John Stewart Manners

John Stewart Manners (Avatar)

1934-2020

Vol XII

Web

John Stewart Manners

John Stewart Manners

1934-2020

Vol XII

Web

b.22 June 1934 d.20 July 2020

BA Oxon(1956) BM BCh(1959) DObst(1962) MRCP(1969) DMRD(1970) FFR(1972) FRCR(1975) FRCP(1982)

John Stewart Manners was a consultant radiologist in Croydon. He was born in London, the son of Gilbert Wilson Manners, a bank manager, and Dorothy Celia Janet Manners née Stewart, and was educated at Merchant Taylors’ School before going up to Wadham College, Oxford. His clinical training was at St Thomas`s Hospital Medical School and he qualified in 1959.

He held house posts at St Thomas’ Hospital and then, intending to become a physician, he was a medical registrar at St Mary’s Hospital in Portsmouth (from 1962 to 1964) and at Charing Cross Hospital (from 1964 to 1968). He subsequently decided to train in radiology and was a senior radiological registrar at the Middlesex Hospital (from 1970 to 1974).

In 1974 he was appointed as a consultant at Mayday Hospital, Croydon, as the first high tech radiologist with a special interest in cardiac catheterisation and angiography.

He also had another skill, which was raising money from charitable sources for projects he really believed in. In the 1970s, radiology was seriously underfunded. The funds that John raised were used to re-equip the cardiac laboratory, which put Mayday way ahead of all the local hospitals (St George’s was then at Hyde Park Corner). Because of this facility, Mayday was able to attract its first modern cardiologist, Simon Joseph.

In 1981, John was appointed as a clinical tutor and, following the death of Dan O’Brian, took over the campaign for a new postgraduate medical centre. This project was achieved and, in 1985, the centre became a charitable trust. This was due in no small part to John’s negotiations with Croydon Health Authority, which resulted in a measure of independence that it still enjoys today. He was chairman of the South West Thames Regional Health Authority’s medical advisory committee for six years (from 1987 to 1993).

John also chaired the Mayday Scanner Appeal and raised £750,000 over 10 years, which was no small effort, particularly as this was given mainly in small donations from the Croydon public. He seemed able to inspire people to work with him on various projects, and all this fundraising enabled the purchase of Mayday`s first CT scanner, which no-one had thought possible. When he retired from the NHS in 1994 at the age of 60, he went on to chair the Heartbeat Appeal for a new cardiac catherisation laboratory.

John’s life was devoted to medicine, and he achieved great things whilst working at Mayday Hospital. He was always a quiet, kind and unassuming man. For many years he was a member of Croydon Medical Society and, in 2003, became president. Following his year as president, he took on the role of honorary archivist for the Society and retained this role for the next 16 years.

John had a great interest in and love of steam locomotives: he was a lifetime member of the Stephenson Locomotive Society and even delivered lectures on the subject. 

He liked to keep his private life private, but John was married twice. In 1961 he married Lesley and they had a son and a daughter. In 1977 his second marriage was to Gillian Wendy née Wheatley: they had a son who became an arborologist, a subject John became very interested in during his latter years. 

John died from an acute abdominal condition. His funeral in Mickleham, Surrey was held during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Anne Pilkington

[Croydon Medical Society Lifetime Achievement Award 2016 – Dr John Manners www.croydonmedicalsociety.co.uk/lifetime-achievement-award-2016/ – accessed 28 October 2021]