Aurist of the Leeds Eye & Ear Dispensary Artificial human eyes fitted in a few minutes without pain. From 20/s each. 14/10/1890 Society for the Blind On Wednesday next a public meeting in the Mechanics the proceeds to go to the formation of a home teaching society for the blind of Rossendale. There are about 100 blind people in Rossendale. Our aim is to obtain names and addresses of all blind people. To visit some of the poorer cases, teaching them to read and write in braille. 6/4/1912 Medical Insurance Free Doctors, Free drugs, medical equipment, surgical appliances, and a weekly payment during sickness. Men aged 21-50 26 weeks payment -10/-per week If permanantley disabled -5/- per week The worker pays nothing if any weekly wage is less than 9/- a week. If 12/- a week he pays 1d 15/- 3d Over 15/- 4d Mortality Rates 1889 Click Here
 In 1882 when Bacup received it's charter of Incorporation the Bacup Hospital Charities Fund was set up. Collections were made throughout the community by events called Hospital Saturday and Hospital Sunday and from the working class community by collections in the mills, factories and churches.  Click above link for more information,
The old school clinic on Rochdale Road. Hospitals & Clinics
In 1917 a child welfare and Maternity clinic was opened on Rochdale Road.
Dentist & Chemist
Prior to 1878 anyone could act as a dentist, up until this time there was no regulations or dental register and so it was that teeth were quite often pulled by the local chemist, and it was common place to see teeth for sale in the local watchmakers and jewellers. Victorian medicined was based more often on luck than management, a lot of the ingredients found on many a chemist shelf would today be looked at in horror.  For instance  in 1894 Karswood Creosote could apparently cure Bronchitis, Asthma, Catarrh, Influenza Whooping Cough.
Pickups chemist was situated next to the Angel Hotel.