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History of Ash and Ridley from Earliest Records to 1957
                    
Compiled by Dorothy G. Meager on behalf of Ash and Ridley Women's Institute           Page 88

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Nursing Association

Mrs. Foa, then living at Holywell Park, was the prime mover in the foundation of the Ash, Fawkham and Ridley Nursing Association in 1927, and was President until 1935. Miss Wright of School House was the Honorary Secretary for a number of years, while the late Mrs G. Day of North Ash Farm filled the role of Honorary Treasurer over a long period.
   From the commencement of this Association, Nurse Edge, who still lives at "Rhodesia", Ash, played the all-important part in the scheme which the Association supported until the Nationalisation of the Health services in 1947. In the early days she did her rounds on her bicycle or on foot, but she was finding it increasingly difficult to give proper attention to all the calls made upon her. The Committee therefore decided in 1935 to organise a Fete in Ash. This proved to be a great success, £100 was raised and a small car was bought for Nurseís use.
   About this time Lady Cynthia Hohler, of Fawkham Manor became President and Chairman, Sir Thomas Hohler K.C.M.G., C.B. also of Fawkham Manor, became the Honorary Treasurer, and Mrs H. N. Robertson of "The Old Rectory", Ridley, became Honorary Secretary.
   In 1937 came the fusion of the Stansted Association with that of Ash, Ridley and Fawkham, with the result that a further three and a half square miles of territory were added to that already covered by Nurse, and the number of sick visits paid by her that year was 4,336.
   To pay the Nurseís salary and other expenses in connection with the running of the Association grants were made from the K.C.C. through the Kent County Nursing Association in aid of Midwifery and Maternity, also a direct grant from the K.C.C. in aid of District Nursing. Besides these grants, Committee Members, representing each village in the Association collected a minimum of 4s per annum from most of the inhabitants, who of course had the right of the Nurseís services. Also maternity fees were 

payable, and each year there were special efforts by Villagers to keep the Association in funds.
   At the outbreak of the Second World War changes on the Committee became inevitable, Mr Timewell who had taken over the Treasurership from Sir Thomas Hohler only a few months previously, retired on joining the Army and the late Mr V.F. James of Manns Farm House, West Yoke, took his office. Mrs Robertson went to America with her children and Miss Lucy Hilbert of Manor Cottages, Fawkham, consented to act as Secretary.
   A few months previous to the outbreak of war, Nurseís car broke down completely, and in response to an advertisement sent by Mrs Robertson to the "Times", Mr Vickery of Somerset, very generously offered his Armstrong Siddeley, and it was accepted with gratitude and thanks. Mr Dreyer, Sir Thomas Hohlerís Chauffeur, journeyed to Somerset to fetch it in spite of severe weather conditions.
   Early in 1946 we were instructed by the K.C.C. that our Association must link up with Longfield as both funds and nurses were in short supply. Again there came a change of officers and several Committee members resigned. Mrs Andrus of Hartley Court became President and the Secretary and Treasurer of Longfield retained their respective positions. Nurse Stewart was sent to the district.
   The following year saw the Nationalisation of all health services and the dissolution of all Village Nursing Associations.
   Many Villagers remember with affection the capable, kindly and cheerful personality of Nurse Edge when she visited her patients over a period of twenty long years.
   Before the formation of the Nursing Association in 1927 a nurse acted locally in Ash but the village inhabitants can not remember her name.

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