CENTRAL LONDON (FITZROVIA) - UCL MIDDLESEX HOSPITAL OUTPATIENTS WING (AKA STRAND UNION WORKHOUSE)
This was built as a workhouse in 1775-78 by the parish of St Paul’s Covent Garden, on the site of their old burial ground, and acquired its pair of projecting end blocks in 1829, when it became known as the Strand Union Workhouse. It is believed that this workhouse inspired Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist.Dickens is understood to have lived a few doors away from the building for nearly five years, in his formative years. Historian Dr Paul Schlicke, editor of The Dickens Companion, said that the workhouse was used as the model for Dickens' famous novel Oliver Twist. "It's inconceivable it wasn't that workhouse," he said. "He lived so close to it. He would have been seeing it, hearing it. It will have been the one he knew best."
An article in the medical journal The Lancet in 1865, reporting on the grim conditions in the workhouse, very largely contributed to the passing of the 1867 Metropolitan Poor Act. The Central London Sick Asylum District, an amalgam of former Poor Law Unions, then used the building as an infirmary until it became part of the Middlesex Hospital in 1927 and used up until recently as an outpatients department.
The building has recently been given a Grade II listing and it's architectural and historic interest must now be considered in any development plans. as it is thought to be the best preserved Georgian-era workhouse in London.
EUSTON, NW1 - The National Temperance Hospital
This forlorn building with its turreted towers & elegant iron balconies sitting derelict for the past few years was The National Temperance Hospital (called London Temperance Hospital before 1939).
The hospital originally opened in 1873 at 112 Gower St, Bloomsbury by initiative of the National Temperance League, and was managed by a board of teetotallers. The movement encouraged abstinence, thinking alcohol responsible for many of society’s ills. They had doubts about the restorative qualities of alcohol (which was used clinically in most hospitals at the time), hoping to save money and improve staff efficiency by running a hospital based on their beliefs.
Inpatients were admitted to the new hospital free by a letter from a governor, or on payment of a fixed amount. Outpatients could be admitted with a governor's letter or pay at least a shilling a visit. Subscribers of a guinea per annum were entitled to recommend 6 outpatients a year, and those of 2 guineas per annum one inpatient and 6 outpatients. Life Governorship was conferred on payment of a lump sum of 20 guineas.
In 1885 the hospital moved to this site on Hampstead Road (adjacent to the rear of Euston Station) after purchasing land from St. James Church. A children's ward was opened in 1892 by the Duchess of Westminster. In 1893, 12 beds were set aside for cholera patients. The Ear, Nose and Throat and Skin Departments were opened in 1913/14.The hospital was further extended in 1931 after Chicago magnate Samuel Insull donated $160,000 to build a new extension, the "Insull Memorial wing".
The Vezey Strong Memorial Home was built as a home for nurses in 1928 as a memorial to former chairman Sir Thomas Vezey Strong, a keen and enthusiastic worker in the temperance movement.
The hospital was incorporated into the National Health Service in 1948 and merged with University College Hospital in 1968. Between 1986 & 1990 the hospital was used to treat torture victims by an organisation called Freedom from Torture (which originated from Amnesty International’s Medical Group)
It was closed as a hospital in 1990 and the building was used for various courses and admin purposes by Middlesex Hospital and the Camden and Islington NHS Trust established various clinics on the site until 2006 when the Middlesex Hospital also closed down. In around 2004 , I wandered in here when the place was still being used as a clinic with parts disused and sealed off though not sealed off very well ... I didn't have a camera on me but its no great loss as the buildings were totally empty and the interiors were quite modern looking.
The site had been considered for redevelopment or refurbishment into the new centre for the National Institute for Medical Research but more recently it was purchased by the Department of Transport who allegedly planned to use the site for social housing as replacement homes for people who will be displaced due to the demolition of their homes elsewhere in the borough due to the construction of the controversial £33 billion HS2 rail-link from London to Birmingham. More recently (Nov 2012) it was reported in the Camden New Journal that the former hospital is now being lined up as a construction site as part of the HS2 work, expected to run until the end of 2025. To make room for the line, HS2 wants to demolish an area in Euston and Regent’s Park the size of 17 football pitches, forcing 500 families to leave their homes.
GRAYS INN ROAD - CENTRAL LONDON OPHTHALMIC HOSPITAL
Central London Ophthalmic Hospital - Grays Inn Road. Many of you will have passed this unloved interesting looking single storey building. Its clear from outside that its the ex premises of Litvinoff bed makers but after studying old maps I discovered that from 1843 until 1913 it was once an eye hospital.
The adjoining building is the rest of the original hospital building which was converted into houses. Not much has changed apart from the removal of the hospital signage/engraving.
BATTERSEA - BOLLINGBROKE HOSPITAL
Although named after Viscount Bolingbroke, the hospital owes its existence largely to a nineteenth century vicar Canon J Erskine Clarke who formed the view that Battersea needed a hospital for those members of the local public who, in pre-NHS days, would prefer to pay for their hospital care rather than attend the Poor Law institutions which provided healthcare free of charge to the less affluent.
Canon Clarke oversaw negotiations to buy an old mansion named Bolingbroke House in 1876 and after much improvement and investment from philanthropic sources,the Bolingbroke Hospital first opened in 1880.
The outbreak of the Second World War meant that the Bolingbroke became affiliated to St Thomas’s Hospital, and was damaged by air raids in 1941, and by a V1 flying bomb in 1944. Rumours of the consequences of a report which led to the establishment of the NHS,were greeted with dismay by the hospital’s Board, which reported that the people of the area “would greatly regret to see itmerged in a system of state hospitals. In 1948, despite these apparent regrets, the Bolingbroke became part of the new National Health Service.
There was immense opposition from the local community to the closure and Wandsworth Councillors managed to block the plan. The issue was referred to the then Secretary of State for Health, Alan Johnson, who agreed in July 2007. This situation was seen by Wandsworth Councillors as 'closure by stealth', whereby services were gradually withdrawn (so fewer patients attended) and the real estate deteriorated to the point that it was 'uneconomical' to repair and modernise the buildings (despite the Trusts having spent £2.5m in ward refurbishment).
English Heritage have given the building a Grade II listing due to architectural interest, a rare set of children’s tiles and its “unusually lavish” marble-clad lobby, war memorials and radiated corridors.
Work is underway to convert the building to Bolingbroke Academy a "free school" influenced by the progressive Swedish education model. Free schools are taxpayer-funded, regulated by OFSTED and non-selective, but run by individuals or trusts, free from local authority control and with the scope for broad curriculum. The school opens in September 2012.
TEDDINGTON - NORMANSFIELD HOSPITAL (originally opened as Normansfield Training Institution for Imbeciles)
Normansfield Hospital was founded by John Haydon Landon-Down in 1868 as a private home for the “care, education and treatment of those of good social position, who present any degree of mental deficiency".Throughout his active medical career Langdon-Down practised as a consulting physician and continued his research in that special condition he called Mongolism, later to be designated Down's syndrome. The Langdon-Down family were involved in running the hospital for over 100 years until Dr Norman Langdon Down retired in 1970. Then (according to an article on the Twickenham Museum website) he was replaced by a psychiatrist described as authoritarian and incompetent who was suspended six years later in the middle of a nurses strike. By then senior personnel were resigning and buildings were in disrepair. A seemingly disastrous appointment. Not many years later the hospital closed its doors. The site is now being redeveloped into apartments although the original entertainment theatre has been preserved and sometimes used for performances and one part of the building has been opened as the Landon Down Museum
CROYDON GENERAL HOSPITAL
The Croydon General Hospital building were condemned due to its age and state of disrepair. The demolition process was lengthy because the demolition firm aims to salvage most of the brick, timber and tiles. These will be sold to offset the costof the demolition. Some stone work from the existing building will be conserved and incorporated into the new development.
However, what the new development will be is still not clear as the photographs below were taken a few years ago and the land has been left vacant with various schemes falling through. The latest proposal as at 2012 is for a school to be built on the site.
Barbara Lawrence writes: "My mother worked there as a nurse or nurse's aide in 1940. I'm trying to find out if the Nurses's Home was bombed, and if so when. My mother died in 1973, but I remember her saying that a bomb exploding near the hospital destroyed the nurses' home or dormitory and affected her hearing for the rest of her life I know she worked at Lambeth Hospital as well, and I have determined that the nurse's home there was bombed on January 11, 1941, but I think by that time my mother was working at Croydon. I'd appreciate any thoughts about how to find out about bombings at Croydon, and again, thank you for the photographs and information on this site about the hospital. Seems the powers that be could have saved more a than a few bricks from a building with such handsome architecture."
SHOREDITCH - MILDMAY HOSPITAL
The Mildmay Mission Hospital had its origins in the work of the Reverend William Pennefeather and his team of Christian women, later known as Deaconesses, who began their work of visiting the sick of the East End of London during the Cholera outbreak of 1866. and moved to this site in Hackney Road in 1892.
In 1948 the Mildmay Mission Hospital was incorporated into the National Health Service .The hospital was closed at the end of 1982 & then re-opened outside the National Health Service as a facility for HIV/AIDS patients and their families.The first European AIDS hospice was established here.The hospital, on Hackney Rd in Shoreditch, will be demolished to make way for a new development including a 24-bed new Mildmay Hospital, which will continue to meet the needs of people living with HIV.
The venue was made famous following a visit by the Princess of Wales in 1989. In front of national television cameras during one of several visits, she was presented with a bunch of flowers by a 34-year-old AIDS patient named Simon. Within 30 minutes of the story airing on the evening news, Simon's family – from which he had long been estranged – contacted him. They stayed with him until he died at Mildmay just ten days later. Diana’s visit was widely regarded as a defining moment in seeking to break down the stigma around AIDS in late-80s Britain.
Mildmay finally moved out of the old building in December 2008.
In 1900, Sir Henry Chester left £75,000 and Sir William Lancaster donated a site which resulted in Putney Hospital.The hospital has been empty since 1999 Its future use has been complicated by questions over where its boundaries with Putney Common lie and by the existence of a covenant. This states that the land, given to the people of Putney for a hospital 100 years ago, must not be used for any other purpose. Subsequent reports said that the site had been announced as the chosen location for the new Putney Primary Care Centre which would house three Putney GP practices. In 2009, the Wandsworth Guardian revealed NHS Wandsworth spent £2.6m in eight years on planning and securing the dilapidated hospital site. Despite the covenant latest reports are that the hospital is to be demolished in late 2012 and a school is to be built on the land alongs
Scenes from the film "Nuns on The Run" starring Robbie Coltrane were shot at Putney Hospital.
Barnes Common is said to be haunted by the spectre of a man dressed in convict’s clothing, including broad arrows, who is said to glide around the common as if intent on committing a crime. A man described how, whilst he was crossing the common one night, he saw the figure walk out of a pond and move noiselessly past him. He turned round only to find that the figure had disappeared, although there was nowhere for him to have hidden. It is thought that the figure was the ghost of a convict who had escaped from nearby Putney Hospital, where he had been undergoing treatment, and had drowned in the pond whilst being chased across the common.
MILE END - ST CLEMENTS HOSPITAL (Previously City of London Union Workhouse)
Originally built in 1848-49 as a workhouse, for the Board of Guardians of the City of London Union. It became an infirmary for the same union in 1874, and in 1912 the Bow Institution for the long-term sick. In 1936 it became a psychiatric unit, under the St Clements name again. It became part of the London Hospital in 1968 and went through various organisational changes until closure in 2005. Services were transferred to a new Adult Mental Health Facility at Mile End Hospital in 2005.
The site is now owned by the Homes & Communities Agency, who intend to create 275 new dwellings on the site.Local campaigners are advocating that it become the site of the UK's first urban Community Land Trust which is an equitable and sustainable model of affordable housing and community development that has slowly spread throughout the United States during the past 40 years.
EAST ACTON - HAMMERSMITH HOSPITAL
Hammersmith Hospital is a major teaching hospital in West London. The buildings origins begin in 1902 when it was a workhouse & infirmiary.Roger Daltrey was born here on March 1st, 1944. It’s right next to Wormwood Scrubs Prison. The demolition of some existing building is to make way for erection of a 6 storey building for use as biomedical research laboratories costing £100 million.
ISLEWORTH - WEST MIDDLESEX HOSPITAL
Originally opened as the New Brentford Workhouse in 1902, the buildings became the West Middlesex Hospital in the 1920s.
During the 1990s the hospital cared for more than 124,000 out-patients a year, as well as dealing with 16,000 planned admissions and delivering, on average, five babies a day. But the dilapidated Victorian buildings were proving expensive to maintain and were felt to be adversely affecting the level of care on offer. In 2003 the existing hospital closed and new hospital buildings were built adjacent to the site.
The pictures (approx 2007-8) here show the site just before demolition and the old site has now been redeveloped into flats.
This unremarkable building overlooking the Thames is undergoing demolition. A hospital has stood here since 1912 when it moved here to Rothbury House and then known as the Chiswick Cottage Hospital. By the time Rothbury House was 150 years old it was decided to demolish it in 1935 and rebuild on the same site though the war delayed things and the hospital reopened in 1943 as a maternity hospital . Both Pete Townsend and Kim Wilde were born there. It closed in 1975 and used for Charing Cross Hospital medical staff accommodation and was also regularly used by tv companies and was used in the filming of once popular programmes The Chinese Detective, Angels, Not the Nine O'Clock News and Bergerac.
From 1984 to 2006 the hospital site was known as Chiswick Lodge and used as a hospital mainly for older people with dementia and was pretty grim apparently according to an ex member of staff who wrote to this website.
The hospital has now been demolished and a new development consisting of a 4 storey terrace houses overlooking the Thames
COLINDALE HOSPITAL (CENTRAL LONDON DISTRICT SICK ASYLUM)
Officially closed in 1996 . A few buildings were still used for elderly mental health patients until approx 2009.
Central London District Sick Asylum was erected in 1898-1900 "in the country" at Colindale. The site cost £12,500 and the foundation stone was laid on 6th June, 1898. Its layout was based on the pavilion system with separate blocks connected by a central linking corridor. A central administrative block contained offices, nurses' rooms, the boardroom and chapel, with kitchens and laundry to the rear. At each side were placed two two-storey ward blocks: one for TB patients, one for children, one for infectious children, and one for casualty cases. In 1913, the hospital was sold to the newly formed City of Westminster Union. In 1920, it was taken over by the Metropolitan Asylums Board as a sanitorium for advanced TB cases. In 1930, control passed to the London County Council then, in 1948, it joined the new National Health Service & renamed Colindale Hospital.
JM writes to Derelict London "I was a patient in Colindale Hospital in my teens. Originally placed in Edgware General but a whole lot of patients were transferred over to Colindale. i was there for six months being treated for TB. It was in the 1950's and the wards were the typical large affairs with some 30 plus beds and some side rooms or balconies. The organisation was such that it catered for long term treatment. Depending upon level of infection/recovery some patients were 'allowed out' on day or weekend passes."
Colindale Hospital has now been demolished apart from the facade of the main building which has been incorporated into flats. . There is now a massive new housing development of 700 apartments in the grounds of the hospital called Pulse.
BROMLEY BY BOW - ST ANDREWS HOSPITAL
Notorious smelly East End Hospital during its latter years. St Andrew's Hospital was founded in 1868 as the Poplar and Stepney Sick Asylum, under the Metropolitan Poor Act of 1867along architectural lines favoured by Florence Nightingale, and opened in 1873. The Asylum was renamed St Andrew's Hospital in 1921.The hospital grew through 19th century extensions to over 650 beds. A school of nursing was established in 1875 and nurses followed a three year course for a certificate of training and sick cookery. By 1930 an optional maternity training course had been established and the nursing staff had expanded to over 200. The hospital closed in 2006
The 3-hectare site is situated next to Bromley by Bow station, and not far from the 2012 Olympic site. Redevelopment plans incorporate 800-900 new homes, which will see a mixture of small and large family homes,50 per cent of which are anticipated to be set aside for affordable housing. Plans also include a new health centre, open spaces for leisure, and local shops.
EUSTON - THE ELIZABETH GARRETT ANDERSON HOSPITAL
Named after its founder,who was one of the first women to qualify in medicine. The hospital started in 1866 as a dispensary and the present building dates from 1889.The foundation stone for the Hospital's new building was laid by the Princess of Wales in 1889. Closed down recently and will be replaced by a £442million new hospital being built down the road.
The NHS say "Our new hospital will do away with the Dickensian way of working, replacing our scattered, out of date buildings with a single, state-of-the-art complex."
HACKNEY HOSPITAL (formerley UNION WORKHOUSE)
Described as "arguably the worst general hospital psychiatric facility in the country. The site was cramped & the monolithic workhouse became ill suited to modern medical standards."
Built in 1841 as a workhouse. In 1930, the workhouse came under the control of the London County Council, becoming Hackney Hospital. Services at Hackney were transferred to the nearby Homerton Hospital which opened in 1987. The final hospital departments closed in 1995 and the site has been redeveloped into flats retaining some of the original buildings.
Annie writes to Derelict London : "I remember working at Hackney Hospital back in 1978 as a student nurse on the geriatric unit. Back then it was a dreadful place and it looked much as the photos do on your pages, except, of course, the place was full of patients. The geriatric blocks were at the back and incredibly run down. My ward was at the top and had not been updated so was exactly the same as it was when it was a workhouse. In the linen room (where I used to go just for five minutes peace) the old victorian window panes were still in place as proved by the poignant words Jas 1898 which had been etched intothe glass 80 years earlier. To get to the geriatric blocks from the main entrance you had to walk across a wilderness of old derelict buildings and the remains of a fire that had taken place some years before, all overgrown rubble and blackened timbers. It was a hellhole and I'm glad they shut it down. Mind you, the staff canteen had fantastic food!"
HACKNEY - QUEEN ELIZABETH CHILDRENS HOSPITAL
Now disused but still in pretty good condition..............
In 1870, a small 26-bed hospital was opened here & known as North-Eastern Hospital and Dispensary.In 1893, a new building fund began, this allowed the Hackney Road site to be expanded and new ward accommodation to be added. 1942, amalgamated with the Princess Elizabeth of York Hospital for Children, Shadwell to become The Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children.In 1948, the hospital became part of the newly created NHS. 1996, the hospital became part of The Royal Hospitals Trust, now Barts and The London NHS Trust. Michael Jackson made a visit in 1992.
In 1998, the services of the hospital were relocated to The Royal London Hospital, where they retain their historical identity through their current name, The Queen Elizabeth Children's Service a title granted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. The hospital had one of the country's most important pathological laboratories for the investigation of child diseases.
LAMBETH HOSPITAL (formerly Lambeth Workhouse)
This was one of the earliest pavilion-block workhouse designs built in England - built in 1871-2 it was designed to house 820 inmates. In 1896, future star of the silent screen Charles Chaplin (then aged seven) briefly became inmates of the Lambeth workhouse, together with his mother and his younger brother.
In 1922, the workhouse and infirmary were amalgamated and renamed Lambeth Hospital. In 1930 its administration was taken over bythe London County Council. Hospital shut about 1976. The infirmary and most of the workhouse have now been demolished, although the water tower survives. Some more more modern buildings at the back remain derelict.
MORTLAKE - THE LEVEL CROSSING CENTRE
The Level Crossing Centre - this up until recently was a drop in centre for adults with mental illness. Debbie writes: "The building was grim inside (although quite ok looking from the outside) and was going to cost a fortune to refurbish it so it was closed and the services there moved elsewhere."
CENTRAL LONDON (FITZROVIA) - MIDDLESEX HOSPITAL
The Middlesex Hospital's history goes back 250 years. The Middlesex Infirmary opened in 1745 with 18 beds to provide medical treatment for the poor. Funding came from subscriptions and in 1747, the hospital became the first in England to add 'lying-in' (inpatient) beds.The foundation stone on the present site was laid in 1755 and in 1757, The Middlesex Hospital opened on its current site. Over the years, extra wings were added but in 1924, it was decided that the building was about to collapse and something had to be done. Huge efforts were put into a "The Middlesex is falling down" campaign to raise the necessary million pounds plus to rebuild the hospital. Finally, without ever having closed its doors, the new Middlesex was opened in 1935 and eventually closed in December 2005.
The hospital has now been demolished and and all that remains is one facade and amazingly the chapel which was in the middle. Now the demolition has been completed, the work on the ambitious new luxury buildings have not started due to the credit crunch......
TOOTING - SURREY COUNTY PAUPER LUNATIC ASYLUM (SPRINGFIELD UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL)
Mental health services have been provided at Springfield University Hospital since 1841, when it opened as the Surrey County Pauper Lunatic Asylum The site was chosen for its “southern aspect, good air and ready supply of water”
Until the 19th century, standards in private ‘madhouses’ - as they were often called - were very low, and only those able to pay were cared for. Most paupers were accommodated under dismal conditions, and mentally ill people often wandered the streets or at best were cared for by their families. Constructed in Tudor style with subtle angles and variegated brickwork, the asylum was praised in architectural journals at the time, though its gables and twisted chimneys have since been removed as dangerous.
By the 1960s, Springfield had 2,000 beds but with changes in the way in which people’s mental health needs were managed, most of the large old institutions which historically had provided long-term residential care for people with mental health problems had closed. Springfield didn’t close but changed to provide more outpatient facilities and provides only 286 beds on the site. New state of the art buildings have been constructed on the site as some of the old Victorian wards became outdated and have fallen derelict. The hospital hopes to sell these buildings to be converted to apartments to raise money for building more mediacal facilities elsewhere on the site.
The Trust, which runs the hospital, was criticised in an independent report published in 2000 for "serious management and systems failures, after one patient, Anthony Joseph, was set free and went on to kill Jenny Morrison, his social worker.Ms Morrison was not told by hospital authorities that Joseph, a paranoid schizophrenic who believed he was the son of God, had already threatened staff, had a conviction for carrying a knife and had a history of sleeping with a machete under his pillow. Nor was she informed that Joseph claimed to be plagued by "demons" and that he had said she would be "brave" to see him.As a result, she visited him alone in the hostel where he had been living since his release. Within minutes, he had stabbed her more than 100 times. At least four other killings by patients have occured in the last few years.
MAZE HILL - GREENWICH DISTRICT HOSPITAL
The 1962 Hospital Plan for England and Wales proposed that St. Alfege's Hospital, Greenwich should be redeveloped to form a District General Hospital of 800 beds. In 1963, the Minister of Health gave a press conference at which details of the new Greenwich District hospital were released. The main problem was how to fit an 800-bed hospital onto a site of less than 8 acres. The construction methods would be revolutionary - all lateral engineering services were to be contained in a 6-foot gap between floor and ceiling of each pair of floors so that repairs and maintenance works could be carried out without disturbing ward or department routine. All wards would have natural light but the service departments e.g. x-ray, pathology and operating theatres would be in the centre and artificially lit.The whole hospital was to be ventilated mechanically and none of the windows would open so that the air in the wards would be as ‘pure’ as possible.
The hospital was closed down in 2001 & demolished in 2006. Scenes from the film "About a Boy" starring Hugh Grant were filmed at the closed Greenwich District Hospital.
HAMPSTEAD - CHILDRENS HOSPITAL
The Children's Hospital Hampstead was founded in 1875 as a voluntary institution, situated in Maida Vale, moved to College Crescent, Hampstead in 1904 .At the outbreak of World War Two the hospital was requisitioned by the War Office. Throughout the war years various plans were proposed for its future use, including a merger with the Hampstead General, but these never materialised. The hospital joined the Royal Free Group when the NHS came into being in 1948, and the building was used firstly as the School of Nursing Preliminary Training School (PTS) and then as a nurses' home from then until its sale in 1990. The trust, closed the dilapidated building because it did not meet fire standards, says it already has too many single rooms and say it would be “uneconomic” to renovate.
HOMERTON E9 - EASTERN FEVER & SMALLPOX HOSPITAL
An infectious diseases hospitals hospital originated on this site in 1870, From 1948 it was renamed as the Eastern Hospital for general cases. The Eastern Hospital closed and most of the buildings demolished and replaced by the new Homerton Hospital on the same site in 1986. The remains of the old hospital wall seen here remain on Brooksby's walk.
Built in 1865. Before the creation of the modern Welfare State, individuals or families who were unable to support themselves had to turn to their local Board of Guardians, for help many people seeking poor relief were forced to live in their local Workhouse After the abolition of the Board of Guardians in 1930, the workhouse (now called the was taken over by theCounty Borough of Croydon. It continued to perform the same functions as the workhouse, though with a growing emphasis on the care of the elderly. During the Second World War it was reclassified as a Class 2 Hospital under the Emergency Hospital Scheme, and was severely damaged by bombing in April 1941. It was taken over by the National Health Service in 1948, when it was renamed Queen's Hospital, and became a geriatric hospital. It closed in 1987.
The buildings have all been demolished apart from the 50ft listed tower (entrance block) to make way for new homes. I found out about this place too late - just as the demolition had been completed.
ASHFORD (MIDDX) - ASHFORD HOSPITAL
This is the older part of the hospital boarded up while the more recent buildings behind remain a thriving hospital. I remember coming here to get looked over after my Mk2 Escort got written off in Chertsey.
CLAPHAM - SOUTH LONDON HOSPITAL FOR WOMEN
The pics were taken just before demolition in 2004. The facade was saved and now it fronts some new build flats and a Tesco supermarket
Entirely staffed by women, the hospital was founded in 1912 and opened by Queen Mary on July 4th 1916. It was enlarged in the 1930s and closed down in 1984.
The vacant hospital site in Clapham South was the subject of bitter legal wrangling after Wandsworth Council brought two judicial reviews against the proposed superstore. It objected to former Secretary of State Stephen Byers's decision to overrule his inspector and grant planning permission,claiming a new store would jeopardise businesses in Balham from low supermarket prices and 156 free car parking spaces. It said Lambeth Council and Mr Byers had ignored planning regulations protecting town centres.
Derek Dow writes to Derelict London: "I'm currently writing an article for my monthly medical history column in New Zealand Doctor on one of the hospital's founders, Dr Eleanor Davies-Colley. She was the first female fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (1911), a fact commemorated a couple of years ago when the college began raising 1/4million for a Davies-Colley lecture room - it's ironic therefore that her hospital should be unceremoniously removed. "
Vickie Beamish writes to Derelict London: "In January 1934 my sister Joan was born there. Mother had all her children at home except for this last child. It had been discovered that mother had an abdominal tumour, so she had to have a caesarian section - dangerous in those days. The baby was very tiny and they had no incubators so the nurse placed the baby in one of those wire soap dishes that spread from side to side of a bath. The bath was kept filled with hot water to produce steam and that was the baby's crib for several days. I think this was to maintain her body heat. Mother then had to undergo a second abdominal operation to deal with the tumour. In line with the rules at that time this tiny baby was not allowed to stay in the hospital as my mother was no longer a patient in the obstetrical department, so she was sent home to be looked after by whoever was handy. Luckily my cousin Eva Carey-Hammond was able to stay with us and took good care of her.
Whilst Mother was recovering from the second operation the hospital had some kind of fund raising drive, and produced a little booklet to hand out. Mother was a fine knitter and had made herself a pretty bedjacket and her photograph was on the front of the booklet, showing her sitting up in bed wearing the bedjacket. I wish I could find a copy of the booklet now as it was one of the few photographs taken of my mother and I would love to have a copy.
Later that year or early in the next year I developed rheumatic fever and was sent to the same hospital. They did not seem to have a bed in a children's ward for me and I was put in with the grownups. A long ward with at least ten beds on each side. I hated being there. For one thing they made me stay in a crib with bars which I found an affront. This was probably to make me stay in bed as total bed rest was part of the treatment. In addition they had strange ways of dealing with diseases in those days. The doctor taking care of me thought that diet would be a good cure and I was fed three things ONLY - boiled chicken, boiled fish and boiled potatoes - and I do mean nothing else - three times a day. Since I am a vegetarian I literally lived on boiled potatoes with the occasional mouthful of fish out of desperation when I got hungry enough. Sometimes one of the other patients would sneak me a slice of bread when the nurses were not looking, but they got into trouble when caught. Another part of the treatment was an injection of some kind of new drug whichwas extremely painful. I remember that these two injections were given by a Dr. Pritchard and I always referred to her as Dr. Prickhard as she hurt me so much. Another part of the treatment was the regular administration of enemas.
The doctor told me that as I was growing up I should not try to remember unimportant things as these could be written down for later reference, but I should concentrate on remembering only important things. Otherwise I would use up my brain!! That was almost seventy years ago and I remember this quite clearly. I guess I thought it was an "important thing". I was not allowed visitors as in those days this was thought to upset children. Visiting hours for the grownups were on Sunday afternoons for two hours and again in the evening, plus either Wednesday or Thursday afternoon for a couple of hours. Everyone on the ward had visitors except me which was upsetting.
The grownup patients on the ward were well aware that I was near to starving and fretting away and apparently put their heads together to decide what to do. One of these ladies got me to whisper my address to her husband when he visited and the nurse was not looking.He then went to visit my mother and told her what was going on. He also gave mother his wife's name and said she could use it. In those days one had to give a clerk, sitting at the entrance to the hospital, the name of the person a visitor was going to see, so this patient's name was needed to get on to the ward. Mother was herself unwell at that time and Dad was at work so she sent my two older brothers Ern and Ted to the hospital to check things out for her and they made their plans. Using the other patient's name, they were able to get on the ward, pretending to be her sons. When the nurses tried to stop them from speaking to me they took no notice and grabbing the crib ran with it down the hall trying to get me to the front door where they had a friend waiting to help - they were going to steal me. Some men working for the hospital stopped them doing this and there was quite a scene. The next day my parents came to the hospital and discharged me against medical advice. Once I was at home the family doctor was appalled at my condition. I had been in hospital for several weeks and the enemas combined with the lack of food resulted in my being very weak and as thin as a rake. He called regularly and I was nursed through this illness at home and soon put on weight and got better. It was during this time at home that my Dad taught me to play cribbage, and when I was able to return to school I found I was really good at mental arithmetic as a result.
Another thing I remember about the grown up patients is that a couple of them were anaemic and were also treated with a diet. They were required to eat slices of raw beef liver once or twice a day and were refused other food unless they complied. I remember that one of them put on a blindfold and pinched her nose so that she could not see or smell the liver and could pretend it was something else. I make this place sound awful I suppose, but these people were doing the best they could in the light of their knowledge at that time."