Hospital History

Community History Project for Savernake Hospital

History page intro

The Friends are always looking forward, with the aim of supporting and enhancing healthcare both at Savernake Hospital and in the surrounding Marlborough area.  However, we are also respectful collectors of fascinating pieces of history relating to the hospital.  We have talked to countless people with fond memories, visited the History Centre in Chippenham where there is a wealth of information and collected bits and pieces from various other sources, including old newspapers.  We have cobbled together a representation of the past but……

We are not historians!

You will certainly find errors and omissions on our pages which we’ll happily put right.  The history is an ongoing project.  If you would like to add to it, please click here to email us with memories or pictures.  There is much more to see in our paper files which were made during the History Exhibition in 2009 and, as soon as they find a permanent home where they can be easily accessed by the public, we will let you know!

Janet Louth (Chairman of the Friends of Savernake Hospital and the Community) & Val Compton

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The History Project Attracts University Interest

History Academics from the University of Warwick have also been taking an interest in the Friends’ History Project – click here to read more about their research project.

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Other News

Dawn Griffis

As reported in February, we discovered an eBook entitled “Nursing at the Horton: The Way it Was – When Care to the Local People Really Mattered” written by Dawn Griffis nee Alsford.   The book contains a chapter all about Savernake Hospital, where Dawn Griffis started her training in 1956.  We have included a link to the book, which provides excerpts and details of the author as well as how to purchase.

Since then we have managed to make contact with Dawn(!) who has been kind enough to send us more delightful memories of her nursing days at Savernake Hospital.  Click here to read more.

New (old) photographs

Savernake Hospital Children's Ward, printed with the permission of JJ Hunt Wiltshire Archive, courtesy of George Barbour

Savernake Hospital Children’s Ward, printed with the permission of JJ Hunt Wiltshire Archive, courtesy of George Barbour

We have also been provided with some lovely historical photographs of Savernake Hospital.  Our thanks to George Barbour for the first photograph (right) featuring Matron Lavington in the Children’s Ward (circa 1930s) which is shown here with the kind permission of JJ Hunt Wiltshire Archive, and to Rob Dickens of his photographs of Hospital Week (circa 1930s, we understand).

Source - Rob Dickens - Hospital Week featuring John Bower and Phyllis Sainsbury c1930s

Source – Rob Dickens – Hospital Week featuring John Bower and Phyllis Sainsbury c1930s

Source - Rob Dickens - Hospital Week featuring John Bower and Phyllis Sainsbury 2 circa 1930s

Source – Rob Dickens – Hospital Week featuring John Bower and Phyllis Sainsbury 2 circa 1930s

Savernake Hospital’s Historical “Who’s Who”

Charles Ponting, Matron Lavington, Matron Blackwell, Rev J O Stephens, Samuel Farmer, Jack Spratt and Sir George Gilbert Scott are some of the individuals who have made a significant contribution to Savernake Hospital over the ages.  Click here to read about their contribution – and that of a donkey – to Savernake Hospital.  New Who’s Who – Ray White.

Hospital Memories

The Friends thank all those, many of whom attended the 2009 Friends’ History Exhibition, who have given their time to recount their memories of the Savernake Hospital of yesteryear.  Both former patients and former staff having given us wonderful insights into, and anecdotes about, Savernake Hospital and life in Marlborough in the past.

Special thanks must go to former Friends committee member, Val Compton, and to Chairman Janet Louth for compiling these summaries, which we will steadily add to the website.  Click here to read the first of these accounts.

History Gallery

We now have dedicated subpage of photographs from the various decades relating to Savernake Hospital.  Click here to see Savernake Hospital in pictures.

 

 

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