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Albert Edward Booth
This is Mr Albert Edward Booth who worked at the then 'South Yorkshire Wadsley Asylum' from 1891 to 1933. After 42 years of service at the Asylum, Mr Booth retired as Chief Male Nurse.  — Mr Booth's great granddaughter Sharon Booth who has supplied the enclosed photos and illustrations explained that Mr Booth was also elected secretary of the 'Attendants Representative Committee' at the Asylum. When Mr Booth retired from the Asylum two of his sons were working at the institution.


Flowers and staff
Flowers and Asylum staff


Attendants Representative Committee
Minutes of the Attendants Representative Committee
This is the hand writing of Mr Booth when he was Secretary of the 'Attendants Representative Committee' in 1990. The minutes give an insight into some of the issues they faced at the time. The extracts included are: The formation of the Committee
The attempt to organise a pension scheme
,   Lobbying MPs to vote for a pension bill,    A suggested pay-scale for being late,
A Committee member refusing to pay a fine. To read some of the clipping and minutes, click


Main entrance to Asylum
The Asylum gate in the early days.
It is of interest to note that the patients that passed through the gates of the Asylum, their diagnostic categories entered in the admission register at the time included: dementia senile, imbecility, idiocy, in many cases the entry was "not known" — Other entries were prosaic and sometimes picturesque - overwork, heredity, accidents or blows to the head, disappointments in marriage, death of relative, religious excitement, religious doubt, childbirth, family affairs, drinking, etc. No entry contained more than one cause.


Newspaper article
This newspaper article printed in 1903 approx. details an accountant report by the "West Riding Committee"(The regional asylum authority at the time). The report includes news about the running cost, admissions, deaths, discharges etc of the three Asylums in the area. The article also reports about Wadsley Asylum urging the provision of accommodation for idiot girls. — To read the full article, click here


Summer Fete. 1892
This is the 'Summer Fete' programme of 1892. To view this rare item, click here


Mr Booth. 2nd from right in back
Mr Albert Booth, second from right in back.


Staff rota
This could be an old staff rota.
In the early days at the Asylum, all nurses were working from 6am until 8pm with an extension to 10pm once a week, thus making an average of 89 hours a week.


Hall of hospital
This is the Hall of the hospital, with some staff taking exams.
Recreation facilities for patients and staff were much in evidence. Weekly dances and concerts were organised by staff, and the recreation hall with its fine stage was in regular use for orchestral and dramatic entertainment. One of the best shows was the farce "Damon and Pythias" and an oriental burlesque extravaganza "The Bride of Abydos", performed by the staff as early as 1876, to which friends were invited. — The Asylum Band also played an important part in patient entertainments, with much time and effort being devoted to its organisation and maintenance.


  Newspaper article
Newspaper item reporting Mr Booth retirement from the Asylum. To read the article click Here


Hockey team 1920's
Men's hockey team 1920's. Reginald Booth is 2nd from right, front row.
Apart from Football and Hockey. One of the most favourite games in outdoor recreation in asylums was Cricket. Both staff and patients teams achieved considerable success in the local community matches. It was taken for granted that if any new nursing applicant had ability as a sportsman, musician or chorister, he was assured a job. This close association of recreation and work was characteristic of asylum life for patients and staff, leading to a close knit, happy community living together in semi-isolation, and showing little change over the years until the mid-twentieth century.


Exams in progress
Staff taking exams in the hall. (A closer look at the previous 'Hall of the hospital' photograph)
Nursing examinations were started by the Medico-Psychological Association in 1891. After training the term "attendant" was replaced by the term "male nurse". Initially the course of training covered a period of two years, but this was increased to three years.


South Yorkshire Asylum 1892
Entertainment programme of the Asylum in 1892. To view the full fragile item click Here


Large window
Large window of Hall.
When the construction of the Asylum was completed on December 14th 1871, the contractors were entertained to a dinner to mark the occasion and some 350 workmen enjoyed a good meal in the main hall to the musical accompaniment of a local brass band.


South Yorkshire Asylum 1893
Entertainment programme taking place at the Asylum. To view the full item click  Here


Committee letters
As Secretary of the "Attendants Representative Committee" Mr Booth was in correspondence with Mr Clifton of the West Riding County Asylum at Wakefield. Letters and drafts indicating the restoration of a pension scheme. Apparently the first letters submitted to the West Riding were not entertained. To read some of the letters, click here


Key Lodge and main gate
'Key Lodge' and the main gate, view from the Asylum
At Wadsley Asylum in 1889 there was no official nurse's home, the nurses were accommodated in single bedrooms close to the wards in readiness for emergency calls. Many nurses and attendants lived in the vicinity of the asylum, collecting their keys at the 'Key Lodge' as they came through for duty. However, years later, it was decided to build a nurse's home in the ground of the hospital to release many single bedrooms on the wards for the use of patients. —  Also in the early days visitation of patients, however was limited to once a month, except of physical illness.


Hospital pantomime
In the picture are Edith and Reginald, the grandparents of Sharon Booth. They lived at the Weigh Lodge situated in the grounds of the hospital
This pantomime, possible late 1940' to early 50's



Reginald Booth
This is Reginald Booth at Weigh Lodge. Photo early 1900's.

The following entries relates to Sharon Booth's grandfather, Reginald. They are a record of the hospital's air raid warnings during the Second World War. Also a newspaper article and a log book indicating contact details of services to the hospital.

Air raid warnings

Air raid warnings
On the night of Thursday 12th December 1940, the air-raid warning sounded at 7.10pm and shortly afterwards a shower of incendiary bombs descended on the hospital. It was a clear starlit night, and the incendiaries made a brilliant display, but fortunately the few fires started were soon put out, and when the light explosives fell on Sheffield the hospital was in darkness.

Despite the continuing enemy action until 4.20am, no damage to hospital occurred. The mental patients remained in bed, and with few exceptions were not unduly disturbed by the noise of the explosives. In the second Blitz on the following Sunday night the hospital again escaped a direct hit. Following these events, some 300 patients were received into the Wharncliffe Hospital from the city's damaged hospitals.


Air raid records
To view more pages of the booklet, click here


Newspaper article
Newspaper article reporting about the Second World War fire-guards.


Contact detail of suppliers to hospital service
Address book containing suppliers and contact for services to the hospital. To view some of the pages, click here


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