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Claire Kibbler

Claire Kibbler was treated at the Pump Rooms in 1956, after injuring her back. After receiving intial treatment at the Warneford Hospital, she was referred to the Pump Rooms. Here she gives a brief account of her first impressions of the building before going on to talk about her treatment.

Well there are corridors, I think they were tiled, you know, a bit Victorian and that room where I had to stand, you know, it was dim and the floor was wet and you know, it wasn’t very charming at all. Somebody, I was talking to somebody about this and she said it really sounds to me Claire as if you were being punished for doing something really bad.

I had to lie in this trough, which was, I seem to remember it was on a dais and you mounted the dais and you lay in the water, in the trough. I can’t remember whether anything happened to me other than lying in the water, I can’t remember that bit, and after that I had to go and stand in the corner of this room. I would say that first somebody came to fetch me after I’d come out of the pool, different person, who’s dressed in a swimsuit and a shower cap, which was a bit frightening, and went into the room which was bare and I had to stand in the corner and hold on to a metal framework which was fastened to the wall and she picked up a hose and directed a very fierce jet of water at all my vertebrae and I had to hold on very tightly because it was very fierce. It was an acceptable temperature, I remember. So that was a bit surprising.

How long did she do that for?

It seemed a long time [laughing], but I don’t know. I don’t know. It could only have been about a quarter of an hour I suppose, I don’t know.

And what happened after that?

Well after that I was taken to a cubicle and wrapped in peat. This was the peat packs. I suppose the other was the Aix douches! And then I was wrapped up in a towel and covered up and told to go to sleep and so I tried to go to sleep, but I was a bit wound up. But it was very relaxing.