Princess Margaret Rose


About 5 miles south of the centre of Edinburgh




Ron Dingwall

Bathgate, West Lothian, Scotland

Thank you to Ron Dingwall, Bathgate, West Lothian, who wrote:

Princess Margaret Rose Hospital

Built 1930s

"The PMR was an orthopaedic hospital that was built in the 1930s, principally for crippled children (Rickets, Polio etc) but dealt with many other problems in children.  It became famous in the 1960s and 1970s as the centre for artificial limbs for those with Thalidomide."


"I was born with torticollis and spent a good few weeks there in 1952 and 1954.   Visitors were only allowed at weekends and the nearest bus service only came to Fairmilehead Crossroads."

Ron Dingwall, Bathgate, West Lothian:  December 4, 2011




Allan Dodds

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

Thank you to Allan Dodds, now living in Nottingham, who wrote:

Department of Medical Photography

"Ron Dingwall mentions the PMR (as we used to call it) in his 'Recollections 1 above. In a previous life, I founded the first Department of Medical Photography at PMR in 1965. The hospital was originally known as the Edinburgh Hospital for Crippled Children, but was renamed after HRH Princess Margaret in 1933.

Fresh Air

"Fresh air was considered to be the best medicine for all ailments and the wards had verandas that opened out through French windows. Patients in their beds would be wheeled out of the wards during the day in all seasons including winter as long as rain or snow weren't falling."

Ward Rounds

"One retired consultant told me that when he conducted a ward round outdoors during winter the metal frame on a patients leg had hoar frost on it!

Another eccentric consultant conducted his ward rounds on horseback on a Sunday morning and the nurses had to sweep up the inevitable residue after his visit!"


"The Thalidomide tragedy came as a great wake-up call to the pharmaceutical industry and PMR became a world-renowned centre for powered prosthetics under the direction of the late Professor David Simpson, alongside whom I was privileged to work."

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  March 14, 20`4


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