January 2019

Kirton and Falkenham Women’s Institute
Next meeting: Thursday 14th January at 2.00 pm. Tina Oldfield will describe ‘A Trek for life’ and expedition to Everest.
Competition: a photograph and map of your favourite walk.

January Meeting:
David Phelan gave an interesting talk about St Audrey’s Hospital in Melton (where he now lives).
St Audrey’s began life as a workhouse in the mid nineteenth century. It was converted into a lunatic asylum in 1829. It was built with a curve in the approach road- as were most asylums; the Victorians did not want their mental hospitals visible to the public and this is the origin of the saying: ‘going round the bend’. The care of the mentally ill was barbaric up to this period, but Melton was lucky to gain an enlightened Superintendent, John Kirkman from 1832. His philosophy was summed up in the sentence: ‘No restraint can be employed which is so powerful as tenderness.’ He was a pioneer of occupational therapy, clean and attractive surroundings and treating inmates with sympathy. The hospital had its own farm, kitchens and laundry. The hospital had a good reputation for its care and also as an employer. It was closed in 1993 as government policy changed to providing care in the community.