Before 1961 the residents of Ottershaw had to travel toDr R S Stevenson either Chertsey or Addlestone to visit the doctor.

However, in that year Dr. Stevenson arrived in Ottershaw, put up his plate in Southwood Avenue, and spent the next thirty years increasing his list of patients to 4000, which entailed extending his waiting room facilities and adding part time and full time partners.

Dr Stevenson was born in Glasgow in 1931, educated after the war at Hillhead High School and Glasgow University. He graduated with a commendation in 1955. He married Irene, also a Glasgow graduate, a year later, and after three years in the RAF working as a doctor and specializing in the delivery of babies to the families in the RAF at his posting in Laarbruck, North West Germany.

He was asked to join the practice in London Street, Chertsey working with Drs Ward, Crickmay, Crokett, Crail, Davidson and Critchley.

Dr Stevenson was one of the last old fashioned doctors who lived “above the shop”; did all his own night calls and with the help of midwife nurse Durbridge delivered over two thousands babies, either in the home or in the maternity hospitals.

For the first eleven years someone had to be in the house to answer the telephone as there were no facilities for transferring the phone to other doctors and no such thing as “emergency call services”. With the help of several “au pair’ girls Irene manned the telephones, taking mainly calls for visits. At first no appointment system existed, so Dr Stevenson saw everyone who turned up at the surgery and then did the house calls.

In the 1970’s Dr Stevenson was instrumental in setting up the maternity ultra sound unit at St Peter’s, as he was trained by Professor Ian Donald in Glasgow and Professor Stuart Campbell in Queen Charlotte’s in London. He used to give talks to many groups to encourage gifts of money for the new equipment and St Peter’s was the first district hospital South of London to have an ultrasound scanner.

A colourful person, Dr Stevenson was a familiar figure driving around in PUG 7, smoking his pipe. His mantra was always, “Do as I say and not what I do!”

He was always very supportive of the activities in the village, attending village fetes, refereeing Rugby matches for Ottershaw school’s Old Boys team, attending many functions for the elderly organised by the Red Cross, and organised by Mr Ken Beeson and Mr Arnold Albon, two very philanthropic residents of Ottershaw.

He also supported his wife’s activities in the Ottershaw Players, the Medical Benevolent Society, and very importantly, Woking and District Scottish Society, which he helped to start in the late 1960’s with several other doctors.

The Stevensons raised three daughters, who all attended Ottershaw Village School, run then by Mrs Ensor.

Kirstean, the eldest, is a Paediatric Psychiatric Consultant in Portsmouth, Heather is a G.P. in Queensland Australia, Ruth has recently obtained a Ph.D. from Aberystwyth University and is senior lecturer at the Centre for Alternative Energy in Machynlleth, Wales.

Dr and Mrs Stevenson continue to live in Ottershaw.

Article wriiten by Mrs Irene Stevenson

 Posted by at 12:01 am

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