Friday, May 11, 2007
Allan Morgan -1954
9 year old Allan in his iron cot
Alan was browsing on Google and idly typed in Craig-y-nos. He found my web-site and contacted me .
Now 62 years of age he was admitted to Craig-y-nos as a 9 year old with his three sisters in February 1954.
A few months later his mother was transferred there too from another sanatorium.
Many people have already spoken to me about the family who were all in hospital together and how they were not allowed any contact with each other.
So I was very curious to hear Allan’s story.
He remained there for four and a half months before being transferred to Sully.
This is a brief extract from the interview I did with him.
Asked to compare the two institutions he said:
“Craig-y-nos was like a prison camp and Sully a holiday camp.”
He was tied to the bed in Craig-y-nos and regularly beaten. He was allowed no contact with his mother, except by letter and these letters had to be left open, and minimal with his sisters. If he saw them in the grounds he could wave to them.
“ I was kept in an iron cot and tied to the bed.
They would take the restrainer off at night. I had it on cause I kept getting out of bed.
My memories of the time I spent there are not pleasant ones. I remember the cruel way we were treated in the mornings.
Nurses would come around look at the bottoms of your feet if they were dirty you would be walloped with whatever they could lay their hands on.”
I never cried . I just grit my teeth except on one occasion one of the nurses, one of the Gwynne sisters hit me really hard and I cried. Afterwards she put her arms around me and tried to comfort me and apologised. But I wouldn't speak to her for weeks.”
In Sully they tackled the problem differently.
The doctor offered him a radio to listen to on condition he stayed in bed.
“I promised him I would and I did. I was never tied to the bed in Sully.”
He was told he had the kind of TB that did not respond to drugs and he had a section of his lung removed.
Today Allan lives in Bargoed.
He has three children and four grandchildren and worked all his life within the coal-mining industry.
“I was only in Craig-y-nos for less than five months. In many ways it was a cruel regime.”