Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas time in Craig-y-nos

One of the earliest photos seen of Christmas in Craig-y-nos - 1924

Many children remember Christmas with fondness and nostaglia.

Christine Perry (nee Bennett )1954-57 recalls that every Christmas Day Dr Williams would come into Ward 2 to carve the turkey and later his wife and daughters would appear at the door to wish them a Merry Christmas.

“On Christmas morning all the patients would have pillow cases at the foot of their beds with presents in it.”

Mair Harris ( nee Edwards) 1950-52 air had already started at grammar school when she went into Craig-y-nos as a 13 year old. She was there for 22 months, and she has “very pleasant memories”of her time on the balcony and remembers Christmas as “a fantastic time”.

Vera Blewett (nee Paris) is held up in her cot - 1942 - on Christmas Day.

Small children often recall tiny incidents from their Christmas in Craig-y-nos.
RENEE (nee Griffiths) BARTLETT, aged 6 , 1945.
"I remember going in to the theatre at Christmas time to receive a gift from Father Christmas. I was given a sock which had an apple, a tangerine some nuts and dried fruit in it. I also remember having a doll there but when I left the hospital I was not allowed to take it home with me.

Children in the Adelina Patti theatre - 1920s

Rosemary Davies ( nee Harley) 1951 one of 11 children says she was made to feel “special” by being in Craig-y-nos and had lots of presents.

“At Christmas we had the pantomine. We were allowed to go to the see the babies ward. There was a mother in with two children one aged 3 years and another a couple of months. The mother was confined to bed, she couldn't see her children except through a window. I always remember that. She could wave to her children on Christmas Day.”

Haydn Harris was four years old when he went in 1937.
He recalls Christmas Day.
" The inside of the ward had a platform at one end, about four foot higher than there rest of the floor. As young as I was, I knew that it was best to keep away form the higher level. The “Iron Lungs” were situated there. These were machines that helped ‘extreme’ patients to breath. Except for their head and neck, the patient was completely enveloped in the machine. Very few patients came down from the platform alive.

The one occasion I didn't mind going up on to the platform was Christmas Day, 1937. Father Christmas arrived din the morning and sat at the edge of the platform with his sack. All the children that were capable went up on to the platform to talk to him, and receive a present. I seem to remember mine was a model truck."

Nurse Glenys Davies with some of the children in the Glass Conversatory - 1940's
Jean Hopkins ( nee Phillips) was in 1942 as a 12 year old with TB gland and she was not confined to bed.
"We had a lovely big Christmas tree in the ward. On Christmas Eve the nurses toured the ward singing carols. Christmas morning when we awoke there were presents for everyone at the foot of the bed."

Father Christmas (hospital dentist ) and Nurse Glenys Davies surrounded by children at the annual Christmas party.

Magaret Blake ( nee Howells) 1954
"The staff were very good. They did our Christmas shopping for us from the Boots catalogue."

Pat Hybert (née Mogridge), age 19, 1952 -1953
" I went in December. It was snowing, very, very cold, and being disappointed going in just before Christmas.
But there you are, we were all in the same boat up there in Craig-y-nos.

I can remember Harry Secombe coming there, that was on the Christmas, but I wasn't allowed down to go to that because I got out of bed and I shouldn't have done. "

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