“You'd do your bundles before you left.” Highvolume Play Pause Stop

A label on a cupboard in a derelict ward at Calderstones taken in 2016.
Courtesy of John Rowbotham
The main building at Brockhall Hospital 1993. This building would have been here since its first days as Lancashire Inebriates Reformatory, which opened in 1904.
Courtesy of Lancashire County Council Museums Service
Audio extract - 1m 25s. This is an extract from an interview on December 16th 2015

John recalls the bedtime practice of ‘bundles’ of clothing. This way of doing things was common at one time to both Brockhall and Calderstones.

Born in 1960, John was a Nursing Auxillary at Brockhall Hospital for about a year from 1982 to 1983.


“You’d do your bundles before you left.”

And what were the sleeping arrangements like?

Just dormitories. Rows of beds.

… Were there any dividers between the beds?

No dividers. Open. Just rows of beds. I think they might have had a bedside locker. And then we had a cupboard right at the end, where you’d have – just label it all – shirts, trousers, socks, underpants, jumpers. But they’re all piled on top of each other. And then that was your last job before you went off at night, before you finished your shift, you’d go to the cupboard. Most of the guys were in bed at that time. 8 o’clock at night. Certainly those that needed support would be in bed. Then you’d do your bundles before you left. You’d go to cupboard, get a pair of trousers, and you’d try and think, Now will that fit? But you just rolled them all up. Left it at the end of the bed. Signed off. That was it. (Pause) I’d like to say, Happy days. But I can’t.

It just sounds like the way you’re describing it it was a very difficult place for you to work. But actually what you did was think, This is not what I want to do

And I want to make a difference.


I can’t do it like this so I have to do something to do that.


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