150 years of Fairfield Hospital
Postcard of Three Counties Asylum c.1912 [ref.Z1306/2/19/4]
On 20 June, BLARS participated in a day-long event at Stotfold Memorial Hall marking the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Three Counties Asylum (Fairfield Hospital). Organised by local individuals with a keen interest in the hospital and its history, it was a lively, busy day, with roughly 350 attendees, largely from the surrounding communities, but plenty of others from farther afield who had made a special trip for the occasion. BLARS staff had prepared exhibition panels about the surviving records of the hospital’s administration, staff and patients [collection ref. LF] and these proved very popular with the visitors, as did the facsimile examples of documents; we had many substantial conversations about the records and how to go about researching family members who had been patients or staff, as well as the work of the Archive Service more generally.
Among the attendees was Sir Stanley Odell, Chairman of the South Bedfordshire Community Healthcare Trust at the time of the hospital’s closure in 1998, and he paid tribute to the Archive Service’s continuing care of the records. The enthusiasm of the visitors and organisers emphasised what a significant place in the community the hospital has held for generations of residents in the area and, indeed, continues to hold in their memories, and we were pleased to be part of a day celebrating this important part of local and regional history. The catalogue of the Fairfield Hospital records is readily available to consult on-line.