From Bedlam to Whittingham

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Gloria
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From Bedlam to Whittingham

Post by Gloria » 15 Sep 2012, 12:18

I have received this through LFHHS.

"From Bedlam to Whittingham"
What was it liked to be locked up in Lancaster Castle, sent away to the infamous Royal Bethlam Hospital, or admitted to Whittingham Asylum because you were 'mad'.
Lancashire Archives Preston
Bow Lane
Preston
10.00am-3.30pm Saturday 6th Oct 2012
£5 inclusive of lunch and refreshments.
All welcome but places are limited, please e-mail Kathryn.Rooke@lancashire.gov.uk to reserve yours.

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Wendyf
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Re: From Bedlam to Whittingham

Post by Wendyf » 15 Sep 2012, 15:01

Thanks Gloria, it sounds interesting but I cant go, most Saturdays involve a trip to my mum's at the moment.

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Gloria
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Re: From Bedlam to Whittingham

Post by Gloria » 15 Sep 2012, 15:04

We are going, as you say it sounds very interesting and it isn't far for us.
Gloria
Now an Honorary Chief Engineer who'd be dangerous with a brain!!!
http://www.briercliffesociety.co.uk
http://www.lfhhs.org.uk

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Tripps
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Re: From Bedlam to Whittingham

Post by Tripps » 16 Sep 2012, 12:57

I have relatives who live nearby, and both used to work at Whittingham. We used to go for a walk in the grounds after a good Sunday lunch in (? )late seventies. It was ernormous, and from memory had a nice lake. I think the ballroom (!) was the biggest in the North or some such record? Replaced by "care in the community" I guess.
Not sure what's happening now, though I have seen pictures on the web of its current abandoned state. It has been pillaged by scrap metal thieves. There has been talk of a large housing development, but I'm not sure where they're at with that.
Born to be mild. . .

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Stanley
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Re: From Bedlam to Whittingham

Post by Stanley » 17 Sep 2012, 04:44

I used to visit some of these large institutions, either delivering when I was on the tramp or maintaining boilers when I worked for John Ingoe at REW. The thing that always struck me was the fact that the inmates who had freedom to walk round were such cheerful people. I have a story for you about this....
When I drove for West Marton Dairy, whoever did the Settle school milk run also delivered milk to a small mental hospital just north of Settle at Harden Bridge. One day as I drove up through the grounds a man stopped me and asked me if I had a match. I gave him a box with a few in it thinking he just wanted a smoke. While I was inside the kitchen an alarm bell rang and the place was locked down. I asked what was going on and they told me that the patients were very upset and they had to calm them down. It turned out that as it was near November 5th many small bonfires had been gathered together and somehow one of the inmates had got hold of some matches and gone round setting fire to them. Needless to say, I kept stum. At Settle Creamery some of the inmates from the hospital in the town used to work there and they were a good bunch, always cheerful and good workers. One day, one of them, John, tuned up at work with a fishing rod and at dinnertime he climbed up on the boiler house roof and started fishing in the feed water tank. We were stood there laughing at him when he started to pull trout out of the tank. We stopped laughing! Turned out that the dairy had been illegally topping the tank up during the night using a contractor's diaphragm pump that had been sucking fish in and shoving them up into the tank. We reflected that he perhaps had more sense than us!
I have a friend, Joan, who worked on violent wards and when the hospital was closed down she said that many of the inmates who were put out into the community, whilst safe, would need a lot of support as they were completely institutionalised. She told me of cases where this didn't happen and in the end some of them had to be re-admitted. She reckoned the cause was lack opf funding, the planners just didn't appreciate the needs of the patients. It sounds as though this still might be the case.
Stanley Challenger Graham
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The floggings will continue until morale improves!

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