Thursday, April 23, 2009

"Tied to the bed, in a straitjacket" - Joan, age 8, 1948

Just when you think you have heard all the stories about Craig-y-nos yet another new one pops into my email box.

Wendy Dove says her mother, Joan Harris, was in Craig-y-nos for two years ( 1948-50.)

"I was brought up hearing many stories of her stay there, and I was always intrigued to know more! I will most definitely be buying your book.

"Most of her stories were quite negative. Mum was 8/9 at the time and strong minded, so I suppose she would be getting into a lot of mischief!"

So I rang Joan up. She lives in Coventry, works as a hotel manageress and had discovered this blog quite accidentally while googling her home town of Phillipstown near Tredegar.

"I couldn't believe it when I read the stories. Until now nobody would believe me when I told them the things that happened to me as a child in Craig-y-nos.

"I used to be tied to the bed on a regular basis, it was a strait-jacket they put you into and folded your arms in front of you. I used to get up to mischief. Once I threw a slipper and it went straight out of the window through the iron bars ( remember the iron bars on the windows? ) and landed in the courtyard near a nurse who was standing there with her boyfriend.

Well, I got a terrible row . They wanted to know whose slipper it was. So, back into the straitjacket for me."

"My bed war near the fire escape and I used to plan to escape. I thought if I followed the river it would lead me to Swansea to my grandmother's home."

Joan was one of nine children and the family moved to Coventry when she was 16. She is married with one daughter.

How about this for a coincidence: Joan was in the next bed to Caroline Boyce ( nee Havard) who lives 15 miles along the road from me in Scotland!...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Joan,

I was pretty much mischievious myself whilst I was at Craig-y-nos asw ell. Got into trouble many times. I totally identify with your experiences and the other posts written on this blog from people who may remember me. Yes I remember the straight Jackets!

I was a patient in Ward 2 at Craig-y-Nos Hospital from 1953 – 1954

The girls called me Percy because my Maiden name was Frances Purcell.

I would love to hear from anyone remembers me or would like to write to me? If so. you are very welcome to write to me at my email address:

I very much look forward to hearing from any of you.

Kind reagard, Frances