Brundall Local
              History Group

Medical matters

Brundall may have a busy health centre now but there was a time when the village didn’t even have its own GP.

 It was served by Blofield doctor, Robert McKelvie, and then his son Dr John McKelvie. 

The Blofield practice held surgeries in Dr Robert McKelvie’s house (St Ninians), an outbuilding at ‘Uplands’, and Links Avenue, at various times until the 1960s. 

It was in 1924 that the medical practice, which was based in Acle, decided that Brundall needed its own doctor and 'Bradesfield', a house in Blofield Road was built. 

In the 1960s the workload started to become too great for the one doctor, Dr Ian Gray, and he was joined by Dr David Varvel in 1969. 

The Health Centre in The Dales opened in 1980 and by the time Dr Gray retired in 1985 there were three more doctors working there, Drs Rigby, Harston and Ashman. 

These days, of course, it is not just doctors, but receptionists, nurses, dispensers, and many other staff who work there or visit when needed.

St Ninians



Bradesfield in Blofield Road.  This was Dr Gray's residence and where he and Dr Varvel
had their surgeries until the Health Centre was built.

   Brundall Health Centre
                          extended 1991

These extensions were built in 1991 and meant that there were several more doctor's surgeries
and other rooms upstairs

Dr Gray's retirement party

Dr Ian Gray at a reception held at the Uplands Hotel in 1989 to mark his retirement after 33 years.
Left to right: George Spalding, Mrs Spalding, Dr Gray, Colonet G. Dicker, ?, Bill Elkin, Mrs Beryl Gray

Dr David Varvel

Dr David Varvel who joined Dr Gray in 1969 at Bradesfield and retired in May 2006.
In 1989 radio communications equipment was installed at the Health Centre, as it was called then,
the result of an Eastern Evening News appeal for the Norfolk Accident Rescue Service.  David
was a member of the rescue team committee.

Find out more about...

Listed buildings

Brundall pubs past and present

Interesting houses

Brundall people

Brundall's businesses

About the school

A history of health in Brundall