Malcolm Alston, a former Charge Nurse at the Royal Albert Hospital, recalls growing up near to the institution in the 1940s and 50s. As he put it, he lived in the “shadow” of the Albert. In the family home on Haverbreaks Estate, Lancaster, a resident from the institution used to do their garden. When Malcolm came to work at the institution in the mid-1960s he recalled that it was “a completely new world for me”.
As a child, for him, the Royal Albert:
“It was just another world. Something behind a wall… that we didn’t know anything about… I wasn’t – as a young lad – I wasn’t even curious about it. It was a place that we used to walk around on the way to Scotforth School and that was it.”
(Recorded Interview – September 12th 2005)
On the colour aerial photograph, towards the top of the picture, just beyond the hospital site is a cluster of houses, which is Haverbreaks Estate. This is where Malcolm lived as a young boy in the 1940s and 50s, so at roughly the same time that this photo was taken. The black and white one, although much earlier than Malcolm’s childhood, may have been similar to the view he had from his home.