Down on the Farm

The Working Farm

The working farm was a very important part of Sanatorium life. As well as providing food for the patients and staff, it offered opportunity for exercise and work for patients, which was a key part of the treatment regime.

The archive material records Freddie Harrison as Pigman during the 1930s. He was responsible for cooking up all the Hospital’s waste food in an old ‘copper’ down on the farm. This was mixed with grain meal and fed to the pigs. He wore an old hessian apron which was always covered in this mixture and it didn’t smell of roses. Pig production ceased in 1975.

In the 1960s, the Hospital took on a neighbouring chicken farm and increased egg production from 3,000 in 1964 to 13,000 by the end of 1965. But this side business didn’t last and following torrential rain in 1966, the birds caught a fatal disease and the business never recovered.

Working Horses

This collection of photographs from the archive show the important role of horses in Sanatorium life. As well as working on the farm, they transported goods and patients around the site and to the local station.

The Dairy

The dairy provided milk for all those living and working in the Sanatorium and was productive until the late 70s. The photographs show the dairy in action and Mr S Percival, who was Herdsman in the 1940s.


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