THREE weeks ago in this space, Ann Gladstone was reminiscing about her childhood in Richmond. She said: “In 1977, we lived in Cradock Hall for a year and, according to local gossip, it had been the home of a doctor who took children’s tonsils out on his kitchen table.”

This triggered a memory for Anne Stoker. “As I was reading the article, my immediate thought was ‘that’s what happened to me’,” she says.

Anne grew up with her parents in Gallowfields Road and their family doctor was Dr Whitehead of Cradock Hall. It was he who performed the operation 80 years ago when Anne was only four or five. She doesn’t remember the surgery although her brother, Michael, confirmed that the family story was that the tonsillectomy did indeed occur on the kitchen table.

“For years afterwards I could recollect the dream I had when I was given chloroform,” says Anne, who now lives in Marske-by-the-Sea. “I remember all these monkeys climbing up and down a wall – that was my dream when I was sedated.”

Cradock Hall, in Frenchgate, was built around 1660, and is now almost hidden from view by its wildly unkempt hedge. Does anyone else have surgery stories from the kitchen of the Cradock?