History, Origins & First Meeting

The first meeting of SWOC was held in 1948. The inside cover of the first meeting book records that:

“ The club started as a result of a letter sent by FC Durbin to all orthopaedic surgeons of consultant status working in the South West. This asked whether they would be interested in forming an orthopaedic society; the response was unanimously in favour of such a society and accordingly a meeting was arranged in Plymouth for March 6th 1948. Plymouth was chosen as the venue because Mr Charles Kennedy, a general surgeon there, had started the foundations of an orthopaedic service in the South West when none existed elsewhere in the region. ”

The first SWOC meeting was held in the Nurses’ lecture theatre at Mount Gould Hospital.

mount-gould-hospitalMount Gould Hospital

The meeting was attended by the following:

  • Mr Rentoul – Truro
  • Mr Kirwan – Truro
  • Mr Fitzgerald – Truro
  • Miss May – Truro
  • Mr Winckworth – Taunton
  • Miss Murray – Taunton
  • Dr Lipman – Plymouth
  • Mr Kennedy – Exeter
  • Dr Mason – Plymouth
  • Mr Salz – Plymouth
  • Mr Jowett – Taunton
  • Mr Bastow – Bath
  • Mr Lillie – Plymouth
  • Mr Eyre-Brook – Bristol
  • Mr Blundell Jones – Exeter
  • Mr Capener – Exeter
  • Mr Durbin – Exeter
  • Mr Boucher – Plymouth

The club was named, the idea of rotating biannual meetings agreed (with Winford next), and membership limited to “those of the profession practising orthopaedics in the South West region, including Registrars and Housemen”, with the latter “encouraged to demonstrate cases and take an active part in the proceedings”. Mr Durbin of Exeter was elected as Honorary Secretary – a post that he held for the first 11 years. The meeting heard four short papers, discussed short case patients that were presented, and were then served tea by the nursing staff.


  1. Mr John Bastow
    Muscle biopsy prior to arthroplasty in rheumatoid arthritis.
  2. FC Durbin
    Arthrograms for congenital subluxation of the hip.
  3. AE Jowett
    Arthrograms of the knee.
  4. H Salz
    Lactic acid in the treatment of osteoarthritis.