Friday, 27 September 2013

Digging for victory

Building work on the Together Trust site is ongoing as the charity extends its Inscape service in Cheadle. Amongst the diggers and the builders, as the final bits of work are completed, history occasionally comes to light.

Foundation walls of the Sanatorium
 
Nestling next to the main offices at Cheadle used to be a small building, built in 1927, to provide medical care to the residents of the Belmont Homes. This was known as the Sanatorium. Yesterday, digging on the site revealed the foundations of this building. Of the six original buildings built to form the Children’s Garden Village in the 1920’s, this is the only one not to remain today and is our first sighting of its old brickwork.



Sanatorium shortly before its was knocked down in the 1960s

The Sanatorium was originally erected and equipped 'in memory of John Dewhurst Milne' (of Kendal Milne fame) who had lived and died at Belmont House. It was officially opened on the 28th May by Sir Alfred Hopkinson and had cost over £6000 to build. This was often the first building experienced by those who came to live at Belmont;

“You were quarantined I think for three weeks before you could go into your home because they didn’t want you to take anything peculiar in and spread it round all the children that were there.” Shaw Home Resident, 1939-1941

Plan of the Sanatorium, 1937

As well as looking after the children with minor ailments, the building also had an operating room and two isolation rooms for infectious disease. Dental checks were carried out within the building, allowing for most medical issues to be dealt with on the estate. For more serious complaints the children were transferred to the local hospital.

By 1954 the use of the Sanatorium as a hospital was no longer required and the building was converted into a Toddlers Group Home followed by a family group home in 1957 called Sandon House. The branch was closed down in 1963 and the building was knocked down shortly after.

The foundations however, as seen yesterday, still remain as a reminder of how we used to be.

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