Mapping Memory by National Museums Liverpool

Mapping Memory National Museums Liverpool

Working docks

Excerpt from 'Rates for the Job'

Courtesy of North West Film Archive at Manchester Metropolitan University (NWFA 6986)

This memory is in:

Transcript for Excerpt from 'Rates for the Job'

One of the difficulties that faces a medical officer of health in a large city and port like Liverpool, is that he is involved in so many activities and involved very closely with so many departments. I have to have on my departmental staff a number of medical officers who work on a rota system of twenty-four hours duty, because the Mersey River is navigable twenty-four hours in the day and shipping is on the move all day and all night. And for this reason medical officers have got to be available to board ships in the river, check the ships papers, check any sickness on board and be able to give a clearance to that ship before it can either dock or before it can go further to somewhere were people can have contact with it. A ring-a-ring of roses, a pocket full of posies, a tissue a tissue we all fall down. A nursery rhyme, a folklore memory. Sneeze, a tissue. Fall down, to wait for death. Twenty million pounds a year to keep at bay the terror of plague, the black death. Twenty million pounds to buy the heritage of Jenner, of Pasteur, of Kerry of Flemming. Twenty million pounds for the skill of a doctor, cheap, at the price?