Glasgow - Western Infirmary & Gartnavel General Hospital


On Tuesday the 4th October 1949, 14 biochemists met at Glasgow Royal Infirmary as the Glasgow Area Hospital Biochemists' Group. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the desirability of occasional meetings to discuss common interests. At its second meeting, the members agreed to call it the Glasgow Area Hospital Biochemists' Club. This was the first such group to be formed in the UK. The Club held sixteen meetings. At its last, held on Wednesday 27th May 1953, the motion to dissolve the Club was accepted and followed immediately by the Inaugural Meeting of the Scotland and Northern Ireland Region of the ACB.

The membership (mainly from the 1951 list) of the Club included:-

Dr JG Chalmers, Dr R Schoental, Cancer Hospital

Mrs M Hartley, Eastern District Hospital, Duke Street

Mr J Fitzpatrick, Irvine Central Hospital

Miss BN McAllister, Dr JB Pettigrew, Law Hospital

Dr M Jowett, Shelly Road

Dr JC Eaton, Dr Davidson, Miss M Gardner, (Dr Tompsett - left for Edinburgh in 1950), Royal Infirmary

Dr JW Chambers, Dr AW Mollison and Miss J Small, Stobhill Hospital

Miss AM Aitken Dr Ian A Anderson, Mr A Jamieson, Mr AP Kenny, Victoria Infirmary

Mr Wm Good, Dr EB Hendry, Miss KM Mackay, Western Infirmary

Miss OD Peden, Dr HEC Wilson, Yorkhill

Dr SV Telfer, 533 Victoria Road, Glasgow

Miss A Muirhead, Dr AS Hendry

Guests included Mrs Caldwell, Dr Robert McAndrew, Dr Naftalin, Dr Ritchie and Dr Woodger.

Topics Discussed included:-

9 Nov. 1949

The use of meq instead of mg/100ml for values of certain electrolytes in blood - the first steps to SI Units

8 Feb 1950

A demonstration of methods of identifying urinary porphyrins

17 May 1950

Estimation of lipase did not yield any useful information which could not be obtained by determining amylase

7 Feb 1951

Report of subcommittee on laboratory safety precautions

A group of four had been set up at the October 1950 meeting because of a serious laboratory accident. A set of rules for all members of laboratory staff and, although these drew attention to risks associated with various solvents, it did not prevent the fire which seriously damaged the laboratory at Glasgow Royal Infirmary on 21st August 1951 and which had been the result of an ether spillage.

Dr EB Hendry discussed potassium metabolism with special reference to loss of potassium from cells. - - It is widely believed that all cell membranes are impermeable to cations. This is not really true. - - Dr Hendry referred to the fall of potassium in plasma when cases of diabetic acidosis are treated with insulin. This suggests that potassium passes into the body cells, particularly into muscle and it appears that potassium is a factor in carbohydrate metabolism.

25 Mar 1953

Mr Kenny will describe the E.E.L. instrument and its use. Dr Anderson and Dr Eaton will give accounts of the results they have so far obtained, and will attempt to assess the utility of the flame photometer in problems of electrolyte balance

When the fourth meeting of this Club was held in 1950, the travelling instructions indicated the Victoria Infirmary may be reached by No. 24 tram to Langside terminus or Nos. 5 or 11 tram to Battlefield.

When it visited one of the Edinburgh Hospitals, a carriage was reserved on the train for, according to the notice on its window, "the Comical Chemists".

In June 1952 Eaton and colleagues helped organise a Royal Institute of Chemistry training course; a fore-runner of the A.C.B. Training Courses.

At the February 1950 meeting it was decided to defray such minor expenses as occurred in connection with the Club by a levy of one shilling (5p) per member as required.

This was sufficient to cover such expenses for two years (when a balance of 3.5d (1.5p) was declared. The proposed membership fee for the ACB was two guineas, of which five shillings per member would be sent to the Regions. The membership fee for eligible members of the Club for the first (part) year was fifteen shillings (75p).

Last revised 20-Jan-02

The John King Award

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