Big Dreams

Victory Appeal

Following the end of WWII, demand for treatment at Benenden Hospital continued to grow and membership numbers needed a boost. The Committee had big dreams about how to develop the hospital estate to accommodate the needs of members and the sketch below shows a number of proposed extensions some of which were finally developed, others not.

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Sketch of Proposed Extensions

In 1946 an appeal fund was launched amongst the Society’s 250,000 members with an original target of £100,000. Miss MA Jackson, Committee of Management member, played a leading part in the success of the appeal and this target was reached within four years. The appeal was then extended, finally raising over £230,000 by the time it was closed in 1956.

New Extensions

The funds raised during this 10 year appeal were used to develop the Hospital and  during the Society’s Golden Jubilee Year in 1955, a number of building projects reached completion at Benenden Sanatorium.

  • JR Williams Wing
  • Sir Thomas Holmes Sellors Ward
  • X-Ray Department
  • New Boiler House
  • Extension to Peek Nurses Home

JR Williams Wing

This extension to Lister Wing, provided an additional 44 beds for members. The wing was later replaced by the Jubilee Clinic.

Sir Thomas Holmes Sellors

This new extension provided the first 14 surgical beds at Benenden along with a theatre. Sir Thomas was a Thoracic Surgeon who had been operating on our patients in London. This facility enabled patients to have their surgery here at Benenden. Hardly recognisable, this building still exists. Sellors Ward was converted to the Outpatient Clinic and Endoscopy Suite before it was relocated to the new Jubilee Clinic.

X-Ray Department

The X-Ray machine had been located in a wooden hut between Garland and the Dining Room. This development provided the first permanent facility with more modern technology.

New Boiler House

This facility provided much needed modern and reliable heating to all areas of the Hospital.

Extension to Peek Lodge

Peek Nurses Home had been developed in two phases and in 1955, the second phase to the home provided an additional 45 single rooms for nurses. These images show the home before and after the extension.

 

The Opening Ceremony

The formal opening of the new extensions took place on Thursday 19 May 1955 by the Rt. Hon. Sir Edward Bridges. Charles Garland had been expected to attend but sadly he died on 1 January of this same year. The ceremony coincided with the Society conference in Hastings, so delegate members formed part of the audience of 2,000 who witnessed the opening ceremony.

 

 

 

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