Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Texas and T.B.

Patti from Texas tells me that she finds the story of "The Children of Craig-y-nos"

" touching and even a bit intriguing because none of us have had to witness a victim of TB in our life times. We take the funny little test at the doctor's office, get an injection and that's all we really know of it."

I am amazed.
Most people I know in Wales will have known at first hand of a friend, relative or have suffered from TB themselves.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Craig-y-nos and Texas

“The Children of Craig-y-nos” story– of sick children locked up in a remote haunted castle for years- has touched people around the world.

Take this email I got yesterday from Texas:

I am almost ashamed to tell you that I first heard of Craig-y-nos through a book I happened to buy last weekend entitled "Ghosts of the World". I bought it on a lark, as I had been sick and unable to participate in our usual "Haunted House" outings we take during the Halloween season.

Anyway, I happened upon a story about Adelina Patti and her castle. Although it was very brief and vague, it mentioned the ghostly sounds of children giggling and playing in various parts of the castles...remnants of an era when the castle was a hospital for TB patients. Captivated by such an intriguing collection of stories for one castle, I decided to research the castle online. What I found was so much more than I would have ever expected! All the stories and photos of the people, mostly the children, who were treated in this “hospital”, captivated my heart.

More than anything else, I wanted you to know that your story has touched me so that I plan to share this with my friends. It is not a whimsical look at "sick kids in a castle" or even for the rush of telling ghost stories. My parents gave me the special ability to give appreciation to human life and the stories we can gain so much from.

I am so glad I found this story. Thank you for all your hard work to share this almost lost moment in time...and THANK YOU for sharing it in a way that it even reached someone like me...all the way in Houston, Texas, USA.

Most respectfully,

Patti Abbott-French

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Who are they? - circa 1950

Can anyone remember the names of these young women? again the possible date is around 1949-52.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Craig-y-nos and Iceland

I guess there can't be many folk around who have lived in Craig-y-nos Castle and Iceland.
But I am one of them. I was four years in Craig-y-nos and one year working in Iceland.
So what's the link between the two? a love of a cold climate.

So, with Iceland in the news every day and images of Reykjavik flashing up on the telly screens most night I am agog.
It is my old stamping ground many years ago and I am eager to see how it has changed.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Carol Hughes( Davies ) - 1950s

Carol Hughes (Davies) from Skewen writes on the BBC Mid-Wales web-site:

The nursing staff at craig y nos treated us the best they could but the place was not the best to treat children in the rules were hard to keep i remember the best ones auntie maggie, sister morgan, nurse glenys davies. I was often tied to my bed i can remember once i was on bed rest i called a nurse who was in the ward to say i wanted to go to the toilet she ignored me so i got out of bed ran to the toilet for this the nurse caught me and gave me a good shaking and i had restrainers put on to stop me getting out of bed. I was 6 years old at the time i was also in sully hospital that was like a luxury hotel compared to craig y nos but credit must be given to the young nurses, many people would not come near us. TB was something to fear then i went to the exhibition in swansea museum and i found people wanting to know more because there are no records and they even gave me a hug which is a far cry from the 1950s.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Night-time in Craig-y-nos

The memory of being woken in the early hours of the morning by night sister’s torch flashing in my face, when I was still coughing up blood, came back to me with a jolt as I read through children's accounts of those days.

Many have spoken about waking up in the morning to find the bed next to them empty.

John, then aged 9, recalls:
“Sometimes the person you had been talking to one day was not there the next day just an empty unmade bed! This happened too many times. It was a scary lesson to learn for someone of a tender age.”

Or June, age 4, who woke morning and put her hand out to touch the girl in the next bed on the veranda to find she was not there and Sister Morgan telling her that she had “gone home in the night because she was missing her mother.

Going to sleep was associated with dying in many young minds.
Rosie, age 6 at the time, says:

"I was aware of people dying there. That's why even to this day I don't sleep very well because I was afraid to go to sleep because the nurses used to say oh she died in her sleep. I used to think well I don't want to die and I was afraid to sleep.I was terrified of going to sleep because that is when people died”.

Myfwany, a teenager, added :

“My father's brother died in Craig-y-nos as the clock struck midnight.

Well, when it was my turn to go in this thought was in my mind and every night it was me fighting to stay awake until that clock had struck midnight. And then I could sleep.”

Monday, October 06, 2008

Girls - early 1950's

These are the only names known so far:
top row (right) Norma Pearce
Mari Jenkins ( middle row left) and Barbara Paines ( middle row- right).
Does anyone know the names of the others?

Thats my Mum in the top right - Norma Pearce - Lewis for the last 40 odd years.
Mum really likes knowing additions to this blog.
Well done & Kind Regards