Manchester Medical Society

Named Lectures

The Manchester Paediatric Club has a Guest Lecture every year which is named in honour of one of the following:

Dr Catherine Chisholm Memorial Lecture

In 1948 Catherine Chisholm was invited as the senior consultant paediatrician to be the first President of the Manchester Paediatric Club. She had been one of the two first women to graduate from the Manchester Medical School in 1904. She overcame many of the prejudices of the time but had to take junior hospital appointments outside Manchester. After two years she entered general practice in the slums of central Manchester and soon became known for her service to women and children.

After encountering failure in an application for a post as children’s physician in a hospital, she decided to found her own and in 1914 opened twelve beds in an adapted house in what is now Hathersage Road. This hospital, staffed entirely by women, grew into the Duchess of York Hospital for Babies in Levenshulme.

The Catherine Chisholm Memorial Lecture was endowed by subscription after her death in 1952 and is administered and presented by the Manchester Medical Society (Manchester Paediatric Club) at three yearly intervals.


Gaisford Memorial Lecture

Professor W F Gaisford, professor emeritus of child health and paediatrics at the University of Manchester, was the first professor of Child Health in Manchester. Died on the 24th March 1988.

Wilfrid Fletcher Gaisford was born on the 6th April 1902 in Somerset, Education at Bristol Grammar School and St Bartholomew’s Hospital, he graduated MB, BS in 1926. He held house appointments at his teaching hospital and then worked at East London Children’s Hospital and at St Louis Children’s Hospital in the United States; in Liverpool he was deputy medical superintendent at Alder Hey Hospital and honorary physician to the Babies’ Hospital. In 1935 he was appointed senior physician and paediatrician to Dudley Road Hospital, Birmingham, and in 1941 he moved to Warwick as consultant paediatrician to the county. Although reluctant to leave Warwickshire, in 1947 he was persuaded to apply for the new chair of child health in Manchester.  An inspiring teacher, he stimulated a high proportion of students to follow a paediatric career, and by his efforts a separate paediatric examination was established in the final MB, so that the specialty gained equality with the established subjects.

His main interest was the clinical care of children. He was honorary physician to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and St Mary’s Hospital for Women and Children as well as being honorary paediatrician to the united Manchester hospitals. A kindly physician with a great sense of fun, he readily gained the trust of children, and he insisted, often again opposition, that children should be treated in an environment designed for their needs and looked after by those suitably trained. He advised on the expansion of paediatric hospital services throughout the north west region and to maintain contact between paediatricians helped found the Manchester Paediatric Club.

His research interests were many. With Mary Evans he conducted the first clinical trials of sulphapyridine in pneumonia at Dudley Road Hospital, where as a tribute a prize and lecture in their names have been established. A great interest in prophylactic immunization and particular neonatal BCG vaccination results in many papers. With Professor Colin Campbell he started a children’s tumour register in Manchester, from which a major oncological service developed. He was joint editor of Paediatrics for the Practitioner and contributed to the Encyclopedia of Medical Practice.

Awarded the Military Medal of Merit first class by the Czechoslovak government in 1945, he was president of the British Paediatric Association in 1964-5, a honorary fellow of the American Paediatric Association, an extraordinary member of the Swiss Paediatric Association, and an honorary member of the Canadian, Swedish and Finnish association.

Wilfrid Gaisford had been a distinguished rugby player. At full back he had played for Barts, Somerset, the Barbarians, and the British Lions. In Manchester he took a keen interest in study rugby and as president of the Medical Club gave regular and enthusiastic support from the touch line. He married Mary Guppy in 1933. They had a son and four daughters, including twins. Sadly one of the twins died in 1980. His pleasure in gardening was rivaled only by his love of the sea: he never travelled with greater happiness than in a small ship on a rough sea. He retired to Cornwall in 1967, but osteoarthritis progressively limited his activities.

(Taken from the British Medical Journal Vol 296, No 6632 (May 7, 1988)

The Jake Steward Memorial Lecture

Dr Jake K Steward, MD DCH, FRCP, senior lecturer in the departments of child health and pathology at Manchester University, died on the 20 June 1975 after a long illness. He was 58. James Kenrick Steward was born at Radlett in Hertfordshire on 28 April 1917. Educated at Christ’s College, Christchurch, New Zealand, he studied medicine at Otago and Manchester universities and graduated MB, ChB in 1940. During the Second World War he served in the RAMC in East Africa and Madagascar, attaining the rank of captain. Returning to civilian life, he went to Booth Hall Children’s Hospital as house physician, and after taking the DCH and MRCP worked at St Mary’s Maternity Hospital, Manchester and the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, where he joined the professorial unit as registrar. On completing his junior appointments he obtained a Cow and Gate Fellowship to initiate the Manchester Children’s Tumour Registry, which remained until the end of his life his major interest and responsibility.

It was about this time that the first signs of the crippling handicap became manifest that ultimately led to his death and deflected from his clinical medicine to experimental pathology in mid-career. Though he spent the last decade in a wheelchair, over this period of 20 years he built up an international reputation as an authority on the natural history of cancer in childhood and as an experimental pathologist, giving and publishing a considerable series of papers dealing with various topics in the field of paediatric oncology. In 1960 he was appointed lecturer to the departments of child health and pathology in charge of the tumour registry, being promoted to senior lecturer in 1966. Based first on the university department of pathology and later on the Christie Hospital, he set up a tissue culture laboratory and a unique bank of tumours removed from children and preserved by freezing for future reference, and he continued his experimental and epidemiological work to within a few weeks of his death. His particular research interests were growth factor and its relation to the growth of neuroblastomata and the angiogenic factor. His major contribution to paediatrics was the establishment of paediatric oncology as a specialty in the UK and his bringing together of a group in Manchester who made this subject their particular concern in all its aspects, experimental, epidemiological, pathological and therapeutic. He achieved what he did in the face of a progressive illness which rendered him physically helpless in his last years, during which he was sustained by the support of his family, his religious faith (he was a convinced Roman Catholic), and his wish to help children afflicted by diseases even more sinister than his own. Not one of his colleagues ever heard him complain of his disability; nor did he let it interfere with his work, which absorbed his entire energies and enthusiasm.

(Taken from the British Medical Journal)