There was plenty of space for leisure activities on the hospital site in the past.
Sports pitches, tennis courts and ornamental gardens were available for staff and patients to take time away from their working lives. Cricket, football and rounders teams competed on the sports fields where the Outpatients buildings are today. There was also an Angling Club.
The Social Club was free for all staff, open on weekday lunchtimes from midday to 2pm and some evenings depending on the availability of volunteer staff to run it. It was a place to socialise, hold special events and fundraisers. There was a stage for shows and a large hall and bar for discos, parties and dinners.
The club closed sometime in the early 2000s when attitudes around drinking alcohol and smoking on site changed and the privatisation of portering, cleaning and catering services.
Do you know Aunt Sally?
An annual fete was organised by the League of Friends with different departments usually running a stall. One of the Plant Attendants Ted Mariner used to collect broken cups, plates, teapots and used lightbulbs throughout the year for his own version of the traditional fairground game Aunt Sally.
The crockery was arranged on shelves and players threw a ball to smash it all to pieces. It was extremely popular!