Lytham Hospital in the 1920s & 1930s.
After the 1914-18 War a new hospital
opened in St Annes, the War Memorial Hospital.
This was largely funded by the wealthy local benefactor, Lord
Ashton. At the same time the two towns amalgamated to form the
Borough of Lytham St Annes so the Borough now had two hospitals.
The population of Lytham and St
Annes was increasing, as was with the need for health care.
This was partly driven by injured war veterans, motor accidents, new
treatments and the birth rate.
In the late 1920s Lytham hospital was completely
reconstructed at a cost of about £30,000. The NHS did not yet exist and so the
money was found through a decade of fundraising along with generous
donations by a local benefactor. It was opened by Lord Derby on 4
Thomas Hedges (1880-1937).
The new building was designed by the Lytham architect (and
photographer) Thomas Hedges. Ironically, it was his
father David Hedges (1842-1916) who had photographed
the opening of the first hospital some sixty years earlier.
Edward William Mellor (1852-1930)
The driving force behind the construction of the new
hospital was Edward William Mellor, a wealthy businessman who had moved to
Lytham about 1890 and lived at the large detached seafront
mansion, 'Fairlawn'. He knew the Hedges family because he was a keen
photographer he was a member (treasurer?) of the
Royal Photographic Society.
Edward also took an interest in the moving image at a time
when home movie technology was in its infancy. His first attempts in this
field were in 1909 and some footage was captured at Lytham.
In the late 1920s Edward Mellor donated over £15,000
towards the new hospital scheme at Lytham. He filmed the demolition
and reconstruction of the hospital, completing his film just before his
death in March 1930. Sadly he didn't live to see the opening ceremony.
His collection of magic lantern slides, taken on his travels
around the globe, have been preserved. What happened to his films is
The new Lytham Hospital, 1930.
Christmas 1935; a
festive decorative scene in the female ward of Lytham Hospital. Snowflakes, an
igloo, a hunter, a bear and penguins represented an Icelandic