Bob Chisholm first donated when he was 19 and gave 153 donations.
I became a whole blood donor in October 1963, as a nineteen-year-old. I was courting my girlfriend, later to become my wife, Yvonne, and we had just bought our first car together, an old Wolseley 4/44. I was an apprentice with the National Coal Board, and she worked in the neurology department at Newcastle General Hospital. My shifts were such, that every so often, I would go and pick her up from work on a Friday.
I had drove over to pick her up this night, only to be told she was running late, and would be another 30-40 minutes. I got my eye on a pavement notice board, outside a building, just a little way off, which turned out to be the regional National Transfusion Centre, which was in the grounds of the General Hospital in those days. I decided to donate a pint of blood to fill my time in, whilst I was waiting, and that’s how it all started.
(Picture: Bob and his granddaughter)
I was a teenager in the ‘swinging sixties’, and experienced the music, fashions, and changing attitudes of the times. I saw the Rolling Stones on their first tour in 1963, the Everley Brothers and Bob Dylan all live in Newcastle, and also the first Bond film, Dr No at Newcastle Odeon.
Donating really is such a wonderful thing to do, and was brought home to me in 2008, when my daughter Claire, was having our granddaughter Olivia. She had a bad time of it, and had to have three units of blood
I went on to donate in some weird and wonderful places, including schools, community centres, church halls, workplace canteens and working men’s clubs, and met some lovely people, and a good deal of change along the way.
I believe I was blessed with good genes, ‘donated’ by my parents, so I had a good start, but I have tried to keep fit all my life.
(Picture: Bob's donation certificate from 1963)
Donating really is such a wonderful thing to do, and was brought home to me in 2008, when my daughter Claire, was having our granddaughter Olivia. She had a bad time of it, and had to have three units of blood, but Olivia, now 14, is already looking forward to being a donor herself, and has already accompanied me to a session.
Unfortunately, I can no longer donate due to needing take a blood thinner to treat a clot, but I reached 153 donations, and am now 78. I met a lot of lovely people over the years, doing something so worthwhile.