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St Margarets Hospital - Great Barr


New Member
Hi, I came across this site when I was just browsing looking for old photos of St Margarets Hospital to show my children. Find it really interesting as I nursed at St Margarets from 1977 to 1985. I remember my first time of going there as a newly qualified nursery nurse and being interviewed in the room below the clock tower. I was absolutely petrified..........it turned out to be the most rewarding job I have ever had. It actually was a town of its own, everything you needed was on site. Most of the staff there were very commited to their posts and had the clients best interests at heart and did there best in difficult circumstances. I worked on various wards on the male side and the female side but mostly on Chase and Derby ward which were the childrens units. Also in the newly built school. The story about the murder of the lady by the gardener was true, I actually worked with Joseph Birch (Jo), of course by then he was a very frail elderly gentleman. Also a young lad from Chase ward did manage to get out through a window during the night and drowned in the lake on site. Things were very different then, health and safety weren't the big issues they are now. I often go back to visit my dad who lives in Great Barr, as I live in wales now and always have a drive up the main entrance. Its very hard to imagine it now as it was then. So many stories could be told, I could go on and on. Just makes me wonder where all the poor souls are now. Would be lovely to be in touch with other people who worked there, as I'm sure they will agree it was the sort of place that had a huge impact on your life.
Hi Faenol,After reading your post the other day it seemed to ring a bell,you mentioned the chase and derby wards,My sister spent her life at St Margarets 1967 until it closed down,i fondly remember playing with the children when myself and my parents went to visit weekly,I remember door handles being at the top of the doors to stop the children opening them,i remember one little lass who had really long arms who was a little trooper at opening the doors and going walkabout,People say it was a scary place but all i have is fond memories,my sister Tracey was mentally and physically handicapped but she did so many things whilst there,she did painting and different classes,i also remember my mom saying Tracey had been doing horse riding,Just like to say thank you for being one of the staff who brightened up patients lives,I'd like to think that Tracey enjoyed herself whilst at St Margarets,she was certainly well looked after.


New Member
Apologies I have only just joined the site and saw your posting. I think I may have worked with Kevin during the mid to late 70's. I think the homes were cartwright, veasey and one other i cant recall the name of
Thankyou Paul, I have a sister Dora certificate which was my dads. I know he worked with Pete Marshall, Ken Beebee and Tom Quinn, Other than that not much. My stepmom Helen said the patientsused to throw the pool balls at the staff but I’m not sure if she was joking

Laney Lintel

New Member
I have been wanting to add to this thread for a while now. My aunty Sheila rlived here from when she was 7 in the mid 1940s, until it closed. She is over 80 now and has many fond memories of being here. She loved the sewing and clay modelling club and participated in sports events, which she said were held at The Stadium (not sure which one). She still has all of the certificates she won. When she left she was given a flat to share with her good friend who she had met at Great Barr. It is sad that I wasn't really aware of her or her life until recently and now with lockdowns etc we haven’t been able to get together to talk about her life properly. She did mention that she still gets Christmas cards from one of her teachers. Perhaps there might be other staff members on here that remember her and maybe when all of this virus is behind us we could organise a little reunion for them
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New Member
I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions,My Sister was Tracey Jane Rowe,Tracey passed away in 2006,Tracey spent majority of her life in St Margarets until she was moved to Springside in Pelsall,
I only have memories of my Sister,no photographs,as far as i'm aware Tracey spent her life on Chase and Derby ward,
Unfortunately now St Margarets and Springside have both closed i have no idea who to get in touch with in regards to finding photographic evidence of my Sister,Needle in a haystack springs to mind,Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.Thanks,Pete.


proper brummie kid
Not sure if you'll get anything concrete but nationalarchives.gov.uk might be a good place to start for information? If nothing else it may open other avenues to explore.