8 Jul 2013

Cashes Green Hospital Site; history meeting, crowdfunding and more

See my film re site here
Philip writes: This last week the NHS reached its 65th birthday - a big happy birthday - certainly some challenges ahead but those are not for this post - I wanted to share that we have the pleasure of Local Historian Chas Townley talking about the history of Cashes Green Hospital on Tuesday 16 July at 7.30pm at  Cashes Green Community Centre (£3.50 including refreshments). See more about that fascinating history below...

I also wanted to note that  Kevin McCloud's company HAB, who are developing the site, have launched an ambitious strategy for growth with custom build at its centre - they are looking to fund £1.5m through crowd funding and use the money to design 1,000 eco-friendly, 'self-build' homes a year until 2018. Kevin's company says it will be the antidote to "bland homogeneous" suburbia. You can see the Guardian article on this here and the Crowdcube site with funding details at:

Here's some stuff from Chas:

Cashes Green started life as Stroud's Council run infectious disease hospital. The talk will look at the History of the Hospital Board, with its faltering start in 1896, which led to the Bisley Small Pox Riot where "respectable" locals set fire to the temporary hospital to stop it being used for the benefit of the wider area.

The talk will also look at the poor state of public health in the late Victorian era with many water courses little more than open sewers and the resulting risk of disease and death. Chas will also look at the various sites that the Board considered for a hospital in the area before settling on Cashes Green more or less by accident.

The decision of the Board to extend its activity into facilities for Tuberculosis  at Cashes Green in 1914 resulted in the mass resignation of the whole of Cainscross Parish Council in disgust at being ignored by the Hospital Board and the Government. Plus la change some might say!  An interesting side story is how the council was run for 2 years without any Councillors.

In the 1930's the Board fought off a Gloucestershire County Council plot to rob them of their hospital by the establishment of a Countywide municipal hospital service.

The coming of the NHS was not welcomed by the Stroud Joint Hospital Board who picked a fight with  Nye Bevan to keep the hospital in council hands - They were beaten -  and the hospital was handed over to the NHS  unstaffed and empty with the patients being scattered to Standish and Over Hospitals. Some might suspect spite but a more likely reason is good old mismanagement.

The site remained under occupied for eight years with a small part of the site being used as an annexe of Standish Chest Hospital until it was pressed into service to replace the Eastington Workhouse Infirmary Wards as Stroud's Geriatric Hospital in 1956, a service it continued to provide until it was closed in 1993. 

For further information contact: Chas Townley  on 07969275231 

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