The young Rosemary Sutcliff had to endure a spinal carriage

Rosemary Sutcliff contracted juvenile arthritis at a very early age. Speaking to Roy Plomley on Desert Island Discs she spoke of how she was moved around, in a spinal carriage.

A spinal carriage… was rather like a wicker coffin. It was very uncomfortable and you lay flat out in this thing and of course all you could see were the branches of the trees or the roofs of the houses going by overhead and it was extremely boring. With any luck you were allowed perhaps to sit up on the way home from a walk.

A Spinal Carriage

Author: Anthony Lawton

Chair, Sussex Dolphin, family company which looks after the work of eminent children’s & historical fiction author Rosemary Sutcliff (1920-92). Formerly CEO, chair & trustee of various charity, cultural & educational enterprises in UK.

One thought on “The young Rosemary Sutcliff had to endure a spinal carriage”

  1. They were still using something very similar when I was convalescing at the country outpost of Great Ormond Street in the mid-1970s, except they were moulded plastic and in a variety of (not very cheerful) colours – also no rain hood!


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