Lytham St.Annes Coat of Arms
Lytham St.Annes, Lancashire, England


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 October 1930.

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 not known.

Lytham Hospital in the 1930s
The new Lytham Hospital, 1930.

A festive decorative scene in the female ward of Lytham Hospital, Christmas 1935.

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 homestead.