Saturday, March 10, 2007

Sandra Thomas ( nee Elson)

Sandra Thomas of Tudor St., Ystradgynlais wrote:

I was in Craig-y-Nos as a patient for the three months before it closed as a TB Sanatorium.  I was amongst a group of children in the Headmaster’s class in Talgarth CP school who caught TB.  The Headmaster’s wife had the disease and had discharged herself from hospital.  The Headmaster contracted  it and had two cavities in his lungs.  We were 10/11 year olds.
My memories of those three months are a bit hazy.   I was admitted into the ward and afterwards was put out on the balcony.  I was confined to bed for three months, only getting out into a wheelchair for x-rays.  Without transport it was difficult for my parents to come from Talgarth to Craig-y-Nos to visit me.
There are two incidents that really stick in my memory. 
The first is when my parents took me into Craig-y-Nos I took a pink and silver tin with biscuits and sweets in with me, given to me by a shopkeeper in Talgarth.   Dr Hubbard took the tin from me as soon as my parents had gone and distributed it amongst all the children in the ward.  It’s not that I was bothered about the contents of the tin but it was as if she had taken my security away from me.  We used to call her ‘Old Mother Hubbard’, we were all scared stiff of her.
The second is that one night, quite late when out on the balcony we all heard quarrelling  below in the gardens.  When the quarrelling stopped we heard beautiful singing from a female voice.  There was nothing on in the theatre that night.  We told the nurses the following morning but were more or less told that we had imagined it.  We were convinced that it was the ghost of Adelina Patti singing.
All told I was in hospital for almost a year.  When Craig-y-Nos closed we were ambulanced up to Bronllys Hospital where I spent the next nine months.  This made it much easier for my parents to visit me as Talgarth is only down the road from Bronllys.
I remember Doctor Williams in Craig-y-Nos and also Dr Mulhall when we moved to Bronllys.”


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