Friday, August 15, 2008
Kensington TB hospital, St. Brides, Pemb.coast
Kensington TB hospital, St. Brides
Dr Carole Reeves writes:
Dr Ivor Williams forced to leave Craig-y-nos
Dr Williams’ daughter Mary, hinted that her father had been at Craig-y-nos twice but didn’t know any details. I managed to find the full story in his staff file at the National Library of Wales.
Dr Williams was first appointed Medical Superintendent in October 1937 on the retirement of Dr Lizzie Clark (who’d been at Craig-y-nos for 10 years). He’d previously been Senior Resident Medical Officer at Glan Ely Hospital, a sanatorium near Cardiff. Dr Williams and his wife settled into newly refurbished accommodation near the Patti Theatre.
By the summer of 1939, however, he was asked to transfer to Kensington Hospital, St Brides Bay, Pembrokeshire, so that Dr Fenwick Jones could take over at Craig-y-nos. Fenwick Jones, at that time Medical Superintendent to North Wales Sanatorium, was said to be ‘in indifferent health’ and Craig-y-nos was seen as a soft option to keep him in a job ‘without loss of status’ – these are the exact word in a confidential file dated 4 August 1939.
Needless to say, Dr Williams’ wasn’t best pleased, and wrote to the Welsh National Memorial Association: ‘We are still very reluctant to leave Craig-y-nos after our efforts to succeed here, but if you can find no other solution to the problem we are prepared to accept the verdict with as good a grace as we can muster.’
And so he and his wife went to St Brides, a sanatorium for children with TB of the bones, until October 1947 when Fenwick Jones eventually retired. In that 10 years, although he worked hard to make a success of his new hospital, it is clear that he wasn’t altogether happy and applied for at least three jobs – at Birmingham, Abergele and Gloucester.
The photographs show two views of Kensington Hospital (given to the Association for use as a sanatorium by the 6th Baron Kensington) in about 1930.