The scores on the doors……….

The cell doors at the Spike tell a story all of their own: scored with century old graffiti and bearing the marks of time.  Sadly, there were very few peep-holes left in tact and the bolts and locks had long been stripped away.

Luckily for the Spike, Len Norman has been able to find some of the original bolts and made new peep hole covers so that visitors can now see what the original doors would have looked like.

Len came in today and after some discussion with Gordon McBrearty one of our leading guides, fixed the new bolts.  Thanks Len – as usual you have come up trumps!

Len (right) fixing the bolts and new peephole cover with help from Gordon.
Len (right) fixing the bolts and new peephole cover with help from Gordon.

Do you remember the fire of ’66?

On August 18th 1966 a fire swept through a wing of the hospital during the day. The fire, which started in the kitchen, caused significant damage to the old hospital wards and new outpatients. Despite this, surgeons continued with an operation only 15 yards away!

Kitchen Fire

“Patients in wards nearby watched from windows as hospital staff and passers-by formed a human chain to save records, nurses uniforms and other stores.  Then they served the firemen ice-cream and lemonade as they worked in the sweltering heat.”



Kitchen fire

 “I stood there in despair as the hose pipe went through the plate glass window of the brand new outpatients building, to get to the fire.” Remembers one witness





Do you remember the hospital kitchen fire? If so, we’d love to hear your story!