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Cookridge Hospital, Matron, Miss Elsie Jackson outside the laboratory and Dual-purpose Radiocobalt Unit

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Leeds Library & Information Services
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LEO 7296
Cookridge Hospital, Matron, Miss Elsie Jackson outside the laboratory and Dual-purpose Radiocobalt Unit
1958. Image shows Matron, Miss Elsie Jackson, standing outside the recently built laboratory for radiation chemistry and Dual-purpose Radiocobalt unit. The 'High Energy Radiation Centre', providing new ways forward in the treatment of patients with tumours, was opened by Princess Mary, the Princess Royal, on the 15th May, 1956. The princess was accompanied on her tour of inspection by the Matron, Miss Jackson. The specialist unit came about with input from the Yorkshire Council of the British Empire Cancer Campaign, the Board of Governors of the General Infirmary, the Rockerfeller Foundation and the University of Leeds. The heavily shielded rooms were designed by the Regional Board Architect, Mr Nash, with the advice and expertise of radiotherapists, physicists and radiation chemists. The Dual-purpose Radiocobalt unit was planned and constructed in careful stages. John Alcock, managing director of the Hunslet Engine Company, took on the challenging task of designing the treatment cylinder and holder for the radiocobalt, following the fundamental principles outlined by Professor William Spiers (1907-1993). Mr F. Clarke designed the control panel and the half-shield was built in the medical physics workshops at Cookridge Hospital to designs by Mr T. Ashton. The holder was sent to the Chalk River atomic energy plant in Ontario, Canada,to be filled with radiocobalt. It was shipped back in the May of 1955 and the unit was ready to begin treatments the following year.

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