Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Brian Thomas- abandoned child

I have just made an amazing discovery: Brian Thomas, abandoned in Craig-y-nos as a two year old, lives less than 30 miles from me in Scotland!

During research for the book several people had mentioned that some children were left at Craig-y-nos by parents who found themselves overhwelmed by the sheer burden of poverty and disease made worse by the difficulty of getting to Craig-y-nos on public tranport.

These children moved on to orphanges but at least one was adopted locally though no-one could remember the details.

Now we have found him.

His name is Brian and he was adopted by local bus driver George Thomas and his wife Gladys.

Today Brian works and lives as an electrician in Glasgow and he tells me he hopes to come to the book launch on May 1st "if at all possible."

We look forwad to meeting you there Brian.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Margaret Scott

Receive phone call from Linda Delve in Swansea.

Her aunt, Margaret Scott, died some time ago and the family,
while clearing out the attic, found in pristine condition the body cast of five year old Margaret .

She had been sent home from Craig-y-nos with the cast and told to sleep in it every night.

For Margaret had been put into Craig-y-nos in the early 1940s as an 18 month old toddler, uncertain whether she had TB or polio. She remained there until she was five years of age

Now the family are faced with the problem of disposing of the cast. That's why Linda rang me. I suggest Swansea museum but first, I ask, would she like to bring it up to Craig-y-nos as a medical artefact on May 1st for the mini exhibition and book launch?

Linda is delighted at the suggestion.
" I am reluctant to just throw this cast into the bin. It has such memories."

Too true.
Many ex child patients will remember the years they spent encased in similar body casts.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Book launch - invitation

If you would like to attend the launch of "The Children of Craig-y-nos" on May 1st then ring up Craig-y-nos Castle direct and book in for the carvery lunch ( £12.95).

The number is: 01639 730205.

Over 150 invitations ( an example is featured here) have already been sent out.

The invitation says:
"A celebration to launch the book

will be held at
Craig-y-nos Castle, Brecon Rd., Pen-y-case, Powys SA9 1GL
on 1 May 2009 at 12 noon

followed by a carvery lunch ( priced £12.95) at 1pm

If numbers exceed restaurant places, there will be a second lunch sitting at 2.30 pm

If you and members of yourr family or friends and colleagues would like to attend please book directly with Craig-y-nos Castle
Tel 01639 730205

Ann and Carole hope to welcome you there

There will be a limited number of books for sale at a discounted price of £8.50 ( cover price £9.99)

We regret that we are unable to accept creid or debit cards.

The book will be available through Amazon and selected bookshops
You will also be able to download copies from http://www.ucl.ac.uk/histmed ( after May 1st).

Iris Jones - 1937

Iris Jones (front row) on the balcony of Ward 2 in 1937.

David Jones, husband of Iris, just rang wanting to place an order for the book, "Children of Craig-y-nos". He will be at the book launch so I have assured him that a copy will be put aside for him lest we run out on the day.

However, it is worth reminding people that we received over 1,200 photos and only 200 could be used in the book so we have had to do some drastic editing.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Book launch- May 1st- Craig-y-nos Castle

Plans are well in hand now for the book launch on May 1st in Craig-y-nos Castle. Carole will be sending out invitations shortly either by snail-mail or email and we are expecting a terrific response.

It will be a lunch time "do" - similar to the Reunion- and it will take place in the Glass Conservatory which has recently been refurbished and I am assured it looks magnificent - Patti would be proud of it!

The book is selling for £9.99 but at the book launch there will be a special price of £8.50.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Knots, Girl Guides and Craig-y-nos

What would Health and Safety have to say about this today?
Girl Guides teaching patients how to light a fire and barbecue on Ward 2 balcony.

Guide leader prepares a sausage for the balcony barbecue.

Every time I tie a reef knot I remember where I learnt it: as a guide at Craig-y-nos.

Therefore I have fond memories of the guides for they represented a direct contact with the outside world, apart from monthly visits from parents, so I was delighted to receive the following email from Helena Thomas.

" Next year Guiding will be celebrating its Centenary. We hope to publish a pictorial book about Guding in Wales and I am hoping you will give permission to publish some of the photographs you sent me. The Guides at Craig-y-Nos are an important part of our history. I have found out the names of the leaders who helped and the dates they were there, but that is all the information I have at present.

You have certainly found out a lot about Craig-y-Nos when it was a hospital. Our county AGM is on 24th April and our guest speaker is going to talk about Craig-y-nos."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Gwynne Arms- visiting Craig-y-nos

(From left to right):
David, my brother, unknown man, Mrs Price, owner of the Gwynne Arms, my mother and father.

The Gwynne Arms was a popular pub with visitors to Craig-y-nos. My mother struck up a close friendship with the owner, Mrs Price, throughout the four years she visited me in Craig-y-nos.

Here's a rare photo of my mother, father and brother. I never did see my brother while I was in hospital because children were not allowed in though once I did wave to him from inside Ward 2 though to be honest I had no idea which one was him in the huge crowd gathered in the courtyard before the doors opened at 2pm to allow visitors in.

I had only been in a few months and Nurse Glen carried me to the window to wave to him.