Sunday, 8 February 2009

Incident at the Pond / Early Hearing Aids

Mr Jim Brown has post a comments about the Hearing aids, he ask where was the Audiology Room and who was the teacher's who did the repairs and issues batteries ?

Can anybody remember Mr Shaw ( not sure if the name is right ,i think Mr Sharpe is more familar ?)doing a stint in the middle sixies. Any names for the Fifties, Sixies, Seventies and Eighties ???

The Audiology room, where was it ? Any comments !!! Somewhere overlooking the Girls section of the Covered Way as looking through the window !

Medresco on Right. The BW61 in middle. The Be 51 at centre bottom.

The Monopak on Left. The Medresco and battery case on right.

The Day was Monday the 13th, the Month was January, the Year was 1958. This was the day when I was admitted to Needwood School for the Partially Deaf.
The drive through those big gates off the main road all the way to the car park outside the Headmasters office and you look up and see a huge gigantic house in front of you ! As a 6 year old 'Infant', you are guided inside an awesome labyrinth of corridors, high ceilings, massive fireplaces, numerous classrooms and dormitories !

Happy days when we were 'Infants'. In fact, in my first year, we spent many days exploring the grounds surrounding the school. We were chaperoned by either our Teacher or Housemother mainly at weekends. One incident that still bears with me after all these years was a good soaking I got at the pond. The pond in question was as you see in the picture, at the end of the walkway from the car park next to the Headmaster's office. There was a group of us 'Infants' on a tour and we stood on the pond edge, when someone whom I know, gave me the elbow ! Next, I was sitting at the bottom of the pond ! I think my housemother (Miss Johnson if am correct) had to give me a change of clean clothes but my hearing aid suffered the worse of a ducking !!

"Ms Kitching had to write a letter to my parent and this is what she wrote: Rangemore Hall, Burton-on-Trent. 3. 2. 58. Am sorry to tell you that David has had a mishap with his hearing aid. Apparently, he slipped into a small pond on Saturday morning and got his hearing aid all wet. David seems to be no worse for the wetting, but the hearing aid has suffered, and it will have to be send away for repair. It is quite likely that the clinic will not return the Monopak, but will issue the ordinary Medresco with a bag. I hope this dosen't happen, as the Monopak is so much easier to wear. there is supposed to be a general issue of Transistor hearing aids to all children next September, but that is rather a long time to wait. Anyway, we must hope for the best. Yours Sincerel, M Kitching."

The Medresco became a smaller model that we were able to wear in our pocket to the day we left school. Well , since those days, technology has advance so much that the hearing aids are available in different styles: in the ear, over the ear and cochlea implant to name a few, but are any of these waterproof ?


The 1950's;

Monopak/ol 44x: This was issued to me by the Halifax Hearing Aid centre. This model had a battery compartment in the hearing aid and a lead to the receiver/earmould, so was easy to carry about.

Medresco/ol 35a: This was the standard issue to Needwood School at the time. This model was in 2 part, the battery power pack in a leather carrying case (plus & negative terminal !) with a lead to the hearing aid, then a lead from the hearing aid to the receiver/earmould !

The 1960's;

A later model, a Medresco/ol 58, a pocket size model (beige colour) powered by an AAA size battery inside the hearing aid.

I would be interested to hear how old Scholars (pre 1958) were able to managed with the early Medresco or any earlier models ?

Would you belive it ! I still have all the models, from the Monopak to the present day ?

This is an extract from the NOSA Newsletter 1989.

Early Hearing Aids

As Micheal Caine would say'NOW NOT A LOT PEOPLE KNOW THIS'. Did you know that the earliest hearing aids were ear trumpets of animal horns to concentrate sound ? The first instrument to amplify sound electronically was used by Queen Alexandra who was deaf at the time of the Coronation of King Edward VII in 1902. It was mains powered and very cumbersome. Little did the King and Queen realise that when the visted Rangemore Hall in 1902, that it would one day be a co-educational school for the partially hearing ! Alas history does not record what Queen Alexandra thought of the worlds first electronic hearing aid ! Perhaps like Queen Victoria she was not amused !!!
Dan Medicott

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Halifax, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom