Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Mr William Len Ley

Local historian and retired police constable William Len Ley has written a book about the ironworks in the Swansea valley called The Iron Cradle and it has been published by the Sleeping Giant Foundation.
He is currently researching a book on the history of Craig-y-nos.

He says:" There are two very different stories to tell. The one about the time the castle was used by Adelina Patti, the opera singer and the other equally interesting story about the time it was used as a TB sanatorium for children.
He is also a national tour guide and takes parties around Craig-y-nos .

BBCMidWales web site

Several people have already responded to the BBCMidWales web site. Hope this link works!www.bbc.co.uk/wales/mid/sites/abercraf/pages/annshaw.shtml

They include a woman who was on 'the balcony' at the same time as myself and a man who has family letters written by a patient there in the 1920's.

The Wellcome Trust Centre of Medicine for the History of Medicine

Dr Carol Reeves of The Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine, University College London, is helping me with my research. She has produced a reading list which includes books/articles relating to personal experiences of TB.
I had forgotten this was once known as the "white death".


Saturday, December 16, 2006

The 50 year old photograph album

David, my brother warned me that there were photographs missing from the album taken which my sister-in-law, Doreen, had found at the bottom of a wardrobe.
These were photographs from Craig-y-nos taken over 50 years ago.

He was puzzled.
"Why should someone remove them?"

I was too, until I remembered asking my mother years ago about these missing photos. She had taken them out. She was ashamed.

I was reminded of this re-reading an e-mail from a former patient in Craig-y-nos. She was 8 years of age at the time and her mother burnt all the photos of her too. Only two remain from her years there.

And I think the shame of TB is one of the reasons why we have 40 years of history quietly forgotten.

Friday, December 15, 2006

First contact

Have had an email from Craig-y-nos giving me the name of a local historian. This should set the ball rolling!...also I see that there has been one comment so far to the BBC site.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

BBCMidWales -online

The BBC Home Page have an interactive section for people to write and share their memories and they have mentioned my project on their web-site.
Just click on the above link.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Dr Huppert, Jewish-Austrian doctor at Craig-y-nos

Dr. Huppert, a Jewish- Austrian woman doctor, terrified the children at Craig-y-nos. She had gold teeth, smelt of tobacco and looked like a man. If she discovered children had not eaten their food she would order it to be sent back to them.

She was the one who ordered the punishment anything from being put back to strict bed rest for a week for getting out of bed to retrieve a piece of paper during Silent Hour to having beds pulled out into the corridor for crying.
Yet on one occasion she took a group of little girls rowing on the lake.

She also carried out regular blood tests on the young women. The reason for these tests have still to be found.

Sister Winnie Morgan

Sister Winnie Morgan with two girls on the balcony. Sister Morgan ruled the childrens ward.
We lived in fear of her but she had her kind side. She was not as terrifying a person as Dr Hubbard.

"Auntie Maggie" with Ann Rumsey

"Aunti Maggie" had a special place our affections of the children at Craig-y-nos. She would do shopping for us and she was very kind, well above the course of duty. We rewarded her by calling her "Auntie".

She was our substitute mother.

This photograph was taken on the balcony of Ward 2 in 1951 (approx).

Friday, December 08, 2006

Staff at Craig-y-nos

Does anyone remember the following staff at Craig-y-nos:
Dr Williams, ( head doctor), Dr Hubbard ( Austrian woman dr), Sister Winnie Morgan, Miss Thomas and Miss White, both teachers ?

If so I would like to hear your stories about them. email:annshaw@mac.com

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The multi-purpose van

Picutre right: Ann Shaw ( nee Rumsey)

My brother, David Rumsey, who used to farm at Ty-Llangenny Farm, Crickhowell tells me that local huckster, ( market gardener) , George Jones was often called upon in the 1940's by the undertaker in Crickhowell to collect corpses from Craig-y-nos.
Vans were still something of a rarity and if anyone from Crickhowell area died in Craig-y-nos they would be brought back for burial.
George is now dead but his wife and son and brother still live in the area.

I was a patient at Craig-y-nos from 1950-54

Adelina Patti Sings

Craig-y-nos Castle has had a violent and colourful history.
Built in 1840 by the Powell family, it is said there was a curse on the family because Captain Powell's children died of either disease or terrible accidents. He ran out of monery, went blind and eventually insane.

Adelina Patti, world famous opera singer, lived there for over 50 years. She entertained the "great and the good" including Royalty, with concerts in her private theatre.
She died after falling down a flight of stairs. Today her ghost is supposed to haunt the castle and the grounds. Many sightings have been reported along with her singing.

After her death the castle was used for around forty years ( 1920- 1960) as a childrens TB sanatorium though all records for this period have been destroyed.
Today it is an hotel specialising in weddings and ghost-hunting.
It claims to be the most haunted castle in Wales.

carol said...
while in craig y nos in about 1953 when i was allowed out of bed
i use to go down the stairs often and a few times i swear i saw a lady in black but i dont think that the ghost hunters there now will find anything
i think a lot of the children saw things but were they real

Monday, November 27, 2006

Ghosts in the machine?

Of course I dont believe in ghosts!..
But when I started to write about "The Lost Children of Craig-y-nos" some weird things started to happen: my computer screen suddenly went blank and I lost several hundred words, other glitches happened. I prefer to think it was the computer having a bad day than spirits from another world. However have taken the precaution of making treble back-ups.

This enormous painting featuring Adelina Patti riding a chariot hangs in the Adelina Patti theatre at Craig-y-nos.