Thinking back to the Limb Fitting Centre being at the entrance to the Savoy Centre reminds me of a funny incident which happened to me there in 1949.
I went there to be fitted for my first limb after coming out of the Army . The practise then was to take a plaster cast of the stump, send you home and bring you back about 2 months later .
Here you were measured up for length and calf size . Shoe size and width of foot , measured exactly where the knee joint was to be ,then sent away for another month while the artificial limb was built .I suppose then there were still a lot of injured Servicemen to be catered for and this is what made the process so slow .
After some 4 months you attented for a final fitting as you also had to wear a harness over your shoulder and leather corset to make the limb secure .This again took some three weeks .No one ever showed me how to wear it .
All this time I was on crutches awaiting my new limb . At the end of 4 months I was sent for and any final alterations my limb required were made in the limbfitters work shop .
On the delivery date the leg was simply fitted to be sure it fitted and put into a brown paper bag and handed to you to take home and get used to it in your own time .Again , no one ever showed me how to wear it .
NOW!! Since I was on crutches , it was impossible to carry the bag containing the limb with me . So I asked my young cousin ,who was also my pal as well as my cousin to come ith me to carry the limb in the bag home for me and of course he agreed .
It was obvious to every one what was in the bag as the bag chrushed into the shape of a leg .
SO!!Off we went .Tommy carrying my new limb and me on my crutches. As we got on to the platform ,Tommy was holding the leg and I as struggling on my crutches .
As always with the old tram cars ,as it started it sort of shuddered and Tommy shuddered with it ,carrying the leg of course . At this , the conductor grabbed him and led him to a seat ,which Tommmy accepted with a wide grin.
I was still standing on the platform and the conductor just looked at me and said 'sorry son ,but there is no standing allowed on the platform , but never mind son ,you will soon get a leg of your own and he let me make my own way to finding a seat . Tommy was saying nothing ,as was his sense of humour but when we got off, he was killing himself laughing .
He really was a great pal.