Remembering Visits to Hill End Hospital
When I was a child, my father Ronald Arthur Press had a nervous breakdown and was admitted to Hill End Hospital. My mother told us that my sister was two years old at the time, making it 1962. However, on asking for his patient records via the data protection act, all I received was an admittance record for 1964.
Every Thursday evening my brother and I were taken to see him. I always remember the walk towards that daunting building, quite frightening when you are a child. I recall how ill he looked, and I don’t think he actually wanted us there. We were taken to a T.V. lounge while my parents were left to talk, this looked like a dining area.
During the day, my father was sent to work at the on site ‘Lone Star’ factory. Here, they would assemble toys; sheriff badges was one thing I can remember. For this, the patients were given pocket money. My father spent the money buying his tobacco.
He started to receive electric shock treatment and this had a terrible effect on him – he even suffered from memory loss. In the end this so called ‘treatment’ was stopped. Later on he would make visits home at the weekends but all my parents did was argue terribly. Looking back I don’t think my mother had any understanding about his illness and nothing was ever explained to her.
If anyone has any memories of visiting Hill End Hospital, or of Ronald Arthur Press, please comment below.