"I was running that Refractory Ward on my own." Highvolume Play Pause Stop

Taken in 2006, the imposing gable end (with chimney) of Coupland Ward can be seen just to the right of the arches. This was the locked punishment ward for women. It was set apart from all the other Royal Albert wards, being above the kitchens and divided from the rest of the Main Building by De Vitre Hall.
Nigel Ingham
The door to Coupland Ward, the Royal Albert. This was the locked punishment ward for women. This photo was taken in 2006, 10 years after the Albert's closure.
Mandy Cody
The view south from what used to be Coupland Ward, the Royal Albert. In the foreground is what was called the 'Boys' Yard' with male wards on the right. In the near distance is the Royal Albert's former boiler house.
Mandy Cody
A bedroom on Coupland Ward, Royal Albert. The cubicles represent attempts in the later years of the institution to make large wards more 'homely'. The photo was taken in 2006, ten years after the Royal Albert closed.
Mandy Cody
Mrs Creed, a former Royal Albert nurse, in an interview March 21st 2007.

Mrs Creed, in an interview recorded on March 21st 2007, remembered being in charge of Coupland Ward at the Royal Albert. This was the locked punishment ward for women.  She ran this ward for many years, probably during the 1950s and 60s. At that time it was also known as Girls’ Probationary or the Refractory Ward.

Transcript:

“I remember being on Refractory, and I was running that Refractory Ward on my own. And I had 30 patients, most violent patients that you can say at Royal Albert on my own. Some nurses, some nurses left the Royal Albert, they wouldn’t go up, they were too frightened. But you were locked in with them.

So you were there on your own with thirty –

“Yeah. Up in Refractory.

In the Refractory, on Coupland.

“Yeah. On Coupland. I had to… I mean there was me and this other nurse, she used to do it when I was off.”

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