by Sherry Scott MBE
Reminiscing with Ann Scott Dunn
I recently spent a lovely afternoon sharing memories with Ann Scott Dunn at her house. Mary Bromiley and I receive a lot of credit for being the first Animal Physiotherapists, but in the early days Ann was also working away with her husband Peter Scott Dunn, the Queen’s Vet.
Annie was very lucky to be trained by Sir Charles Strong who started using his TRANSEVA, so-called because it was manufactured by Messrs TRANS–SEVA Limited of Weyhill, Surrey. (SEVA stood for ‘Strong Electronic Veterinary Apparatus’.) Veterinary Record published the results of 100 cases in 1961, the first real research.
Sir Charles Strong (knighted by the Queen for being her first Physio) worked mostly on Polo ponies – recommended by Admiral of the Fleet the Earl Mountbatten of Burma, who played Polo in the Ascot area. The results Charles obtained really started owners and riders realising that treatment enabled them to keep their ponies going.
Anne’s early life was in a horse environment. Her father was a racehorse trainer; Peter’s father was a Vet. They were very much a couple. Both represented Great Britain at no fewer than three Olympics as official Vet and Physio.
The use of Charles Strong’s Transeva was explained as rhythmic muscular contractions, the first Faradic machine, which we usually referred to as the Strongs machine. Melanie Gurdon was lucky enough to be trained by Anne and so helped with the workload on the cases referred by Peter.
Anne’s first job was to work for Richard Todd, the film star, giving her a heady insight into the world of Acting.
We recalled a very significant dinner which was held in my house on 23rd February 1990. The guests were Peter and Ann, Jane Nixon and Stewart Hastie. During the meal Peter agreed to be President of the National Association of Animal Therapists and Stewart, Chairman. Stewart has been such an amazing support over so many years. We use his great book, The BHS Veterinary Manual, as one of our teaching manuals at The College of Animal Physiotherapy.
Remembering our early days, eating tea and cake, was a great pleasure. We discussed how lucky we are to have had our chosen careers.