Records of the Manchester School of Radiography

Scope and Content

This section comprises minutes and accounting material of the Manchester School of Radiography, as well as some typescripts of lectures given as part of the School's teaching programme.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Manchester School of Radiography came into being early in the Second World War and stemmed from an earlier initiative of the Manchester and District Radiographic Society. Aware of the increasing interest in the relatively new qualifying examination of the national Society of Radiographers, the local Society organised a series of two hour lectures on Thursday evenings covering those subjects in which candidates found it difficult to obtain information. At first the coverage was somewhat haphazard and the numbers of lectures rather small. A more extensive, coherent course was coming into being when the Second World War intervened.

The outbreak of hostilities removed many of the lecturers to more serious and hazardous activities while the "black-out" and the threat of air-raids rendered attendance at evening lectures virtually impossible. The need for trained radiographers, however, continued. In 1940, Dr J. Blair Hartley called a meeting of some of his colleagues known to be interested in training radiographers and an ad hoc committee was set up and officers were elected to run an ambitious series of lectures in preparation for Parts 1 and 2 of the Membership Examination of the Society of Radiographers, spread over two years. Forty eight two hour lectures were given for each part. Because of travel difficulties and the "black-out" these were held on Saturday mornings and afternoons from September to May at either the Manchester Royal Infirmary or the Christie Hospital and Holt Radium Institute, while physics classes were held at the Manchester College of Technology. The fee for the full course was £15 throughout the history of the School. The course filled an urgent need, a fact borne out by the number of people wishing to attend and by the size of the area from which they came.

The School continued to flourish and evolve after the end of the Second World War until in 1963 negotiations were started with the Local Education Committees with the result in 1965 that a Radiography Training School was set up at the Salford College of Technology, now the University of Salford. Over a period of several years during which the Salford course was being set up and its courses were being developed, the School continued to provide some lectures but finally ceased in 1968. Until it was finally satisfied that its services would not be required again, the School Committee felt obliged to remain in existence and retain its remaining funds. By 1976, however, it was clear that the arrangements it had helped set up were functioning well and would be permanent. The School was finally "wound up" and its residual funds were handed over to the University of Manchester which used them to endow the "Gray-Hartley Lecture", in commemoration of the School's early chairmen, and "to be delivered at appropriate intervals by some person of distinction in the Radiological Sciences or related subjects".