[Histonet] Re: Polyester wax (with earlier citations)

Stephen.Eyres <@t> sanofi-synthelabo.com Stephen.Eyres <@t> sanofi-synthelabo.com
Thu May 6 10:46:48 CDT 2004

Hi Paul,

I've been to a couple of the pub sessions during the histology course. As I
remember, John used to get bored and then retire to the pub to continue the
discussion.  We were lucky in that we only worked 1 in 3 Saturdays. Quite a
few lads would go out for a session on friday straight from work. many a
time we'd miss the last train, go and sleep in the path lab tearoom, to be
awakened by the cleaners. The off to the shop for a sandwich and then back
to work for a few hours.....Then down the pub for a few before drifting off
home. Did you do a block release HNC? I to Bristol on the 3x 6 week blocks.
That was a fun time. I remeber starting in the labs in September, leaving
for an op on my hand in 2 weeks later - not work related- returning in
October and then going on block at the beginning of january having only
done 1 manual H&E. What a mess I made at first doing special stains during
the 3 hour practicals. I'd be putting schiff's on an MSB slide,
Phosphotungstic on a retic.

Mind, it is worth pointing out to anyone reading these that although things
were very different 20-30 years ago in the histo lab, we were very busy and
would work like stink in the mornings to get things signed out so we could
do specials and 'play' with new stains, or in my case try to convince
someone they ought to try cutting polyester wax blocks!! I never did
succeed. That particular 'right of passage' was abandoned.



                      Paul Bradbury                                                                                                                  
                      <histology.bc <@t> shaw.ca>                 To:      Stephen Eyres/GB-ALNWICK/RESEARCH/SANOFI <@t> Research                              
                      Sent by:                               HistoNet Server <histonet <@t> pathology.swmed.edu>                                          
                      histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouth         cc:                                                                                     
                      western.edu                            Subject: Re: [Histonet] Re: Polyester wax (with earlier citations)                      
                      06/05/2004 15:18                                                                                                               

Hi Steve,

I was the Chief Tech at Nottingham City Hospital, so I knew all the
staff at Queen's Medical Centre. I know Neil Hand well, he started as a
student at QMC while I was at the City. Alan Stevens, Janet Palmer,
Keith Miller, the brothers Keith and Clive Gordon were all good friends
of mine.Before the existing building was built, the Pathology Dept was
housed in a row of ex-army huts. This was a very humble beginning for
what is now a very well respected department. John Bancroft was the
Chief Tech back in those days. We used to teach nightschool together in
the labs at QMC or the City. This was always followed by several pints
at the hospital pub ... that's another feature of hospital life that
sadly seems to have gone. Darts tourmaments between the two labs were a
regular event.

Thinking about old pathologists reminded me of one at the City. The
first automated knife sharpener we got was the original Shandon Elliot,
this was the highlight of the department. This old pathologist was so
excited about this new equipment that in his rush to see it he backed
into two cars parked outside the lab, and fell over the curb. He then
proceeded to sit on a stool and watch the plate rotate and the knife
flip from side to side for the next four hours. Unsophisticated times.

Food was big thing in our lab too. One of the staff always went to get
tea and bacon sandwiches at 10 o'clock, these were then eaten while
cutting sections. Getting bacon grease on the slides was sure way to
make sure the sections floated off later.

A dress code was in effect in our lab too. Shirt and tie was the rule of
the day. Suits were the standard, apart from Saturdays when we wore
sports jackets (more casual). We worked alternate Saturdays, just until
lunch time, to get any urgent specimens done. One very quiet morning, we
made a cannon from a length of 1" glass tube, a length of hose and the
CO2 tank from the freezing microtome, bals of wax were the ammunition.
Boy, did that thing work well!

They were the days ...

Cheers,  Paul

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