Blackburn & East Lancashire Royal Infirmary, March 2011
Prior to the existence of the Infirmary, all treatment for the poor and sick of Blackburn was handled by a public dispensary, known as the Blackburn General Dispensary which opened its doors on King Street on the 1st February 1824.
The Governors of the Dispensary had bigger ideas for the treatment of the poor and sick of Blackburn, they wanted to build an Infirmary which would cater for the entire population of Blackburn, it was estimated that the building of the infirmary would cost £4000.
A fund was started to help finance this scheme, but it was beset by problems including the depression in the cotton trade and food shortages which saw riots and looting breaking out in the Blackburn and surrounding areas.
Following on from further investment into the fund, the foundation stone for the new Infirmary was laid on Whit-Monday, 1858. The Infirmary officially opened its doors in 1864 with a patient capacity of 32 beds.
In 1893 a Nurses Home was erected in the grounds. The Infirmary was further extended in 1897 when the “Victoria Wing” was built to commemorate the diamond jubilee of the Queen.
On the 21st of April 1914 by a decree of King George V, the word “Royal” was officially added to the title.
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On July 9th 1918 the Mayor of Blackburn called a public meeting of workers & Unions to discuss the financial position of the Infirmary. As a result of this meeting a scheme was started called “The East Lancashire Workpeople’s Hospital fund,” a deduction of 1d per week would be taken from workers wages.
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At a meeting held on the 8th of March 1920 a decision was reached to incorporate a memorial for those who lost their lives in WWI into the building of the new extension of the Infirmary.
Work on the Memorial Wing was progressing well and by May 1928 was almost finished.
The opening ceremony took place on Saturday the 16th June 1928.
The main entrance hall had eight stained glass windows bearing the Coats of Arms of Blackburn, Darwen, Accrington, Clitheroe, Rishton, Great Harwood, Church, and Oswaldtwistle.
The Blackburn Coat of Arms is on the floor of the main hall done in mosaic.
There was no more room for expansion and it was decided that the Infirmary would have to move from the site it had occupied for almost 150.
The site of the Infirmary was sold to Barratt Homes, who got planning permission to build 253 homes on the site.
It was decided that The War Memorial wing would be the only portion that would be retained.
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On March 2011 myself, blueink and satsukisan have visit this (very) derelict hospital
Full Gallery HERE