Category Archives: Staffordshire Moorlands

Keeping the Asylum safe: Fire Brigades

Staffordshire's Asylums

Members of the Coventry volunteer fire brigade, 1862 (wellcome collection CC BY)

This month, we are exploring the early days of Cheddleton
asylum further, and focusing on some elements of the advanced technology of the
times which the hospital exploited, and of which they were innovators.

As asylums grew larger and became more complex
institutions, with more patients and wards, keeping them safe became ever more
complex. In large buildings, often connected by long corridors, one fear
remained ever present – the risk of fire.

This increasing risk became an issue after several fires
occurred in the 1880s and 90s. Questions were asked in the House of Commons in
1883 about withholding licenses from asylums unless they put precautions in
place, following a fire at the private asylum at Southall Park, London. The only
source of water for the fire brigade was found to be a shallow pond a quarter

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Daily Routine of a Patient, Part One — Staffordshire’s Asylums

The experience of patients in an asylum differed from individual to individual. Daily routine, however, was essential to keep the asylum running and for patients to know what was expected of them. Different groups of patients had different routines, usually determined by their mental and physical condition and their age and sex. By the late […]

Daily Routine of a Patient, Part One — Staffordshire’s Asylums

Daily Routine of a Patient, Part Two — Staffordshire’s Asylums

The day of a late Victorian asylum patient continued as a working day until lunchtime, which was the main interruption for most patients, and was served around 12-1 o’clock. It was the main meal of the day, and usually consisted of bread, potatoes, meat and vegetables. A fairly bland diet was considered suitable for patients, […]

Daily Routine of a Patient, Part Two — Staffordshire’s Asylums

Are heritage railways coming to the end of the line?

The dwindling supply of British coal may force many heritage railways to close. Stocks are low and will run out in two years.

An all-party Parliamentary group on heritage rail blames the government. It says government plans to invest in alternative fuels and ban traditional coal-fired power stations will make coal mining in the UK uneconomic.

Most of Britain’s 158 heritage railways are run by volunteers. Many railways can’t afford to buy foreign coal and will be forced to close.

Heritage railways are a vital part of Britain’s tourism industry. They attract about 13million visitors a year and bring in an income of more than £400million.

Spotlight on Biddulph Grange

Last week’s post on the Geological Gallery at Biddulph was, I hope, something of an insight in to the mindset of James Bateman its creator in the mid-19thc. Today’s is designed to look at the gardens he created there, partly because both he and his wife were passionate about plants but partly as a reinforcement of […]

via A Walk Around the World — The Gardens Trust