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We often woke with leaves on our beds

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: August 02, 2014

By Gavin Jones

  • Gladys, Stan and Norah. Does anyone remember this young man? At his height he must have made an impression

  • Edna Plummer is second from left in the front row

  • Fancy dress, with Stan head and shoulders above the rest

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PRESTWOOD Sanatorium no longer exists – thankfully the Black Country has no need of a dedicated tuberculosis hospital in this day and age.

But within living memory there were plenty of people who owed their health and survival to such places, and Bilston reader Dave Plummer, having seen our article on the subject in the edition of two weeks ago, has emailed us the following, along with the accompanying photographs. Dave writes:

"In response to your item on Prestwood Sanatorium (issue 1142), my late mother was a patient there in 1950. As you will see from the enclosed photographs they must have had some fun.

"After 12 months Mother was discharged but had to attend many checkups and x-rays over the years, at Bell Street Clinic in Wolverhampton. At the same time my young sister was also a patient at Himley Sanatorium, where I had to spend six months during the following year; yes it was common to awake with leaves on your bed as "fresh air" away from the industrial pollution was part of the essential treatment. And it must have worked, as Mother lived to the age 93.

"Her name was Edna Plummer. She made many friends at Prestwood and she kept in touch with several of them afterwards. Perhaps readers will be able to recognise some of the faces in the pictures or even provide a surname.

"I have several photographs taken in 1950 and I have enclosed three of them. The group of ladies in the largest group are as follows:

Back row, from left: Gladys, Betty, Amy, Elizabeth, Rene,

Front : Ruby, Edna Plummer (my mom), Norah, Miriam, Pearl.

"In the second picture, from left: Gladys, Stan, and Norah on the right. Either Stan is very tall or the two ladies are very short.

"The third photo shows a fancy dress party, note the tall gentleman – Stan – again. Prestwood House can be seen in the background."

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