Saturday, July 04, 2009

And then...

Next, Toby the skeleton went to medical school with my Dad.

Dad had been a year ahead at school which meant that when he finished his Higher School Certificate (as it was) he was too young for National Service. He went off to medical school (and did his National Service as a newly qualified doctor.)

Dad had been set to follow Bing to the Middlesex, but the then government had promised all soldiers returning from WW2 priority over university places. So Dad took Toby, who had a full set of teeth in those days, to Charing Cross medical school in 1948, the same year as the NHS was born.

In the early 70s, Toby’s box was brought out again as my brother took him back to Charing Cross medical school.

During the 80s I took Toby to school to draw him; he modelled for my A Level in art (he kept wonderfully still). I took him into my children’s primary school and finally in the late 90s, I took Toby to Art College where I used him in the metal workshop to learn how the equipment was used.

In between times, Toby has lived in my father’s study. He sits, separate from the rest of his bones, on Dad's desk. Whatever the provenance of this chap, however his skeleton came to be sold, since he’s lived in our family, he’s been shown only the greatest respect.

8 comments:

Debs said...

How wonderful that the family have all loved Toby so much over the years, and that he's still so useful and needed.

HelenMHunt said...

You should get this story published. It's brilliant!

Fia said...

Love Toby.

My grandfather had a set of sculls in his bedroom and a skeleton but they didn't have names. One was a baby scull:(

Better add that he was a doctor too and in the Derbyshire mines for much of his early career, before antibiotics. Hardly saw women and children in those days because only the men would pay for treatment, being the 'workers.'

Fia said...

God - that's skull, not scull.

I'm dying my hair and typing with rubber gloves on.

ChrisH said...

Nice to know that Toby has achieved a kind of immortality thanks to your family!

Carol said...

I love it!! Helen's right...you should get this published!!

C x

SueG said...

what a terrific story, and a great memory!! Thanks so much for telling it to us.

Liane Spicer said...

Yes, this would make a fascinating article.