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Practice Profile

The earliest recorded medical practitioner in Albrighton was an un-named Surgeon Apothecary working here in 1790. After him Dr Orson Bidwell practiced for 49 years from 1807 to 1856, he lived at the Grey House (next to Lloyds Bank) and is said to have planted the lime trees along the High Street. A memorial was erected to him in St. Mary's Church four years after the major restoration in 1853.

He was followed by his son, Dr Henry Bidwell who was born in the Grey House in 1816, trained as a doctor and joined his father in practice in 1839. He was a noted botanist and his Herbarium is now at Oxford University with some Shropshire specimens also kept in the National Museum of Wales. He ran the practice until 1868.

Dr Barnabus W. Lamb was the longest serving doctor, from 1868 to 1922. He also lived at the Grey House and it is said that he would signal his 'driver', a Mr Swan for pony and trap by waving a large white handkerchief.

For one shilling per week, a family would receive medical attention. The shilling was recorded by a stamp on a card.

Dr Lamb was followed by Dr Melville Legge, who came to the village in 1922 living first at Wolverley in the High Street and later at Cloverleigh in Shaw Lane where the coach house was converted into a surgery. His brother Sydney was practicing as a doctor in Shifnal and his brother Grant as a dentist in Bridgnorth. Dr Legge and his wife ran an extremely effective unofficial Welfare Service in the district until Mrs Legge's death in 1958. Shortly before the Second World War the three Legge brothers raised the money needed to build Shifnal Hospital.

Dr Legge himself made several large charitable gifts and quietly helped many individuals. He died in 1974, aged 94 years, after 52 years devoted service to the village.

The surgery on its current site was built in 1963 and extensively modernised and extended in 1992 and 1996.

Albrighton village population has grown from around 1200 in 1930 to over 4000 and the medical practice has expanded from just one nurse and doctor to 6 doctors, 26 employed staff and 12 attached staff serving a practice list of 8900.

The practice area covers approximately 80 square miles of Shropshire and Staffordshire countryside.



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