Photo: Kathryn Swanston as a student orthoptist in the Orthoptic Clinic at Moorfields Eye Hospital, High Holborn Branch c. 1984.

Kathryn’s 1984 story

In September 1984 I started my training as an orthoptist at Moorfields Eye Hospital School of Orthoptics.  Back then orthoptic training was a three-year diploma course for which students received a full bursary from the Department of Health.  In those days there were two branches of Moorfields Eye Hospital, the existing one in City Road and another in High Holborn on the corner of Dury Lane.  The Holborn branch, where I was based for the first part of my training, closed in 1988 and is now a hall of residence.  As students we gained experience and knowledge by seeing our own patients under supervision and by attending lectures from the ophthalmologists and orthoptic teachers at Moorfields.  The head orthoptists at Moorfields during my training were Barbara Lee and Kathleen Swale and the consultant ophthalmologists who specialised in ocular motility were Mr John Lee and Mr Peter Fells.   I remember learning about nystagmus and meeting some patients with nystagmus but not until my final year of training when nystagmus appeared on the curriculum.  I formed a close friendship with three others who started training that year. Although none of us are still practicing as orthoptists we are still in touch, the ‘Holborn Ladies’, and we are planning our own 40th year celebration in Holborn to mark the anniversary of our meeting in 1984.  It is so lovely to know now that as were beginning our training, the Nystagmus Network was being established.

A stack of pancakses on a plate topped with butter, strawberries and blueberries.

Join us for a flipping fantastic celebration

Calling all pancake enthusiasts and creative cooks! It’s time to dust off your spatulas and put your culinary skills to the test because the Nystagmus Network is hosting an exciting Pancake Day Competition to celebrate our 40th Anniversary!

Get ready to sizzle, flip, and dazzle with your pancake creations as we invite you to participate in our themed pancake competition, The Great ‘nystagmus’ Pancake Off! We’re looking for pancakes that capture the spirit of our Ruby Year in the most delicious and imaginative ways possible!

 To enter:

  1. Whip up your most innovative pancake masterpiece inspired by our Ruby Year.
  2. Snap a photo of your pancake creation.
  3. Share your photo on social media using the hashtag #RubyPancake and tag @NystagmusNetwork or email it to us at [email protected]

Our esteemed trustees and members will be judging the entries based on creativity, presentation and adherence to the Ruby Year theme. The winners will receive fabulous prizes and, of course, bragging rights as pancake champions!

Whether you’re a seasoned pancake pro or a first-time flipper, everyone is welcome to participate.

Let’s make this Pancake Day one to remember as we celebrate 40 years of supporting people living with nystagmus. Together, let’s spread joy, creativity and deliciousness one pancake at a time!

#RubyPancake @NystagmusUK