Paul Pattinson’s Parish Council departure brings past and present together

Hambledon parish councillors past and present have gathered to mark Paul Pattinson’s 12 years of service to the village.

Paul decided not to stand again at the year’s local government elections. He has been an invaluable member of the parish council and its planning committee and his contribution was praised by chairman John Anderson who, with wife Tucker, hosted a thank-you party at their home.

This was attended by all of the current members and several others who worked alongside Paul during his earlier years on the council, which he joined in January 2007. John thanked Paul for his measured and thoughtful input on a range of village issues and the knowledge he brought to legal and planning matters.

A week later there was an informal meal at the Merry Harriers, with all the current councillors and their partners present. Stewart Payne, vice chairman, said that Paul was a much-liked and respected friend and colleague and would be missed.

Paul responded by saying that he and his wife Vicky appreciated both gatherings. “You are such a harmonious team, and that was reflected in all the chat, and noise level, at our dinner. Hambledon is lucky to have such a good group of people on its Parish Council.”

Please read on to see photographs of both occasions.

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Parish Magazine Pays Tribute To Two “Great Lives” in July Edition

The families of Mic Coleman and Pat Williams have expressed their gratitude to the people of Hambledon following the funerals of both, held in the past month.

They were much loved and respected residents and both contributed enormously to life in the village.

Mic’s funeral was held at Guildford Crematorium, followed by a gathering at the Merry Harriers. In a message afterwards, his family said: “We would like to thank all those who attended the service at the crematorium and those who sent condolences and thoughtful messages”

Pat’s funeral was held in Hambledon at St Peter’s Church and her sister Margaret Romney said that the love and friendship in the village had been “overwhelming”.

The lives of both have been celebrated in earlier articles on this website. The July edition of the Parish Magazine carries the tributes paid to both at their funerals. It will be on sale at the village shop from tomorrow (Saturday June 29th).

                                                               

Proposal to Replace Fire-Damaged Hambledon House

A planning application to demolish Hambledon House and replace it with a new building has been received by Waverley Borough Council, the local planning authority.

This follows the fire that devastated the large Vann Lane property in January of last year, leaving it uninhabitable and beyond repair.

The proposal is for a house of similar size but of different proportion. The new property, if approved, would be set back further from the road and with a lower profile.

Full details of the application can be found on the planning section of the Waverley Borough Council website where there is an opportunity to comment until a deadline of June 27. The application number is WA/2019/0671. All comment must be on planning grounds.

Hambledon Parish Council has been consulted on the proposed application and a site visit has been held. It will consider the application at its June meeting. The application will be determined by Waverley Borough Council.

Details can be found here.

 

Mic Coleman’s Funeral and Reception – All Welcome

Sylvia Coleman and her family have asked for the following details of Mic’s funeral and reception to be made known to his many friends in Hambledon and beyond. All are welcome to commemorate and celebrate the life of a lovely man who gave so much to the village and its residents.

Just one thing: please do not feel that you need to wear black. Something colourful is the order of the day.

The funeral service will take place at 2.15pm on Thursday June 6th at Guildford Crematorium. Family flowers only. Please arrive in plenty of time as the service is likely to be very well attended.

Afterwards the Coleman family invite everyone to join them at the Merry Harriers.

Mic was involved in so many aspects of Hambledon life, for which he was awarded the British Empire Medal (please see earlier news story on this website). It is hoped that friends from across the village, its clubs and organisations, will gather to share happy memories.

Sorrow As Hambledon Loses Two Outstanding Villagers

Hambledon is united in sadness following the recent deaths of two loved and respected villagers – Mic Coleman and Pat Williams.

Mic died earlier this week (13th May) and Pat on 28th April. Both lived long and active lives and died peacefully in their own homes, surrounded by family. It would be hard to think of two people who could have given more to the life of the community in which they lived, and with such generosity and kindness.

Pat’s funeral takes place in her beloved St Peter’s Church, Hambledon, on Wednesday 22nd May at 2.30pm. Details of Mic’s funeral are yet to be announced but it is likely to be on 6th June. Both had suffered recent spells of poor health but until then had been active in the village where they devoted so much of their time.

Mic, who was 90, was awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Jubilee Birthday Honours in 2012 “for services to sport and the community in Hambledon”. A teacher by profession, he moved to the village in the 1950’s and he and his wife Sylvia have lived here ever since. They also celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary in 2012.

Mic has been a stalwart of village life, working tirelessly for the football and cricket clubs, becoming president of both. He has helped in a host of other organisations and activities including the village hall committee, the fete and the flower and produce show. Not many know that he was the man behind the beard when Father Christmas visited Hambledon Nursery School every year.

Mic was also chairman of Hambledon Parish Council between 1976 and 1983. At the start of the monthly meeting on Tuesday a minute’s silence was observed and tributes were paid.

Mic, pictured here, was a regular at the Merry Harriers, often with his family which included daughter Sarah and sons John and Tim, their spouses and, more recently, his grandchildren.

 

Pat was secretary to the chief executive of ICI Agrochemicals, working in Fernhurst. She married Ray Williams, who had taken over running Hambledon’s village shop and Post Office on his retirement from the National Institute of Oceanography in 1982. Ray, another highly regarded villager, died in 2016.

Pat, pictured below, was an active member of the congregation at St Peter’s where Ray had been treasurer, churchwarden and verger. She was a member of the choir and assisted Ray in his duties as warden. For many years she edited the church magazine and in the early days she typed out all the stories, laboriously copied each magazine using a Roneo duplicator and then stapled all the pages together by hand. Even after standing down she continued to deliver it to subscribers around the village as well as writing the always well-informed Parish and People section.

She was an early volunteer at the village shop when it became a community-run venture, and carried on in this role for more 20 years.

All are welcome at Pat’s funeral which will be a celebration of her life. Details of Mic’s funeral will be made known soon.

Hambledon sends it love and sympathy to the families of both and celebrates two lives well lived.

 

Annual Village Meeting Will Hear From Police Commander And Discuss Speeding

Hambledon’s Annual Village Meeting, hosted by the Parish Council at the Village Hall this Thursday evening,  is to be addressed by Inspector Gary Smith, Waverley Borough Commander for Surrey Police.

He will give an overview of policing in the borough as well as deal with concerns about speeding traffic in the village.

The Parish Council has been exploring various road traffic initiatives and has held meetings with police and Surrey County Council highways engineers in recent months. However, it has been made clear that no traffic calming measures are likely to be introduced.

Budget restraints and a lack of statistical evidence to indicate that Hambledon has a speeding problem have been cited as reasons why the village can expect little in the way of new measures. The council had been exploring a proposal for a 20mph speed restriction in the centre.

The Annual Meeting will provide an opportunity to ask questions of our borough commander as well as hear more about what the Parish Council has been trying to achieve.

There will also be an opportunity to consider whether Hambledon wants to set up a Community Speed Watch where volunteers, with police training, use detection devices to check on the speed of vehicles in the village. Those caught above the limit are sent warning letters.

This would also be a means of determining whether speeding is a real issue and not just anecdotal and would help reinforce the case for traffic calming measures.

The scheme would have to be run by villagers and without sufficient volunteers it will not happen.

Those interested in taking part will be asked to sign their names at the end of the meeting, which will also hear annual reports from the Parish Council and village clubs and organisations.

Refreshments will be served from 7.30pm and the meeting starts at 8pm. (See previous news item for more information)

Details will also be given about taking part in the annual village clean-up, which takes places on Saturday (April 27th) followed at around noon by a parish barbecue outside the village shop.

All are welcome at the Annual Meeting, the clean-up and the barbecue.

A New Lease Of Life For Hydestile’s Red Telephone Kiosk

The red telephone kiosk at Hydestile crossroads is being given a make-over after it was decommissioned as a working pay phone.

The kiosk is a familiar and much-loved landmark at the entrance to the village and was at risk of being removed by BT. It is on the border of Hambledon parish but just inside the boundary of neighbouring Busbridge.

 

Fortunately, Busbridge Parish Council has undertaken to preserve the box by financing a renovation before the expected installation of a defibrillator for public use in an emergency.

This work is currently underway and is being carried out by a professional restorer (Ralph Restorations) who works from the back of his 1960s Austin A35 van, which is pictured here parked at Hydestile beside the kiosk.  A familiar sight on Britain’s roads in years gone by, it was an Austin A35 that featured more recently in several Wallace and Gromit animated films.

 

 

For several years Busbridge Parish Council has paid towards BT’s continued maintenance of the kiosk as a working pay phone. However, so few calls were made that the council decided to end this agreement and instead to “adopt” the box under a BT scheme, to ensure it remained in place as a distinctive feature of the rural cross roads landscape.

Under this scheme the ownership of the kiosk is transferred to the parish council for a nominal fee and BT undertake to maintain the working light inside.

The only other red kiosk left in the immediate area is the one in Hambledon, outside the shop and Post Office on Cricket Green. Hambledon Parish Council succeeded in getting the box “Listed” as a heritage feature by Historic England and it remains in working order although it no longer accepts coins.

Annual Village Meeting and Parish Clean-Up and Barbecue – All Welcome

Hambledon’s Annual Village Meeting takes place on the evening of Thursday April 25th and all are welcome to come along.

This is an opportunity to hear a round-up of the past year’s activities from all of the village organisations, clubs and groups as well as a report from the Parish Council, which hosts the meeting.

Refreshments including wine, tea and coffee will be available from 7.30 and this is a chance to chat to village friends and neighbours before the meeting itself starts at 8pm at the Village Hall.

There will be a short presentation concerning the efforts made by the Parish Council to address concerns about speeding in the village and other local traffic issues.

Residents may like to consider whether they want to form a Community Speed Watch Group. A minimum of six volunteers would be required. Speed detection devices would be provided by Surrey Police together with appropriate training.

Full details of this scheme can be found here: www.communityspeedwatch.org

Further details will be provided at the meeting. Mary Grove, a parish councillor, can be contacted in advance for those who wish to register at grovemum@aol.com

Although the parish council can make the necessary arrangements with Surrey Police and register the speedwatch group, it is for villagers to step forward and volunteer if they want this initiative to succeed.

Despite widespread concerns across the village about speeding, both Surrey Police and Surrey County Council Highways engineers have stated that there is no gathered evidence to support this belief. It is highly unlikely that any traffic calming measures can be introduced in Hambledon until there is data to support the proposal. Community Speed Watch is one way in which such evidence may be gathered.

The Village Meeting is followed two days later – on Saturday April 27th – with the parish clean-up ending with a community barbecue outside the Village Shop at noon. Volunteers are asked to collect litter in designated areas for which they can register at the Village Meeting. Bin bags and litter grabs will be provided and all rubbish will be removed by the local authority.

 

Peak District Village seeks Hambledon help in keeping red phone box

A small village on the edge of the Derbyshire Peak District has turned to Hambledon for help in keeping its traditional red telephone kiosk.

Villagers in Simmondley, near Glossop, contacted Hambledon Parish Council after reading about how it had succeeded in getting the red K6-type phone box outside the village shop and post office listed as Grade II by Historic England.

The council also objected to proposals by BT, back in 2008, to disconnect the box, arguing that it was the only one in the village and should be retained for emergency use.

The kiosk in Simmondley is on the village green and BT has proposed disconnecting it. In the day of mobile phones, few people use public call boxes anymore. Various attempts to secure its future met with no success, and so residents turned to Hambledon.

One wrote: “Our community group applied to Historic England for permission to list the kiosk as it is under threat of being decommissioned. However, we have been turned down. Would you be kind enough to share your application arguments for listing as clearly we have not put a very good case forward.”

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A Glimpse Into The Recent Past Of Hambledon Village Shop

A chance encounter has led to the emergence of a classic postcard view of Hambledon’s village shop taken by the camera of the proprietor who lived there from the late 1960s.

The encounter was with Alison Heath who, with her twin brother Duncan, spent her childhood at Cricket Green Stores, which was run by her parents Geoff and Margaret Heath between 1968 and 1982.

Alison, now 55, recalls growing up in Hambledon with great fondness. Her home was what was then called Duck Cottage, now Pendle Cottage, and her parents were the last to both live in the house and run the adjoining shop and Post Office.

The shop featured on a postcard, one of a series entitled “Scenes of Interest and Beauty in and around Hambledon, in Surrey”. The reverse of the card states: “Real photograph. Supplied by G.A.M Heath, Cricket Green Stores and Post Office, Hambledon”.

 

Alison’s mother died in 1987 from a brain aneurysm but her father is still alive, in his eighties, remarried and living in the New Forest.

Here Alison recalls her life growing up in Hambledon:

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HOW HAMBLEDON REMEMBERED – ARMISTICE EVENTS IN THE VILLAGE

At a special Armistice Day service in the parish church; at a community sing-along outside the village shop and at the memorial to two brothers who died in the First World War – Hambledon Remembered.

On Sunday November 11th, 2018 – the 100th anniversary of the ending of the First World War – villagers packed St Peter’s Church for a commemorative service during which the names of Hambledon’s fallen in both World Wars were read out and a two-minutes silence observed.

 

The service was led by David Mace, assistant vicar, with an address given by David Jenkins. There was time for quiet reflection as well as personal recollections from Sylvia Harrison who spoke of her grandfather’s gallantry in the First World War.

David Jenkins, assistant vicar with responsibility for Hambledon, spoke of the sacrifices made by many during both World Wars, on the field of battle and elsewhere. They served their country. He suggested that today we could all consider how we may also serve by becoming involved in charity and voluntary work to benefit others.

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Farewell to Nicola Collett As She Departs As Nursery School Head Teacher

Staff, trustees, parents and children have bid a fond farewell to Nicola Collett, who has stood down as head teacher at Hambledon Nursery School after ten highly-successful years.

Nicola’s final day was the last day of the summer term (July 20th). At the end of the leavers service for children moving on to primary school, tributes were paid and gifts were presented.

Nicola was unsure if she could deliver a departing speech without becoming tearful so her two children, Lydia and Lawrence, stepped up to speak on her behalf. Kate Walford, the new head, teachers and parents all warmly thanked Nicola and spoke of their high regard for her. Our pictures shows Kate Walford (left)  and Tracey Jimmison, deputy head (centre), at the presentation to Nicola,

Nicola joined the teaching staff in 2001 and was appointed head teacher and manager in 2008.

The school was once the village state primary. It was reopened as a nursery school in 1984 after a village-led initiative secured the lovely Victorian schoolhouse and playground in its beautiful rural setting as a place of learning.

It has thrived and since Nicola took over it has twice been judged “outstanding” in Ofsted inspections.

David Evans, chair of trustees, said: “Nicola has made a quite exceptional contribution, and the school today bears her stamp in so many ways.

“We are fortunate to have such an attractive Victorian building, but Victorian buildings need love and care, and with Nicola over the years it has been very well maintained.  The extensive outdoor areas and outbuildings and play areas have also been carefully looked after and developed, with children’s gardens, and outdoor toys, and climbing frames and pathways and camps.

“Important as the physical environment is, much more important is our teaching staff.  Nicola has taken tremendous care over the staff team and has supported and imbued it with her passion and values.  It is a great team, who look after their small charges with endless care and dedication and give them the best start to their schooldays that they and their parents could hope for.

“Nicola has been the embodiment of “hands-on”.  She has maintained a teaching role throughout her time at the school, and has always been on-hand to advise and support those around her.  And as well as supporting her colleagues, and caring for the children, before a new term started she would invariably be found organising a tidy-up of the classrooms, or checking the grounds, or planning a new innovation in the children’s education.

“She can and should look back on her time at Hambledon Nursery School with great pride.  The gifts from staff and parents and trustees will be a small reminder of the very high regard in which she is held by all.  She is passing on the Headship to Kate Walford, presently a teacher at the school, and as ever has done an excellent job of supporting and handing over the reins to Kate.

“Nicola has a creativity that has been a hugely important part of what she has brought to the school, and now she plans to develop these talents further and in different directions.  We all wish her, with her husband Iain and her children Lydia and Lawrence, the very best.

“Nicola’s leaving gift to the school was the trunk of an oak tree.  This is now in the school grounds inscribed with a message from Nicola to the school.  In its first day it was a boat, a bus, a crocodile and a horse …”

Our pictures below show Nicola in the playground after she was presented with a flowers by children; with her daughter Lydia (centre) and teacher/afternoon supervisor Kelly Shaw; and the inscribed oak log which was her departing gift to the school.

 

 

A Glimpse Of Hambledon’s Past In Time For 2018 Fete Weekend

As Hambledon celebrates its 2018 Midsummer Festival with a weekend of events, here is a glimpse into the village’s past.

Hambledon Village Trust, landlord of the community-run shop, has received photographs almost certainly from the late 1960s and early 1970s showing the shop as it was then. The photographs were provided by the Ainsworth family who used to live in Pendle Cottage, which forms a part of the shop building. They were on a journey down memory lane when they called in last weekend.

The first, in black and white and probably dating back to the 1960s, shows a busy scene outside the shop with a farmer trundling by on his Nuffield tractor. Can anyone identify him?

The others, in colour, show the shop and pond, with a Rover saloon parked outside, possibly belonging to the family who lived in the cottage, which was then called Duck Cottage. It was renamed Pendle Cottage when Joan Hardy and her husband moved there in 1982.

It is hoped that old village photographs, and of fetes gone by, will be on display at the village website stand at the fete tomorrow, which opens at 12.30. Full details of fete events can be found on this website on the Latest News menu.

If anyone can shed any further light on the photographs please leave a message on this website.

Jane Woolley Retires As Parish Council Clerk

Jane Woolley has retired as clerk to Hambledon Parish Council after twenty years of invaluable service, dedication and hard work.

Although Jane is by no means stepping down from active involvement in the village, this is a timely moment to reflect on her significant contribution as she hands over to her successor, Caroline White, on January 1st, 2018.

Jane’s commitment has already been recognised when, in 2008, she was made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for her voluntary service to Hambledon.

Her resourcefulness – as well as her generosity – was instrumental in setting up the Hambledon Village Trust, which now owns the freehold of the village community shop, and has helped fund and promote a range of local activities.

She celebrated her 70th birthday by walking 70kms in 70 hours to raise £7,000 to fund a shop re-fit, and on her 80thi in 2016 she undertook another fund-raising walk, this time a half-marathon, to raise more than £2,000 to pay for an outside toilet at the shop, for the use of customers including those with disabilities.

At a retirement party hosted by John Anderson, parish council chairman, she was thanked for the guidance and support she had given him and his colleagues. Surrounded by current parish councillors, Waverley and Surrey County councillors and others from the many areas of public life Jane has been involved with, John praised her for her “steely determination, great eye for detail and always ensuring that correct procedures were followed”.

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Raymond Smith Remembered With Memorial Bench

A memorial bench commemorating the life of Raymond Smith and his contribution to village life – and to Hambledon Cricket Club in particular – was unveiled at a short ceremony on Saturday September 10.

A planned cricket match between a Hambledon Village XI and a Family and Friends XI was rained off but spirits were not dampened inside the pavilion where a toast was drunk in Raymond’s memory and a barbecue served under a gazebo outside.

Andy Hinde, club chairman introduced Mic Coleman, long-serving club president who spoke of Raymond’s immense contribution to the club, a driving-force behind fund-raising and an enthusiastic and active supporter.

His widow Peggy then unveiled the bench assisted by son Charlie and daughter Rosie. They are pictured sitting on the bench, the first of many who will relax on its timbers to enjoy cricket on the green.

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Raymond, who lived at Lane End, died in January this year and his funeral service at St Peter’s Church was packed as tributes were given to his role as dedicated family man, loyal friend and outstanding contributor towards many aspects of village life.

His son Charlie spoke fondly of learning to play on the cricket green where his father was a convivial and welcoming figure on the boundary.

It is planned that the memorial cricket fixture will be re-arranged for next season.

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* Our photographs above show Mic Coleman making his speech and Charlie recalling his father with his sister Rosie and Andy Hinde looking on.

King George V Hospital History

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Menu Links:   King George V Hospital    St Thomas’ Hospital    Pantomines at King George V     Milford Hospital

Built by the Metropolitan Asylums Board as a Tuberculosis Isolation Hospital in 1922 (originally known as Highdown Sanatorium), KGV was at the cutting edge of TB research and treatment for forty years. It was instrumental in pioneering development of drug therapy (streptomycin) to combat TB and the manufacture of Iron Lung equipment. KGV had a smaller sister hospital just 2 miles to the west: Milford Hospital ( formerly Milford Sanatorium )

Groves--smallThe King George V Hospital was constructed at an initial cost of £215,000 on an open field site surrounded by trees. The land was originally part of the Busbridge Hall estate. Chessums were the builders working under post-war pressure to complete on time and on budget. Original plans intended that the entrance would be from Hambledon Road, with a long drive approaching the star formation building layout. (The route is probably marked by a line of Poplar trees still in evidence between Hares Grove, the Superintendent’s house, and the road.

Cost cuts prevented this and the Salt Lane entrance remained the only way in with porter’s gatehouse. Buildings on site included many isolated wards connected by covered open sided paths in a star formation, canteen, chapel, kitchens, pharmacy, Library, X-ray and operating theatre (extended in 1950’s), nurses homes (1940 & 1960’s), admin block, greenhouses, patients leather workshops, snooker room, tuck shop, mortuary, engineering, boiler with chimney for the overhead piped heating.

KGV Tower then now

The tower and admin block: 1995 prior to demolition, and in 1947

Most buildings were brick built (pebble-dash rendered) with concrete floors (innovative in their day) under slate roofs. The majority of Wards were single storey with central corridors and glazed pavilion at the end. These were demolished in the 1970’s.
The hospital was only connected to mains drainage in the later years and originally sewage was discharged into the field to the SW of the crossroads (see ornate soil vent pipe at crossroads).

The hospital was also a significant horticultural site, the orchard, extensive range of trees and vegetation being laid out by the first medical superintendent Mr James Watt (an arboriculturist) in the 1920’s. A farm sited at Hydestile crossroads (now mostly demolished) was used for patient rehabilitation.

Screen Shot 2015-01-11 at 16.03.03Many patients were from London and upto the late 50’s it was exclusively male. The long term nature of their incarceration and treatment meant that patients and staff built strong friendships. Most staff and patients speak of their time at Hydestile as being “the best of times”. Indeed many patients came back to work at the hospital.

The site expanded considerably in 1941 with the building of a hutted military hospital on adjacent farmland to the South East. This soon became the home for St. Thomas’ Hospital Lambeth, evacuated from their London site due to extensive bombing. St. Thomas’

The Hospital ceased to be for diseases of the chest in 1969 and adopted a variety of other roles and eventually closed in 1988. The buildings were demolished in 1997, leaving only the gatehouse, Hares Grove (former Superintendents house) and six staff cottages, all now refurbished. Other buildings in the area owned at some time by the Hospital included Ryecroft, Hunt Cottages and Wayside.

TB Hospital Godalming

KGV in 2016 and 1970 – click to see animated transition from now to then

The 52 acre site has now been redeveloped for housing – known as The Hydons, Salt Lane, Hydestile. Little trace remains of the KGV although one of the tennis courts has been refurbished and forms part of one garden. In the woods to the north of the new houses there are traces of the foundations of nurse and doctors accommodation, hidden in the undergrowth. Likewise the steps and footings of 1&2 Salt Lane remain close to the new footpath. These were temporary buildings used by the original builders of the Hospital. No. 1 was demolished after 1945 and number 2 (latterly a shop) in the 1970’s.

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Ray Galton as a TB Patient in Milford 1949

The hospital also benefited from celebrity support over the years from Leslie Phillips, James Robertson Justice and Terry Scott, who were regular visitors. As an interesting snapshot of what it was like to be a patient you’d be well directed to view a BBC2 sit-com from the 90’s “Get Well Soon” co-written by Ray Galton. He drew upon his experience as a patient in the nearby Milford Hospital (linked to KGV) during the late 40’s and early 50’s. He met his long time comedy writing partner Alan Simpson there and together they wrote their first comedy radio scripts during their enforced stay in hospital. Within 10 years they were the UK’s foremost comedy writers, famous for Hancock and Steptoe. Their famous Hancock’s Half Hour radio episode “The Sunday Afternoon” is a clever observation of the boredom that must have been repeated often during their many years treatment for TB.

 

 

Gallery of images from 1920 – 1988:

This video was recorded in around 1995.   At the time I lived on site in one of the former nurses cottages.  The site had been stripped by vandals and used for paintball and general destruction.  After many planning battles the site was eventually destined for re-development. The diggers came in and flattened it all.   A sad day for the many who’s lives had been touched by their time at Hydestile.  I had recorded this on 8mm tape and stumbled upon the tape recently.  I dumped it to my Mac and ran a soundtrack underneath, so please excuse the rough quality.

 

Gallery of images from 1999:

 

The Story of KGV

By Dr. J.V. Hurford      As published in the KGV Gazette Summer 1963

My predecessor, Dr James Watt, wrote this article in 1954, (he retired in 1948). I modified it for the issue of August 1957, and here it is again, brought upto date.

The need for sanatoria for London patients was foreseen in 1914, when sufficient land for three hospitals was purchased. Building of King George V Sanatorium, the first of these, started after the First World War, and it was finished and opened in 1922.  The two huts still in use are reputed to have housed the workmen!  (1 & 2 Salt Lane? sic).  The new Hospital was to have been called Highdown Sanatorium, but by command of’ the King, who had been invited to attend the opening but was unable to be present, the name was changed to King George V Sanatorium.

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It was administered by the Metropolitan Asylums Board (whose crest is over the entrance to the Administrative Block), until 1929, when the London County Council took over, only to give way in 1948 to the South West Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board, With local control vested in the Godalming, Milford and Liphook Group Hospital Management Committee. Recently, this Management Committee area became merged with that of’ Guildford, and the controlling body is now the Guildford and Godalming Hospital Management Committee.

Screen Shot 2015-01-11 at 16.02.21When I wrote in 1957, my thoughts ranged back over the period from 1922 to that year, the period of the modern treatment of tuberculosis, as being mirrored in the story of K.G.V., there were so many changes.  Patients, and perhaps even doctors and nurses, entering in this “Anti-biotic Era” – when successful treatment is difficult enough, though usually achieved – know little or nothing of the strenuous methods of treating tuberculosis which preceded it.  Surgery played a great part.   The first surgeon was appointed in 1929, and the Theatre and X-Ray Department were built in 1934.  At one stage fifty per cent of tuberculosis patients had major surgery of the chest, usually very successful; now perhaps only five per cent require it.

The Hospital expanded over the years both staff and buildings.  Of the latter I have already mentioned the Theatre Block, the Canteen was built in 1936; an additional Wing to what is now the Nurses’ Home was added in 1945, the Theatre Annexe in 1953, the Respiratory Function Unit in 1955, a new Patients’ Library in 1958, a messroom exterior (now the Domestic Staff sitting room) in 1959, and Nurses’ Home No.3 in 1960.

1931 postcardAt one time, what is now the Staff Restaurant was a dining-room for perhaps a hundred up-patients. Gradually, the numbers of these shrank as methods of treatment changed, and patients were discharged earlier, until the present conversion was made two years ago.  In the immediate future it is planned to erect a large hut on the rising ground by the main car-park, to be used as a playroom for visitors’ children, and as a Staff’ club room.

 

 

KGVsmallStaffgroup'60sBut of course the most striking change is in the nature of’ the work carried out in the Hospital. From being a Sanatorium for the tuberculous, it came to treat also non-tuberculous chest conditions, hence the present name: King George V Hospital for Diseases of the Chest; and then some patients with other than chest diseases – a limited number of orthopaedic and geriatric cases – were admitted. There is a lot to be said for this departure from the restricted area of’ our disease, even were there now sufficient tuberculous patients to fill the beds, for variety is a stimulant to the interest and intelligence of doctors and nurses. ‘ It is odd perhaps that not many of our patients come from the immediate neighbourhood, which is catered for by Milford Chest Hospital “down the road”, but from beyond this area, from London, Aldershot and Farnham and sometimes as far away as the South Coast. We have the Respiratory Function (“Puff and Blow”) Unit for this Region, and are also part of the regional Chronic Bronchitic Unit.

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KGV and St. Thomas’ Hospitals in 1973

I wonder when another revision of this article will be called for, and if I shall write it. It is certain that “K.G.V. ” will go on for many years and probably it will change in many particulars as time goes by.  There has always been something human and genuine in the atmosphere of the Hospital; let us hope that nothing changes that!

KGV Gazette Summer 1963

HISTORICAL NOTE   By Dr. J.V. Hurford

As published in the last ever KGV Gazette Summer 1968 upon the closing of the Hospital


The Highdown Sanatorium which started at Hydestile in 1922 was soon, by gracious permission, allowed to take the name of “King George the Fifth”… However, it is told that his Majesty, when asked if he would condescend to come to the opening {in 1924) said: “Not on your life – visit a T. B. hospital – I might catch it ” – or words to that effect. These fears were felt by dwellers in the locality, even by their G. P. s, who met the choice of site with as much opposition as now would be offered to an aerodrome for jumbo jets.  Though the sanatorium was modern for the time (incorporating an early form of re-inforced concrete in its pavilion walls), the money which the authority {then the Metropolitan Asylums Board – crest over the entrance to the administrative block) was prepared to spend on it ran out before the plans could be fulfilled, so that the main entrance was from a narrow lane (Salt Lane) rather than by a more imposing approach from the Hambledon Road.

KGV Aerial 1928

There are aerial photographs which show the site in the early twenties. Though surrounded apparently by forest (the Hare’s Grove which gave a name to the Medical Superintendent’s house) the actual grounds were quite bare.  The beautiful limes and birches and ornamental trees and shrubs may be credited to Dr. James Watt – a canny gardener as well as a towering medical figure – and grew up during his reign. The hospital really was in the country (in 1935 when I first saw it as a member of a visiting D. P. H. class from London, I half wondered if we should ever find our way back) and in its building workmen were accommodated in wooden chalets, used for many years as staff quarters, and plans and materials stored in two wooden huts which still do service though very decrepit.

pavilion1930s copyIn 1949 the wards were still without heating, other than the thin pipes under the windows designed, so it was said, to reduce condensation – in itself unlikely since windows had to be kept open.  A few years later this was remedied, but the previous absence of heating was symptomatic of an age, the age of the “cure”, based on ‘Sanatorium principles’ of fresh air, good food, rest, graduated exercise.  This age lasted into the ‘antibiotic era’ and both were overlapped by that of minor and major surgery.  To those who know tuberculosis as a disease fairly easily treated by chemotherapy, the long periods which started perhaps with Hippocrates and died away in the fifties of this century cannot be imagined or fully understood. Artificial pneumothorax, pneumoperitoneum, thoracoplasty and so on seem almost bizarre in retrospect.

Screen Shot 2015-01-11 at 16.03.03

South facing pavilion

Yet the ‘cure’ and the surgery did save lives. And what seemed spartan routine was much more vital and engrossing.  Quite apart from the attentions of the doctors and nurses a patient’s week could be filled with: occupational therapy, art therapy, typing, learning a language, woodwork, printing, concerts and whist drives, inter-ward sports – shove-halfpenny, table skittles, croquet, billiards etc. There were a silver shield and two cups to be competed for. When Marcus Patterson devised “graduated exercise ” at Frimley he used baskets of stones of various weights. At K.G.V. there were walks increasing in length and then outdoor tasks. Many a patient must have acquired there a love for gardening or even pigs!  “Teebeeland” seemed to be regarded with a wry humour.  Perhaps the uni-sexual nature of the sanatorium (women patients came only in the late fifties) was a trial and the outlook of the authorities far too monastic – rather backward looking.

But in other respects, for many years we were in the van of sanatorium work.  With its first surgeon – Mr. J. E. H. Roberts, whom I always imagine operating with a Petit Caporal hanging to his lower lip – major surgery in anew theatre started in 1933.   K.G.V. took part in all the M.R. C. Trials of the new anti- tuberculous drugs from 1949 onwards. Whilst such units were still rare in the UK a respiratory function laboratory was inaugurated in 1954.The antibiotic era which came with the fifties for some years increased the use of surgery, largely because an umbrella was provided for lung or part-lung removal.

 

In 1955, of patients admitted with tuberculosis, 58% had a major operation; the figure for 1967 was 3%.  However, what was so amazing was the decline in tuberculosis due to anti- tuberculous drugs.  The great physicians of the past – Robert Philip, Trudeau, Marcus Patterson – could never have imagined it.  K.G.V., like other sanatoria (or Hospital for Diseases of the Chest as it became) began to admit patients with other complaints. Since these stayed a shorter time, the turnover accelerated.  In 1951 there were 401 admissions (354 tuberculous), in 1967, 1358 (135 tuberculous).

Operating Theatre, date unknown

Starting under the rule of the M.A .B., the hospital became a jewel in the crown of the gargantuan London County Council in 1929, and in 1948 of course entered the National Health Service. These authorities appeared to differ in administrative approach, but of course this depended on other things – the changing conception of disease, uniformity and availability of finance over the country rather than a metropol is and so on.

The War did not alter things very much, -it saw the appearance of an E.M.S. hutted hospital, at first under the aegis of K. G. V., then of the Australian Army Medical Corps, and finally St. Thomas’s Hospital, Westminster.  The expatriate staff of the latter organised their lives with the ingenuity and cheerfulness of castaways on a South Sea Island, who know that sooner or later they are bound to be rescued.  Every year they expected this to happen and, finally, after twenty-three years, it did.

Nursing Sister 1952

K.G.V. has seemed to be blessed by the numbers of sterling people who remained on the staff for very long periods, even at this present date in one or two instances going back to the twenties.  Perhaps other hospitals have been as fortunate, but I doubt it.  Inevitably, sad little ceremonies of farewell have sprinkled later years.  Till the middle-fifties a generous and mutually useful policy had meant the recruitment of many excellent nurses – who happened themselves to have had tuberculosis, and to whom a place on the staff was offered for re-habilitation. These were known for some reason as ‘trainees’, presumably because they could complete training in the B.T.A. certificate (though many already had an S.R.N.). In the later years of the hospital, a Pupil-Nurse training school was set up in conjunction with Haslemere General Hospital, and was successful. In our ‘middle period’ a number of decorative, charming and efficient young things were very much appreciated – these were the ‘Tommy Nurses’ seconded for three months at a time to explore the countryside on their bicycles.

The staff has tended to be cosmopolitan.  At one Christmas dinner some years ago, I counted nineteen different nationalities. There were cycles of  “foreigners”  (I refer to those who were not what St. Joan called the ‘Goddam English”): early on Scots and Irish, but mostly Irish, then Italian and Polish or Baltic, then Spanish and Yugo-Slav.  (It was touching to see girls from Northern Italy trying to understand the intrcacies of Scottish dancing!)   And of course, in the last ten years many men and girls from the Commonwealth, all very welcome.

There were no tremendous events in the history of K.G. V. and smaller happenings it is difficult to select any except at random. The tennis feuds with Milford in which for so long we had an edge. The farewell party to Miss Sheenan in which those still working with her and many who returned for the occasion filled the Large Hall and a large marquee. The annual pantomime devised and written by a select few and performed by a cast which could include a chaplain, a cook or a consultant surgeon, and in which anything might happen – and usually did. The re-union fetes on August Bank Holiday, to which ex-patients returned in large numbers I(Your name escapes me I’m afraid, but I clearly remember your x-ray!’). The weather station – that curious relic of more leisurely days. The night that the safe was stolen from the Hospital Secretary’s office, taken off on a porter’s trolley and abandoned -empty – on Hydon’s Ball. But why recall only these?

Screen Shot 2015-01-11 at 16.10.05Perhaps one of the more important landmarks was when a prefabricated building (The Cedar Hall) was added in 1964 and a thriving staff social club became possible. Swinging Hydestile~

Traditionally the hospital had its ties with London and in later years the link was with Aldershot and Farnham through the chest clinics. It was not wholly unregarded, however, in the immediate neighbourhood, and kind and ever present help was found in the W .V .S and its own League of Friends. Nor must we forget the ‘Not Forgotten’ Association, to which successive generations of patients owed much. And, of course, the Red Cross picture library, that opener of windows not made of glass.

I hope that I have recalled something of the forty seven years of a hospital and with little hint of any sadness that they are finished. And the story is not finished – neither of K.G.V. nor Hydestile. The sanatorium may have gone the way of Trudeau and Schatzalp and the National, Ventnor, and many others, but there is still work to be done of another kind.

Good luck to all who remain – or come – to do it in this very pleasant spot.

Tower

KGV in 1994

 

 

Gallery of images donated by former staff and patients:

Gallery of scans of publications from staff and patients:

 

Obituary 1958: JAMES WATT, M.D., D.P.H.
James Watt, for many years medical superintendent
of King George V Sanatorium, Godalming, Surrey, and
chief medical officer of the London County Council’s
medical tuberculosis service, died at the country branch
of St. Thomas’s Hospital at Hydestile, Godalming, on
October 4. He was within two weeks of his 75th
birthday.

Dr. James Watt was born in Aberdeenshire on October 17,
1883, the son of William Watt, J.P., and was educated at
Robert Gordon’s College, Aberdeen, and at Aberdeen Uni-
versity, where he graduated M.B., Ch.B., with first-class
honours, in 1908. Outstandingly successful as a student, he
held the John Murray scholarship in 1908 and the Anderson
scholarship in 1909-10. He took the D.P.H. in 1911, and
proceeded to the M.D., with highest honours, five years later.
After graduation he was an assistant, first, in the department
of pathology, and then in the department of medical juris-
prudence in Aberdeen University. From 1912 to 1922 he
held a number of appointments in different parts of the
United Kingdom: as deputy medical officer of health for the
City of Aberdeen; senior resident medical officer at the
Royal National Hospital for Consumption and Diseases of
the Chest, Ventnor, Isle of Wight; medical superintendent
of the Bradford City Fever and Infectious Diseases
Hospital; and medical superintendent of the Downs
Sanatorium, Sutton, Surrey. From 1922 to 1948, when he
retired, he was medical superintendent of the King George
V Sanatorium, Godalming, and chief medical officer of the
medical tuberculosis service under the old Metropolitan
Asylums Board and subsequently under the London County
Council. Dr. Watt was president of the Society of Superin-
tendents of Tuberculosis Institutions in 1924 and 1925 and
of the Tuberculosis Society in 1926-7. A founder-member
of the Joint Tuberculosis Council, he later became its chair-
man. To his widow and family we tender our sympathy.

We are indebted to Dr. G. LIssant Cox for the following
appreciation: The old guard of the original tuberculosis
service is thinned again through the death of James Watt,
late superintendent of the King George V Sanatorium at
Godalming. He was of the pre-1914 vintage, big in body
and in mind, contemporary of Ernest Ward, Sir Henry
Gauvain, and Jane Walker. Lloyd George’s Insurance Act
of 1911, with its special financial arrangements for “sana-
torium benefit” and for Exchequer grants for sanatoria and
dispensaries, stimulated local authorities to provide buildings
and the medical staff to run them. Of those very early in
the service, James Watt was one. A brilliant student of the
Aberdeen school, he was on the high road to a distinguished
academic career when he contracted pulmonary tuberculosis.
Fortunately, he made a good recovery, and, like several other
medical men and women so affected, obtained, a junior post
in a sanatorium and finally emerged as the well-known head
of the large new London County Council sanatorium
which has been visited by nearly all who have come to
England in order to see some of the best work in tuber-
culosis. Watt had a clear, lucid, logical mind, and took a
prominent part in tuberculosis affairs. One of the two
remaining founder-members of the Joint Tuberculosis
Council, he later was one of its outstanding chairmen and
did valuable work in the chair and on many committees,
work both pioneer and advisory in the tuberculosis field.
He was a very keen horticulturist, and this hobby was a real
solace and interest in his retirement, especially after a
serious motor accident had left him grievously lame, though
still cheerful and uncomplaining when I last saw him in
London. He was the fortunate possessor of the three im-
portant qualities, a clear head, a warm heart, and a stiff
back, and he used them to the full.

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The Pleasures of Oakhurst Cottage

Peter Cole thinks it’s well worth while travelling from Chichester to Hambledon to join the team of volunteer guides at Oakhurst. In this article he explains why he is so enthusiastic about the job. He and all his co-volunteers, from within the village and further afield, would love to welcome additions to the team. You can find out more about volunteering by clicking here.

Why did I sign up with the National Trust to be a guide at Oakhurst Cottage?  Because my wife thought that a) it would be a suitable outlet for my verbosity, b) I would enjoy it and c) it would give her some peace at home. She was right on a) and b) and, as for c), you’ll have to ask her. So what pleasure is there in playing estate agent to a damp, draughty, dark old cottage tucked away in a corner of Hambledon? Two things: the place and the people.

oakhurst-cottage-blue-sky-resizedI’m interested in buildings, history fascinates me and I like meeting people. The place is magical but not in a Disney sense – the feeling is far more real than that, and far less romantic. The cottage has been home to some two dozen families: that’s more than a hundred people because long ago families were large. It has stood on the same spot for over 400 years, altered and repaired by local builders (I hesitate to call them craftsmen for their work is crude). You
can still see those layers of history today, exposed, not covered to keep up appearances for that would have cost too much and Oakhurst was owned by people of the middling sort and rented to those with little money.

Before the industrial revolution most of our ancestors lived hard lives in places like this, called it home and made the best of it. Late Victorian artists created idealised images of these rural slums, but gradually the tenants moved to more comfortable homes and the old cottages were modernised into something acceptable to the middle class wife of a commuting husband or demolished. This left Oakhurst a rare survivor, a witness to the harsh reality of the ‘good old days’.oakhurst-cottage-interior

The cottage is special and so too are the people who are associated with it today. First, our cheerful guides, each telling the story of the cottage in their own way, variations on a theme within a symphony. They’re a friendly and helpful bunch. We share our knowledge and our experiences, put the cottage to bed in the autumn and in spring get it ready for the new season. We share the guiding when there are a lot of visitors and still find time to socialise. Then there are the National Trust staff, including the gardeners. I lock up the cottage at the end of my day and return a couple of weeks later to find the garden tidied and the hedges cut. If only my own garden were in the care of the same secret gardeners. The ladies of the National Trust kiosk at the Winkworth Arboretum are our marketing arm, suggesting to visitors that they make the trip to the cottage and giving them directions on how to find us.

The people I only meet once are special too – the visitors, a melange of humanity and another reason for my association with the cottage. Mostly they come from nearby, but some make the trip from the far corners of the earth. They come in all shapes, sizes and ages, singly, couples, families and friends. Some say little, others compensate with their chattiness, maybe remembering a granny who lived in a place like the cottage or asking questions that I can’t always answer. Ever appreciative of the guides’ efforts, our visitors are an endless source of interest and some have remained in my memory, like the Japanese lady whose grandson acted as translator and the couple who left their car at Winkworth and didn’t allow enough time to walk back. I gave them a lift on my way home.

Guiding at Oakhurst Cottage is a pleasure, as are the peripheral activities such as meeting people who are considering volunteering for the National Trust. I’ll be at Winkworth for the coffee morning on Tuesday 15 March between 10.30 and 12.30, hoping for lots of new volunteers – but not so many that I don’t have time for coffee and cake.