Saturday, March 29, 2008
‘Awards for All Wales’ grant
Dr Carole Reeves
The Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL has received a grant of £5000.00 to create a print on demand book entitled ‘The Children of Craig-y-nos’ which will also be freely available as a downloadable pdf file from the Centre's website.
The book will be the first ever collective history of patient and staff experiences in a tuberculosis sanatorium.
The Adelina Patti Hospital (Craig-y-nos Castle) served for nearly forty years (1922-1959) as a tuberculosis sanatorium mainly for children and young women at a time when the incidence and death rate of TB in the industrial areas of South Wales were higher than anywhere else in Britain.
The project was begun by artist and writer, Ann Shaw, herself an ex-patient, who will be co-authoring the book with Dr Carole Reeves, Outreach Historian at the Centre.
It is not only re-uniting people who shared their formative years in the sanatorium but is opening a community dialogue about the impact of tuberculosis on families in the Swansea valley.
The project has collected over a thousand photographs, memorabilia, and seventy-five oral history interviews. There have been two well-attended photographic exhibitions in Ystradgynlais and Brecon, and a 2008 summer exhibition will be held at Swansea Museum.
An online exhibition is at: childrenofcraigynos.com
A patient / staff reunion at Craig-y-nos Castle in September 2007 was attended by 120 people. Information pours in on a daily basis and the Craig-y-nos blog (http://craig-y-nos.blogspot.com/) now has over 600 pages of text, images, podcasts and videos. The project will make available an important educational and heritage resource created by the people who experienced it.
Dr Carole Reeves, who applied for the grant and has worked on the project with Ann Shaw since its inception, said: ‘We are thrilled that “Awards for All Wales” has recognised the importance of this community project. The book will be a permanent memorial to “The Children of Craig-y-nos” and an important medical and social history of tuberculosis in the area. Because the sanatorium records have been destroyed, we are re-constructing forty years of missing Welsh history.’