Thursday, May 03, 2007
Douglas Herbert 1945- 48
Douglas was admitted to Craig-y-nos as a five year old.
He has many vivid memories of his time there and he will be doing a full oral history recording with the Sleeping Giant Foundation.
Meanwhile here are two of his stories.
“I remember the 1947 Derby Day. All the visitors were clustered around my bed because I had the only workable radio. My father had put a 6p bet each way on My Love and it won.
“A couple of years ago there was this pub quiz. They said there was a free pint of beer to anyone who could tell them the winner of the 1947 Derby. Well, I put my hand up.....My father was astonished because he knew I had no interest in horses. So I reminded him of that day in Craig-y-nos ..."
Less happy memories are the times he was force-fed cold cabbage.
“One of the things I couldn't stand, and I can’t now is cabbage.
They got so used to me throwing up after swallowing the cabbage that the nurse would bring a bowl along at the same time so that I could be sick into it.
After I was sick they were happy. The nurse would take the bowl back to the sister to prove that I had swallowed it.”
Looking back on his time there he asks:“I often wonder what they did for us. I don't think we really had any treatment. You either made it or you didn't.’
Douglas still remembers with sadness his close friend Andrew, a plaster bed patient, who died six weeks after he left.
He voices the view of many ex child patients when he says:
“I always felt I lost my childhood.”
When I left Craig-y-nos I was happy for every day that came along.
And I still am.”
Douglas works as an accountant in Swansea.