hand drawn map of the area around the Community Garden

Street Wisemen

In my previous blog, Neighbours 3, I mentioned that the roads within Ninewells grounds are named after various people with scientific significance but it was another story ….. here is that story.

I will begin with those roads to the west of the arboretum which house the hospital accommodation. There is a mixture of shared flats or individual houses available for hospital staff and students to rent within the grounds in an area called Ninewells village. The streets here are named after three nineteenth century medical men who all made significant contributions to medicine which are still relevant in present day.

Simpson Avenue

First left from east gate entrance of hospital, is Simpson Avenue. This is named after James Young Simpson who was a Scottish obstetrician, born in 1811, he was a doctor in Edinburgh who pioneered the use of chloroform as pain relief during surgery and childbirth. The road is not the only thing with his name, The Simpson Pavilion, the maternity block at the old Edinbugh Royal Infirmary was named after him as he worked there. He was also Queen Victoria’s physician when she was in Scotland. He died in 1870 and has a statue in Princes Street gardens, Edinburgh.

Pasteur Lane

Leading off Simpson Avenue heading to Ninewells Avenue we have two further roads with Pasteur Lane and Lister Court. These are named after two gentlemen who were both involved in the development of our understanding of infections. Louis Pasteur was a French microbiologist who through his studies of microorganisms is famous for the discovery of the method of pasteurisation, principally of milk, to reduce spread of infections from cows to people. His work was also fundamental in our understanding of vaccinations which we have reason to be thankful for recently.

His work was also a help to our last gentleman Joseph Lister. He was born in 1827 and though born in England spent most of his professional life in Scotland in Edinburgh and Glasgow. He was a surgeon who was acutely aware that many of his patients died not from the surgery itself but from infections, it was he who pioneered the use of aseptic technique in surgery and the use of carbolic acid to sterile the equipment used for the surgery and that surgeons washed their hands between patients. Again the principles he pioneered in hand washing have again become more significant to us all in the last year. Joseph Lister died in 1912 but his legacy as with the other two are still with us all everyday.

Lister Place

Text and photos by garden volunteer Christina Howie.

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