Welcome to the St Luke’s Hospital Heritage Project 2015

This is the research website for the Guildford Union Workhouse, Guildford War Hospital, Warren Road Hospital and St Luke’s Hospital. – Click on recent posts to find out our latest news…………

Welcome to 2015 for St Luke’s Hospital Project at the Spike!

We are now planning events at the Spike for the year ahead and looking forward to meeting friends and new visitors during 2015.

Len Norman has found a new addition to the exhibition - this is the sister's chair originally in Farnham Hospital and now lovingly restored and part of the furniture at the Spike

Len Norman has found a new addition to the exhibition – this is the sister’s chair originally in Farnham Hospital, lovingly restored at the Spike

2015 Dates for your diary: Spring Talk by Len Norman Friday 20 March 7.30 for 8pm To kick off, we have been very lucky in booking Len Norman for our Spring Talk. Len will be telling us about his 25 years ‘behind the scenes’ at St Luke’s Hospital in the engineering department. As an electrician, Len worked across the site and therefore has an interesting and varied perspective on hospital life from 1965. Ticket price is £5.00 for visitors and £4.00 for Spike members. This includes a glass of wine and light refreshments while viewing the hospital exhibition.  All proceeds will go towards the Charlotteville Jubilee Trust for maintenance of the Spike. To book your tickets, please email jane@charlotteville.co.uk or telephone 01483 598420

THIS MONTH’S ANNIVERSARY..more interesting facts from our archive

Lithograph of Guildford Union workhouse 1838 by Henry Prosser

Lithograph of Guildford Union workhouse 1838 by Henry Prosser

January 2015 marks the 75th ANNIVERSARY of Guildford Union Workhouse changeover to a local authority hospital.  On 1st January 1930 the Guildford Institution was renamed Warren Road Hospital and on 1 April that year its management passed from the Ministry of Health to the Public Assistance Committee of Surrey County Council. So, 94 years after being founded the Institution changed emphasis from managing the poor/destitute to providing medical care for both the local community and the poor.

The Local Government Act 1929 did away with the old Institution but was this really the end of the Workhouse?

Under the Act Surrey County Council took over the employment of 950 Poor Law Officers, 35 Road Officers and 828 workmen across the county. Its review of the Guildford Institution states that there were175 beds for hospital in-patients and, interestingly, accommodation for 253 inmates who were still in need of support. Vagrants or tramps were still in need of shelter, with an average of 33 sleeping in the Spike each night. The Institution, including the Master and Matron, employed 79 staff.

After 1930, it is fair to say that change was only piecemeal. Some dormitories were still converted into wards, despite a 1933 report that the Institution was “incapable of adaptation” to a hospital. The hospital staff consisted of one resident and one assistant Medical Officer, a Superintendent Nurse, 6 Sisters and 24 Probationary Nurses.

Miss Brigit Coyle, (who joined the staff in 1930) recalled: “In 1933 I became Night Sister. Being the only trained person on duty, I was responsible for the supervision of the general wards, the deliveries in a 10 bedded maternity ward and the night theatre work……on coming off duty in the morning I would often give a lecture to the nurses as in those days we had no sister tutor. My off duty was four nights a month, all taken together.  I can recall a period of ten weeks when I had to work without any off duty.”

Research – latest news

Phil Davie has been finding out more about the naming of St Luke’s Hospital. (Click on the heading above to see the full article.)

                                     VISIT OUR EXHIBITION AT  THE SPIKE:

                            From Workhouse to Hospital – the story of St Luke’s

Born at St Luke's

but no 'arm done!

Take a peep behind the scenes here.


Copyright: Charlotteville Jubilee Trust 2013/2014