Archive for September, 2010

From WalesOnline -an interesting read

September 9th, 2010

It’s time to take another stroll through history of our suburbs

Steve Nicholas is a lifetime resident of the area and his website, which is well worth looking up, is

Still in Whitchurch, and back in 1986, Mr P. I. Edwards, manager of the Industrial Unit at Whitchurch Hospital, wrote an interesting little booklet called Industrial Therapy at Whitchurch Hospital, and his widow Mrs Violet M. Edwards has kindly sent me a copy.

The following information is an extract from it:

“On Wednesday the 15th of April 1908, Whitchurch Hospital was formally opened. At that time it was intended to provide accommodation for 750 in-patients, 414 women and 336 men. It had been built on the assumption that the wards would be locked as up until then the function of mental hospitals had been chiefly of a custodial nature.

“The patients at Whitchurch however were allowed to go more or less where they wanted to and the hospital was one of the first to recognise that mental illness in a lot of cases was a curable disorder rather than a permanent one.

“The weekly cost for an in-patient at that time was 13s 5d (67p). The nursing staff in 1908 consisted of a head male attendant, matron, their two deputies, a night inspector (male) and a night sister. There were 48 male attendants and 38 nurses on the day shift and four male attendants and five nurses at night.

“Between 1914-1919 the hospital dealt with casualties and the hospital benefited by the general hospital equipment which was installed by the War Office and which was later used in peace time.

“It was in 1930 that occupational therapy started at Whitchurch with the appointment of the first occupational therapist and the hospital became a more open institution.

“During the Second World War, the hospital was again taken over as a general hospital and it wasn’t until the end of the war that the hospital continued the work which had been interrupted by the hostilities.”