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#364219 - 8th Nov 2009 10:22pm Leasowe Hospital
PaulWirral
Unregistered


Leasowe Hospital



The Leasowe Sanatorium For Crippled Children and Hospital for Tuberculosis, to give its full and original name, later became known as the Liverpool Open-Air Hospital, Leasowe, and finally Leasowe Hospital.

To tell the story of the hospital, one name above all stands out and that is Margaret Beavan (born 1877, died 1931). She was the driving force, admired by all, she was known affectionately as the 'Little Mother of Liverpool', also not quite as complimentary - the 'Mighty Atom' and 'Clever Beggar'. Even at school, she did not like to lose and though only small, she entered all sports with great determination. She later became Head Girl and even at this early age she was endeavouring to help the poor in some way. Her first effort was to cajole the other girls in joining her in giving a Christmas tree to the poor of the dockland. She eventually went on to Liverpool University. Whilst there, she joined the Kyrle Society, who were philanthropists, who gave money out of their own pockets to help the poor. Upon leaving University, she rented a small room in the middle of the slums, as an office. During this time she came to the notice of a Mr A V Paton (he was later knighted), who was a remarkable man who devoted all of his time to helping children and the West Kirby Convalescent Home for Children (the first of its kind in the country).

With his guidance, they started in 1891 the Invalid Children's Aid. It was built around a London model founded a few years earlier. It was mannered by volunteers who tried to help sick children to go to the country for convalescent. It was haphazard and disorganised affair. They literally picked children up off the streets. It was starting to get beyond the means of the Kyrle Society, so they had to look for help somewhere else, and in due course, they joined with the Crippled Childrens' Workshops that was doing well. This led to a name changing and a new start. So in January 1908, the Invalid Children's Association was founded. The name was to change again when in 1919 it became the Liverpool Child Welfare Association. Margaret Beavan was its chief from its inception in 1907 until her death in 1931. The Association's work covered a large area, although it started in Liverpool, its work stretched from Runcorn to Ellsemere Port to Bootle and Birkenhead, and the surrounding areas. By the 1970s, all its work had been taken over by the National Health Service and the Department of Health and Social Security. The Association still exists but only as a legal entity. It still owns its premises in Copperas Hill which was rented to the Women's Royal Volunteers Service, but is now closed.

Margaret Beavan became the first woman Lord Mayor of Liverpool in 1927/28. She also officiated at the break-through of the first Mersey Tunnel (the Queensway) in 1931. She caught a cold and developed pneumonia and died. She was also a Magistrate and spent all her life as a volunteer worker.

The first mention of a Sanatorium for T.B children occurred on the 16th December, 1911. At a Committee Meeting, after communication with the Medical Officer of Health and the Education Committee, it appeared that they were to receive a grant of up to 3/5th's of the capital cost. The next meeting held on 23rd January, 1912, Sir G. Newman of the Whithall Board of Education, indicated that as far as he could see from the plans submitted, the Sanatorium would get approval from the Board; and as regards to capital expenditure, it would be prepared to make a grant of 70-90 per bed and 50% of maintenance costs for all children sent by the Municipal. By this time, a site had been found in Leasowe. The Board of Education sent a number of staff down the next day to inspect the site.

At another meeting on the 13th February, 1913, it was confirmed that the site was acceptable. The deeds were drawn up and the Association was incorporated. Everything was set in motion - an appeal was sent to over 5,000 in Liverpool with regard to the Leasowe Sanatorium; a parliamentary list of donations had already reached 6,731; there were four sums of 1,000 by George Holt, Miss Holt of Holt Shipping Lines, Mr H Harrison of The Harrison Shipping Lines and Mr A V Paton in memory of his wife. Further donations from the Brocklebank family were received also many others soon swelled the coffers.

The next step was to purchase the land and this happened on the 17th April, 1913. The land was owned by the Webster family and farmed by the Beed family.

Under the heading 'Transaction with regard to Leasowe': it was reported that the contract had already been signed, the estate had been purchased - part of the money having been paid on signing, the balance to be completed when the Association's possession of the said property on 1st September, 1913 - the price being 3,600, 17th April, 1913. They also tried to purchase the land opposite on the shore side but the landowner, Mr. Sparks, wanted more then the Association could afford.

The Association agreed to renew the tenancy of these fields with Mr. Beed for three months, at the same rental he had paid before, namely 10 per annum. By the 14th August, 1913, the Committee asked for tenders from building firms, the winning bid came from Messrs Brown & Backhouse since theirs was the lowest tender.

An Executive Committee meeting was held the next day - 14th August, 1913, The Secretary reported that the tender by Messrs Brown & Backhouse had formally been accepted, namely 2, 500 for Blocks A and B hospital buildings, and 3,230 for Block C - in total 5,730. Messrs Brown & Backhouse had already commenced work on the 11th August, 1913. The work was completed on time and the first children were taken into Faith Block on 7th July, 1914. The Commemorative Stone was laid on 21st July, 1914. The total cost of the building the hospital was 180,000.

The first years running cost in 1947 (before the National Health Service took over) was 47,844 2s.0d. There was no effective cure for tuberculosis until the 1940s when a Ukraine scientist, Selman Waksman, working in the USA, discovered the drug Streptomycin. It was an antibiotic and stopped the tubercle bacillus from multiplying. Slowly Leasowe Hospital changed from being principally a children's T.B hospital to one for dealing with burns and skin grafts, and then arthritis until its closure in 1979. It was bought by the Wirral Christian Centre in 1981 and was used later as a Retirement Home and Handicap Centre. The buildings were later demolished and luxury apartments and houses were built on the site.

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#364252 - 9th Nov 2009 12:29am Re: Leasowe Hospital [Re: ]
RUDEBOX Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 29th Aug 2008
Posts: 18994
Loc: Bob Land
I remember going there circa early 80s to see me auntie joan after a hip replacement op.
Later in the late 80s me nan was in 'st marks'-nursing home there. Lets just say she wasnt there long tho.
Really interesting History-thanx.
_________________________
Mia Mabel


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#364309 - 9th Nov 2009 12:11pm Re: Leasowe Hospital [Re: RUDEBOX]
Doctor_Frick Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 24th Nov 2007
Posts: 308
Loc: Prenton
Nice pic Paulk. Never seen it from an aerial view. Where did you get the photo ? Looks like an old book
_________________________
Over 5000 years of Wirral History:

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#364428 - 9th Nov 2009 4:32pm Re: Leasowe Hospital [Re: Doctor_Frick]
bazzoh Offline

Addict

Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 252
Loc: wirral
i seem to remember visiting my nan there which would have been in the 80's? i remember it being still like a hospital then!

baz

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#364455 - 9th Nov 2009 6:48pm Re: Leasowe Hospital [Re: bazzoh]
KevinFinity Offline

Forum Master

Registered: 30th Apr 2009
Posts: 2311
Loc: Wirral
I always thought it was an ugly building. I never thought that the bit I could see from the road was just the back of it. idiot

Thats a good picture. Thanks for sharing it. The grounds look quite extravagant for a hospital. They don't make them like that anymore.

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#364456 - 9th Nov 2009 6:56pm Re: Leasowe Hospital [Re: KevinFinity]
hoseman Offline
Forum Master

Registered: 30th Sep 2007
Posts: 2346
Loc: Bromborough
My dad was head engineer there onsite, used to go with him when i was a kid to work in the boiler house at weekends and repairs around the wards. Huge interesting place what i remember, such a great building, sad to see it go.
Sure we have had a thread on this before!!
_________________________
IF IT HAS A HOSE THEN IM YOUR MAN

BETTER TO BURN OUT THAN FADE AWAY!

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#364464 - 9th Nov 2009 7:25pm Re: Leasowe Hospital [Re: Doctor_Frick]
chriskay Offline
Forum Veteran

Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
Originally Posted By: Doctor_Frick
Nice pic Paulk. Never seen it from an aerial view. Where did you get the photo ? Looks like an old book


To me, that looks more like an architect's drawing than a photo. PaulWirral?
_________________________
Carpe diem.

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#364465 - 9th Nov 2009 7:33pm Re: Leasowe Hospital [Re: chriskay]
hoseman Offline
Forum Master

Registered: 30th Sep 2007
Posts: 2346
Loc: Bromborough
You may be right Chris, i dont remember thoes ornate gardens to the rear or the trees to the left of pic.
Houses were at the rear and farmers land at the side (trees area!) with a small stream thru! Always floods that area as well, not good for trees!!
_________________________
IF IT HAS A HOSE THEN IM YOUR MAN

BETTER TO BURN OUT THAN FADE AWAY!

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#364473 - 9th Nov 2009 7:51pm Re: Leasowe Hospital [Re: hoseman]
PaulWirral
Unregistered


I understand that the photo is an aerial view taken in 1920.
I know many changes to the hospital occurred over the years as the buildings were "downgraded" from treating T.B to dealing with joint problems so many buildings and features would of dissappeard from the 1950s.

More photos of the Hospital can be found by clicking on my sig link and visiting this months update!

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#364502 - 9th Nov 2009 10:00pm Re: Leasowe Hospital [Re: chriskay]
marty99fred Offline

Smartchild

Registered: 11th Mar 2009
Posts: 462
Loc: Pensby
As is evident from this better scan, it is a copy of the original architect's artistic impression of what the finished Hospital would look like, drawn in about 1913 - though the caption writers obviously weren't very PC in those more innocent times...


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#364519 - 9th Nov 2009 11:13pm Re: Leasowe Hospital [Re: marty99fred]
chriskay Offline
Forum Veteran

Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
Originally Posted By: marty99fred
As is evident from this better scan, it is a copy of the original architect's artistic impression of what the finished Hospital would look like, drawn in about 1913 - though the caption writers obviously weren't very PC in those more innocent times...


Thanks for that: it was the stylised trees which made me wonder in the first place.
_________________________
Carpe diem.

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#364536 - 10th Nov 2009 12:35am Re: Leasowe Hospital [Re: chriskay]
PaulWirral
Unregistered


I stand corrected!

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