Author Topic: Pudysburn Mental Hospital  (Read 23063 times)

Giannineo

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Re: Pudysburn Mental Hospital
« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2013, 07:47:18 PM »
Someone will tell us about the use of Purdysburn but I thought that it was originally a fever hospital. ..and then a mental facility? :)
sj, the Fever hospital was separate - and over the hill from the Mental Hospital- a fair distance away at Hydepark and close to Purdysburn village and Milltown. I worked sessions in the Fever Hospital in the early 70's when it was mainly a Geriatric Hospital.The long stay men could have a Stout or a dram on the evening.I am not entirley sure, but it became Belvoir Hospital-I think that my uncle may have received cancer therapy there in the early 90's. Kat1 would be able to help you with more on the Mental hospital which was entered off the road to Carryduff and close to the Police Station.I played cricket against the patients' team  at the mental hospital in my teens and went to a concert or two there.It was a huge site and I was last there in 2009 as we left back Occ. Therapy items to it when my mother died.
 During Margaret Thatcher's time on office, moves began to de- institutionalise these large facilities  and most of them have closed to long term residential patients.
 There was much criticism of these places, but, the Staff had no easy job and would tell you the real story .

Astor

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Re: Pudysburn Mental Hospital
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2013, 08:49:43 PM »
sj, the Fever hospital was separate - and over the hill from the Mental Hospital- a fair distance away at Hydepark and close to Purdysburn village and Milltown. I worked sessions in the Fever Hospital in the early 70's when it was mainly a Geriatric Hospital.The long stay men could have a Stout or a dram on the evening.I am not entirley sure, but it became Belvoir Hospital-I think that my uncle may have received cancer therapy there in the early 90's. Kat1 would be able to help you with more on the Mental hospital which was entered off the road to Carryduff and close to the Police Station.I played cricket against the patients' team  at the mental hospital in my teens and went to a concert or two there.It was a huge site and I was last there in 2009 as we left back Occ. Therapy items to it when my mother died.
 During Margaret Thatcher's time on office, moves began to de- institutionalise these large facilities  and most of them have closed to long term residential patients.
 There was much criticism of these places, but, the Staff had no easy job and would tell you the real story .

I remember being in the fever hospital with scarlet fever, my recollection of it is great, got lots of pressies, in a ward of my own and everyone coming to see me but they had to stay outside the room. They would throw the pressies on to my bed from the doorway, being one of 8 children, I thought I'd gone to heaven lol!    :-*
Que Sera Sera

arder lavery

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Re: Pudysburn Mental Hospital
« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2013, 12:46:52 PM »
As a child, I went with my granny to visit my Mother who spent 10 years on an off in Graham's Home as it was known then.  We went on the green bus every week.  I was terrified of the walk up to and back from the big house.  Many of the mentally ill patients walked around the grounds and were quite frightening to a child.  My Mum had been in a "melancholy state"after suffering severe shock following my father's war death and being blitzed out of 3 homes in England (Manchester, Birmingham and Coventry). My Mum would would whisper her fears to me to pass on to my Granny. She was terrified of the electric shock treatment. The Nurses were like jailers, carrying keys to the wards.  When we left would watch my Mum staring out the window after us.  She passed away (aged 39) after ten years of non-responsive treatment. I suffered nightmares about the place for many years after. Thankfully, mental health treatment has made some progress since then. I hope it will continue to do so.
thank you so much for your post, when i responded i thought that everyone would think i was making it up. but obviously not.
so thanks again.
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welder01

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Re: Pudysburn Mental Hospital
« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2013, 08:59:47 PM »
 
It is a most dreadful thing when a man or woman's mind sickens,some times without a cure.
In 2013 Mental Health ought to be every bit as important as physical health.
Surely there are far too many taboos on the subject.
If it can happen to them it can happen to us.
If not now when?

Astor

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Re: Pudysburn Mental Hospital
« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2013, 10:09:46 AM »

It is a most dreadful thing when a man or woman's mind sickens,some times without a cure.
In 2013 Mental Health ought to be every bit as important as physical health.
Surely there are far too many taboos on the subject.
If it can happen to them it can happen to us.

I couldn't agree more welder01,  people get more sympathy and help if they have a broken leg, than they do if they have mental health  problems, it's so wrong and so many people families/are so reluctant to talk about it as as well.  That needs to change, and the cutbacks we are experiencing today will no doubt make the situation much worse  :(
Que Sera Sera

welder01

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Re: Pudysburn Mental Hospital
« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2013, 12:45:36 PM »
 
I knew an old tailor.Couldn't afford his hand made suits,
But over a period of years he did many clothing repairs and alterations for me.
He retired at age 80 and before too long became ill.
He spent several weeks in Dunston Hill Hospital for assesment.Diagnosis was dementia.
Old Bill spent the remainder of his life in a private nursing home.
I was one of his few visitors.
His condition deterioated rapidly,menally and physically.
The man who was able to hand make 400 suits was reduced to wearing what ever clothes came out the hospital laundry.A pitifull site.
I consider myself privelaged to have known him.
 
If not now when?

Shylock

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Re: Pudysburn Mental Hospital
« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2013, 10:47:55 PM »
I also remember Purdysburn - My grandmother was a patient there for some time - not sure of times and dates but I know she passed away in in the mid 60's. My grandfather was a patient in Galwally hospital and was there many years [at Galwally ] till he passed away in '73. Every Sunday my parents would pile us four kids into the car [an old red Dormovile/ Dormobile? ] and we'd go to Purdysburn first, Us kids were not allowed in but had to wait outside in the car parked in the driveway while mum and dad went in to see Nanny. They always took her a thermos of coffee made with milk and a a wee dixie cup of ice cream. I believe she had Alzheimer's and I had the impression that she was not really 'with it' and would not always eat or feed herself without one of the nurses to feed her. She liked coffe and so mum would bring that up to feed her with every week. After we left Purdysburn we would then go to Galwally to see Granda - he suffered mustard gas poisoning during WW1 and he survived the Battle of the Somme. He would always give us kids a half a crown when we went in to see him [kids were allowed into Galwally] A funny incident at Purdysburn happened when us 4 kids were left in the car while mum and dad were in seeing Nanny - we were playing around in the car and somehow the handbrake got dislodged and the car started to roll down the hill!! Luckily my older brother was able to re-engage the handbrake and we were'nt game to tell the parents, 'cos we'd been told "to behave yourselves"... When they got back to the car, mum commented that the car seemed to be further away from the hospital   we never said anything.  think they might've realised what happened but since no-one was hurt, nothing further was said! ;)

Poppy1916

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Re: Pudysburn Mental Hospital
« Reply #22 on: February 02, 2013, 10:52:56 PM »
I did a university course on Community Care and part of the course involved studying the history and development of services for vulnerable people such as the poor, the mentally ill and the mentally handicapped. We were able to look at old records from mental asylums and institutions, one being Meanwood Park Colony in England. One thing that struck me as I read the reasons why people were admitted to these places was that many would not now be considered ill. Some of the things listed were 'crying too much after the death of a child', having a child out of wedlock, etc. So it could well be that your grandfather was simply unfortunate. I read many stories of people simply picked up and taken to these places for no good reason and spending their whole lives there. Most of the info only became available in the late 70s, early 80s. It is so sad.
http://www.meanwoodpark.co.uk/

It's surprising all the old records were destroyed. Maybe they have something to hide. My mum was able in 2009, to get her maternity records for a stillborn baby she had in the 40s. So it seems a bit convenient they destroyed those records for Purdysburn.
It could also be that your GF was damaged in the war, shellshock etc.
Someone mentioned electric shock treatment. Apparently in the past this was used without anaesthetic which must have been painful and distressing for the patient especially since in the past they didn't even understand what they were doing fully. It is still used today, mostly for severe clinical depression (but with anaesthetic).
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

welder01

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Re: Pudysburn Mental Hospital
« Reply #23 on: February 03, 2013, 09:54:03 AM »
Thank for that Poppy.
I have tried several ways of accessing GF's records without success through the archives.
That's why I ended up writing to them.
Maybe my letter was too weak. I could have demanded the records?
Have thought of having my  GP make the request,although there would be a fee.
But if some one says they are destroyed they can't go back on that.
If not now when?

Poppy1916

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Re: Pudysburn Mental Hospital
« Reply #24 on: February 03, 2013, 11:34:55 AM »
Thank for that Poppy.
I have tried several ways of accessing GF's records without success through the archives.
That's why I ended up writing to them.
Maybe my letter was too weak. I could have demanded the records?
Have thought of having my  GP make the request,although there would be a fee.
But if some one says they are destroyed they can't go back on that.

Have a look at this webpage I have linked below for PRONI which says they have the records for mental hospitals. I think there's a good chance some records are kept. Maybe not his complete medical history but reason for admission and length of time spent there should still be in the records. It was my sister who obtained my mum's maternity records so I am not sure how she acquired them so I will ask her and get back to you.
http://www.proni.gov.uk/index/family_history/family_history_more_sources/family_history_19th_century_sources.htm
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Roots57

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Re: Pudysburn Mental Hospital
« Reply #25 on: February 03, 2013, 04:36:26 PM »
My grandmother spent 50 years in Purdeysburn, having being admitted 6 months after the Belfast Blitz in 1941.  She was initially in Avocado Villa and then transferred to Bush Villa.  I am trying to trace her family and put some meaning to this poor woman's life and hope that someone knows something about her.  I will try the public records office as the hospital have told me her records were destroyed. I would really like to speak to the staff of these villas so hopefully someone out there can help me.


Poppy1916

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Re: Pudysburn Mental Hospital
« Reply #26 on: February 03, 2013, 05:26:52 PM »
My grandmother spent 50 years in Purdeysburn, having being admitted 6 months after the Belfast Blitz in 1941.  She was initially in Avocado Villa and then transferred to Bush Villa.  I am trying to trace her family and put some meaning to this poor woman's life and hope that someone knows something about her.  I will try the public records office as the hospital have told me her records were destroyed. I would really like to speak to the staff of these villas so hopefully someone out there can help me.

I was searching and found this site which tells something about the history and development of Purdsyburn.
http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=5602c4ed-dc26-4326-9967-9f034ad7d62f

Avoca villa was a female lock up ward. So sad to spend 50 years locked away but many of the patients there were very long term.
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

welder01

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Re: Pudysburn Mental Hospital
« Reply #27 on: February 03, 2013, 05:41:40 PM »
I have repeatedly tried every way available to me to access all or at leat some of GF's hospitital records,so far with out any success.
Every thing I reqest is "not available"
 
And yet some one,I think it was Belfast Forum told md me my GF had died in Purdysburn 1/3/1940,so if this is a fact,then they had access.
If not now when?

Poppy1916

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Re: Pudysburn Mental Hospital
« Reply #28 on: February 03, 2013, 05:52:52 PM »
It's possible if you had previously given the name of your GF that that person found the date of death and place of death from here:
http://www.belfastcity.gov.uk/burialrecords/

Otherwise I am not sure how they could have known.
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

hkennedy

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Re: Pudysburn Mental Hospital
« Reply #29 on: February 04, 2013, 09:04:19 PM »
I'm concerned that so many people are so keen to relate horror stories about the hospital where this man died. Surely it would be more empathetic to try to assuage this man who lost his grandfather. None of you know what experiences he had whilst in hospital so why be so negative?
My grandfather also died in Purdysburn and I tend to dwell on the good memories.  What's the point in telling people what terrible treatment he may have had?