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This section contains written memories of life in Bexley Hospital. We welcome contributions from anyone connected with the hospital - former patients, nursing staff, Doctors, psychologists, domestic staff - anyone who remembers the hospital, the grounds and the people who worked and lived there.

Hopefully the content on this section will grow as more people discover the website. If you want to share any memories you have of Bexley Hospital, please get in touch via the contact page.

The "memories" on this page are in Adobe PDF format. If you don't have the software on your computer to view PDF files, you can download the Adobe PDF viewer for free here.


"Sometimes he would have little gifts for my grandmother, things that maybe he had found in the street like a comb that he had lovingly taken back to the hospital for a clean-up before giving it to her. He was always very considerate to her, and to us.
I remember he used to work in the hospital running a tobacco and newspaper trolley which I believe he used to take round the wards to sell to the patients and he used to give my grandmother a little money from his earnings there."

full story

Reproduced with permission of Rosemary Barcham


"Growing up in the shadow of the hospital was a unique experience.  There were something like up to 2500 patients then.  At any time on any day there would be several patients roaming the heath, the estate or just going to the local shops.  Some, sadly, were identifiable only by their ill fitting clothes and others by their behaviour.  Some passed by and blended in without notice."

full story

Reproduced with permission of Kim Button


"When I first saw the Hospital in 1956, it was forbidding and frightening. Men at the Gatehouse checked comings and goings. The grounds were a maze of trees and buildings, all darkness and menace. All doors were locked, with master keys issued to staff."

full story

Reproduced with permission of Sarah Pat O'Brien


"I met a mild mannered man in the unit, who every now & again would go into fits of rage, shouting incomprehensibly. He used to draw strange marks on paper. He told me that he was writing in the language of Saturn. I got him to write English translations under each "picture". On one he wrote, God bless all little furry animals. I had further conversations with him about Greek Mythology. Apparently he used to be a teacher once upon a time."

full story

Reproduced with permission of the writer


"Bexley Hospital was a very large place and was sited on Dartford Heath, approximately 2 miles from Bexley village and 2 miles from Dartford town centre. For me, not having any roots in the area meant that the hospital was very much my home for the 3 years... it was very easy to spend most of ones time at the hospital."

full story

Reproduced with permission of Richard Howe


"In those very early days I was to see patient care before the days of modern psychotropic drugs; where ECT was given without muscle relaxants and with the patient conscious from the start - requiring four strong nurses to hold the patient safely down to the bed."

full story

Reproduced with permission of Lew Gagen

 

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