You appear to be using a browser that is no longer supported. You may find that you are unable to use all features on the site. We recommend upgrading or changing your browser, if possible.
Skip to main content
Search... Open this section

Personal Episode

A tour of the East Fortune Sanatorium

  • Print All


A tour of the East Fortune Sanatorium in East Lothian showing the X-ray room, ward, and recreation room. The film presents a story of a young woman's contraction of tuberculosis, her treatment at the sanatorium and her decision to become a nurse. Throughout the clip we see see shots of both the interior and exterior of the sanatorium. While the Nurse narrates her story we see an exterior shot of Edinburgh University's Old College and couples at a student dance. Following her diagnosis the woman is taken to the sanatorium where a doctor discusses her case. We are shown her returning from surgery before a presentation of life on the ward. We see patients using sewing machines and weaving, going on bus outings and playing table tennis. Nurses are shown being X-rayed as part of their medical checkups. The film ends with a declaration by the Nurse about the improved treatment available for tuberculosis and further shots of the sanatorium and grounds.

Questions & Activities


  • What is the message of the film? Who made it and why?
  • Why does the nurse choose nursing as a career?
  • What does being depressed mean and why was the nurse depressed?
  • What is tuberculosis? Why do people with tuberculosis go to a sanatorium?
  • What are the symptoms? How did the nurse get better?
  • What is a sanatorium?
  • Which new drugs and surgery helped her to recover?
  • What did the nurse learn in the sanatorium?
  • How is tuberculosis curable?
  • What is streptomycin?


Social History: The nurse says 'We Scots always manage an education somehow'€™. What image of Scots does that present? Do you think that is still accurate today.

Social Studies: She talks of winning a bursary to Edinburgh University. What is a bursary? What bursaries exist today?

Health and Wellbeing: Interview your grandparents to find out how whether there is any family history of tuberculosis. Research what it was about the living conditions that encouraged the spread of the disease

Science / Health and Wellbeing: What are the major public health challenges of today? Are there any diseases that carry particular stigmas and what are the best ways to try to overcome these?

English: Write a story about a life changing experience (possibly relating to illness), whether based upon your own experience or someone in your family.

Science: Research how antibiotics work, how they were discovered, how many types of antibiotics there are and why there are now problems with the availability of antibiotics to cure certain bacterial infections. (Discuss why it is also important to finish a course of antibiotics). Look also into research into the next generation of antibacterial drugs and the challenges that the researchers are encountering.

Health and Wellbeing / MIE:Compare this film to 'In The Clear' and 'The Health of a City'.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-004-061-C
Resource Rights Holder Courtesy of the Stroke Association
Project Ref 1449
Date c.1950
Genre Sponsored Promotional Film
School Subject Health and Wellbeing, Science, History, Social Studies
Subject Matter Citizenship
Who Campbell Harper Films Ltd. (production company), Henry Cooper (director, writer), National Association for Prevention of Tuberculosis (sponsor)
Where East Fortune, Edinburgh
Attributes Black and White, Sound
Clip Length 8:42
Film Length 08:42