Dr Wiliam Dean, Doctor in Wivenhoe for nearly 50 years (died Feb 1996)

Dr Dean was the principal doctor in Wivenhoe from 1935, retired 1984

Page created by Peter Hill with information given by Clive Peck and Graham Wadley

Dr William Dean who died February 1996
Essex County Standard

Dr William Dean was not just well known in Wivenhoe, he participated in life here.  He came to Wivenhoe in 1935 to begin practising medicine here from a house called Little Wick in the High Street.

At that time the other local doctor was Dr Walter Radcliffe, who had previously operated from Gothic House in the High Street, but opened a surgery in an outbuilding at his home Ten Acres after moving there.  Mrs Radcliffe manned the dispensary in the same building.

Following Dr Ted Palmer’s arrival in 1963 to join Dr William Dean, the two medical practices merged after Dr Walter Radcliffe had retired.

Their original surgery at Little Wick moved to the house in The Avenue opposite Ten Acres, (now Palmer Gardens) which had become the new home of Dr Ted Palmer and his wife Halcyon, daughter of William Dean.

Dr William Dean was not just a colourful character with an out-going personality, it was reflected in his early choice of motor-car which was painted bright yellow with red mud guards!

The surgery remained in The Avenue until the late 1970s when it moved to the ground floor of the Town Council building in what is now the local Post Office Sorting Office.  Meantime Hally (Halcyon) Palmer, wife of Dr Ted Palmer, turned the old surgery in The Avenue into the very successful  restaurant called The Casserole with a speciality in Creole dishes.

Dr Dean, Dr Palmer and receptionist Dorothy worked out of the surgery in the Council offices until 1984 when Dr Dean and Dorothy retired from the practice, and surgery moved to a bungalow near The Cross. And thus ended 50 years of service by Dr William Dean as a doctor in Wivenhoe.

He lived in the Old Rectory which is now tucked away in Croquet Gardens, so named because William Dean created a croquet lawn in his back garden which was well-known in croquet circles as one of the finest lawns in East Anglia.  He died in February 1995 leaving a daughter, Halcyon, and three sons, Anthony, Stephen and David.

William Dean had been married to Marjorie Dean who became a local councillor, ran an antiques business locally and was widely credited as having been the founder of the Wivenhoe Society in 1966. Between them, they had many interests and were a very social couple.

For notes made by Nick Butler in the 1980s for research into his book the Story of Wivenhoe with:

This page was added on 15/03/2017.

Comments about this page

  • Dr Walter Ratcliffe did not work out of Little Wick. As young children both Hilary and I attended his separate practice based in an outbuilding at his home Ten Acres . Mrs Ratcliffe manned the dispensary in the same building. Before that he was in Gothic House. Dr William Dean was at Little Wick.

    It was after Dr Ratcliffe retired that the two surgeries combined with Dr Dean and Dr Palmer.

    By Graham Wadley (16/03/2017)

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