Page last updated at 12:05 GMT, Tuesday, 20 April 2010 13:05 UK
Powick Hospital Worcester: Psychiatric hospital stories
Powick Hospital
Powick Hospital was formerly known as the Worcester County Pauper and Lunatic Asylum

Life inside the psychiatric hospital at Powick, near Worcester, are brought to life in a series of films.

The films have been produced by two groups of local residents: The Callow End History Society, and No.10 Sansome Place.

They feature archive footage of the hosital, which closed in the 1980s, and the memories of patient's relatives and staff who worked there.

The films have been made available to watch on You Tube.

The footage has been produced with the help and support of the George Marshall Medical Museum in Worcester.

This houses a collection of objects illustrating the way that medicine and health care has developed over the past 250 years.

The films

The subjects covered in the films about Powick Hospital are:

  • Beryl
    An interview with Beryl, whose mother was put into Powick Mental Hospital.
  • Heather and Graham
    A conversation about work, love and life at Powick Hospital.
  • Ragbag
    A Ragbag of pictures and sounds', using found footage, photographs, and extracts from the museum's oral history collection.
  • Broadmoor Alphabet
    Based on a poem written by one of the patients in Powick Hospital in the 1960s, and using photographs collected by the Callow End History Society.

Long history

Powick Lunatic Asylum was opened on 12 August 1852, to accommodate pauper lunatics from the city and county of Worcestershire.

The building was paid by the county poor rate, and each county parish paid for any residents sent to the asylum.

It was built to accommodate 100 men and 100 women, but it grew rapidly as there was a big demand for places.

The asylum was administered by the Poor Law Board and overseen by the Commissioners in Lunacy.

This hospital changed its name, after the 1890 Lunacy Act, to Powick Mental Hospital, and then after World War II it became Powick Hospital.

By the time it closed it had treated (or attempted to treat) well over 25,000 Worcestershire people who were suffering from mental illnesses.

It also employed a large staff of medical personnel, and also skilled craftsmen and women, who provided training in various craft occupations for the patients of the hospital.

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