Dr Harry Harris worked as a GP in Pendleton from just before the start of the NHS in 1948 to the late 1980s, firstly at his home and surgery at Rose Bank, 56 Bolton Road, then later in Brindle Heath.
Dr Harris aided some of Salford's poorest people, while working through all the significant improvements in healthcare and social conditions during these decades – which, compared to what's going down now, will be regarded as the golden age of the NHS. Now his son, Peter, is writing a short book about his father's work and the environment he worked in...
"The book covers my father's day-to-day work as a single-handed GP, the home conditions of his patients in post-war Salford and also some memories about the lighter side of life, including quirky patient stories and details of his own leisure time and the people who helped look after the house, surgery and garden" says Peter.
"Apart from the launch of the NHS in 1948, the first ten or 15 years after the end of the war were especially hard for families in post-war Salford, especially those living in the slum terraced back-to-backs in areas such as Hanky Park" he explains "As it happened, many of my father's patients lived in those conditions – in streets that in many cases were painted by L.S. Lowry and now hang in The Lowry at the Quays. For this reason the book's provisional title is A Doctor in Lowryland."
The book is almost complete but Peter - who himself worked as a medical writer at the Manchester Evening News and coined the term `test tube baby' to describe the amazing new birth technology going off in Oldham – needs a few things to finish off the book...
"I am particularly keen to see if I can locate any of the 65 children from Salford who, in 1948, were invited by the International Red Cross to spend three months in Switzerland as an experiment in health improvement" he says "I am also trying to locate any of my father's patients who feel that they would have an interesting contribution to make or story to tell."
If anyone can help trace any of the Salford children who went to Switzerland or have a great story to tell about Dr Harris, please get in touch with Peter Harris: email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07854 831845
When the book is available the Salford Star will be also be reviewing it.
Main photo shows Dr Harris attending to a minor medical problem for his half-brother, Godfrey Heilpern QC, who was a former Recorder of Salford and also had the onerous job of defending Myra Hindley in the Moors Murder case.