Thursday, August 09, 2007
First Sister at Craig-y-nos - 1921
Sister Margaret Phillips with child ( circa 1921).This is one of the earliest photographs seen yet of life inside the Adelina Patti Hospital.
It’s amazing what the post brings!
This morning a package arrived form Gerrards Cross in Buckinghamshire.
It was from Phil Lewis, son of Sister Margaret Phillips, who was responsible, along with matron in the conversion of Adelina Patti’s home into a TB sanatorium.
The family lived in Penwyllt the remote village on the opposite side of the valley to the castle.
One of his memories is standing on rocks and listening to the people singing hymns on the balconies of the hospital across the valley on a Sunday evening.
His mother went back to nursing after the family were of school age and she used to walk down the mountain from Penwyllt to the castle taking the short cut through the Patti grounds and over the bridge to the hospital, even so this was a distance of mile and a quarter over rough terrain.
Then, after her nursing shift was over she had to walk back up the mountain again.
How did his parents meet?
Well, Phil says the local boys used to court Adelina Patti’s maids - there was a shortage of young female company in the area in those days- and after the castle was closed and it became a hospital the lads turned their attention to the young nurses.
His father was one of them.
He remembers hearing stories, whether true or not, that Adelina Patti’s chef used to chase the local lads away with a carving knife.
His mother died, aged 92, some 15 years ago ...in Craig-y-nos which had by this time become a geriatric hospital.