A Potted History
It was an increase in tuberculosis in Manchester and the need for patients to receive good food, fresh air and sunshine that led to Manchester Corporation to open a sanatorium on the present site on 23rd June 1931.
It was an ambitious project needing a stone bridge to be built over the Gele river at its’ entrance.
For the patients, treatment and education were inter-twined and a recreation room for patients to meet their visitors, when allowed, was built. As this facility developed it became an essential part of the patients’ recovery by 1962. The Manchester Lounge that we see today was formally opened by Miss Mabel Park on 26th October 1967. Following this a chapel was built and was consecrated and opened by the Right Reverend D.D. Bartlett, Bishop of St Asaph on 13th May 1970.
The League had their inaugural meeting in November 1962 with Mrs M. Ault of Belgrano, in the chair. The league provided a tea trolley service on visiting days and their first coffee morning was held in Church House in 1963 and raised £31. 5s 6d! It was Mrs Ault who suggested gifts for patients at Christmas. Slowly but surely the League increased their activities to raise money for the hospital. The first in a long tradition of Garden Parties was held in 1964.
The first A.G.M. took place February 1964.
In May 1965 the tea bar was officially opened by Lady Monckton. In 1975 our rules were adopted by the Charity Commission. From 1985 there were many times when the hospital was under threat of being closed and was people like Elizabeth who fought for it to remain open.
Mrs Elizabeth Taylor became chairman in March 1993 and remained as chairman until April 2013 at our 50th Anniversary as a league.
The first Carol Concert was took place in the chapel at Christmas time 1993, with the Betws yn Rhos Male Voice Choir performing for the first time. The choir has supported the League of Friends ever since.
The lounge was refurbished in 1998 to look pretty much like it does today. It seems fitting that in our 50th year we had new curtains and lampshades!
The League continues to change and grow, meeting the needs of a very different hospital to the one we supported 50 years ago.
Our next big project is a much needed new kitchen!