Wednesday, 16 March 2011

West Park Asylum Children's Ward


The first batch of 'snaps' from my recent visit with Mark to West Park Asylum, these are all from the children's wards.  Initially I wondered whether these wards were for the young children of patients, constructed so that parents and young children would not lose contact with one another, but after conducting some research online it would appear probably not.  These wards were specifically for disturbed young children, some of whom were possibly mentally ill but many of whom I would imagine had behavioural problems that would not necessarily be classified as 'ill' these days.  How must these children have felt to have been in this place, which despite having cheery characters painted in murals over many of the walls, and toys aplenty to play with, yet still knowing that they were encarcerated there away from their families?  It is a sobering thought indeed .....

This article from The Independent in 1993 discusses how poverty could be a big factor, whereas this 1956 article from Time presents a sobering insight into the treatment of difficult children half a century ago.