Once a Flagship now a Wreck

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Tesco’s artistic impression for the new Royal.

Will this be a never ending story, or another fairy tale of our times?


p049-royal-hostpital-wolverhampton-2011
The Royal Hostpital as it stands today in 2011.

A Transplant is  urgently needed ! For this  right “Royal” mess.

I can imagine how sad old Wufflers feel as they travel as I do each day  past the old Royal hospital and gaze at the sorrowful state it has become.  A place so full of memories for all. I just wonder when the fire will start.

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South Staffordshire General Hospital and Dispensary circa 1900.

On land purchased from the Duke of Cleveland on the recently cut Cleveland Road this Italianate Doric Building of Derbyshire stone costing some £14.000, allowed the eighty bedded South Staffordshire General Hospital and dispensary to publily open its doors on January 1st 1849.

The crowning glory for the hospital came in 1929 with the granting of the Royal Charter by Royal Command with the appropriate seals, titles and coat of arms coming into order.

The new titled Royal Hospital then took under its management sructure the Womens Hospital by the West Park and satellite units.

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The Royal Hospital circa 1960s.

The 1960’s ushered in many improvements and the gradual widening of the hospital surgical and medical specialites, but even then the whispers of the demise of The Royal and renaissance of New Cross, caused considerable anguish to the loyal Royalists but even so much progress was made into the 70’s and this decade saw the opening  an intensive care unit  adjacent to the new theatre block at a cost of £27.000.

But as we all know today the doors  finally closed  and virtually 150 years of outstanding service and care to Wolverhampton citezens came to an end at the Royal on May 27th 1997.

Another great institution lost in the name of progress.

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8 comments

  1. Hallo Bill,
    They come to you from all over the world, well Kidderminster Library. Just tried to comment on the Royal via Howl Discussion Group. No luck.

    Regards, George.

  2. Hello there again Billy,

    Nice story, a sad one I’ll admit – never thought this would happen to such a building and a building of significance. I like many, many thousands of others was actually born there September 8th 1953.

    Who makes these bloody minded stupid decisions?

    All the best and take care.

    Kindest regards

    David

  3. Hallo Bill,
    The Royal, home from home for me, I won’t say I had my own bed but I could find my own way there.

    Three stitches under the chin, caused by falling flat on my face, kicking a ball against a wall at St. Andrews School, Whitmore Reans; Age of 5, gave up on ball games.

    Broken wrist, falling off Pirate Galleon, in our back garden, ok, it was the fowl pen. Age of eight; stopped watching Burt Lancaster movies.

    Five stitches in the thigh, caused by falling through the floor of the Cricket Pavilion at New Bridge, Tettenhall. Yes I know we shouldn’t have been there. My mother told me, 61 years ago she told me. Age of nine; Decided life was painful, but only when you enjoyed yourself.

    Keep writing Bill.

    Regards to all.

    George

  4. I remember the Royal so well. I had some health probems as a child and I remember going there to see Dr Everly Jones (miserable old man) and in the waiting room there was a huge fish tank and there was a dark marble looking statue I remember in the foyer kind of thing you first walked into. I think the statue was a woman and a child or something. can’t really remember that so well.
    It was a lovely building, full of charactor and when I broke my leg and needed surgery in 1989 I spent a week there as the orthopedic dept hadn’t yet moved to New Cross. The nurses seemed more friendly and as it was smaller and more personal than the huge New Cross Hospital. Those who worked there said similar things, they said it was more like a little family working there than in the big impersonal New Cross that you could get lost in even then. I liked the old building and it’s atmosphere, it was a fine place and such a shame it had to close. It was much easier to get to than New Cross too, esp for those who don’t drive. Yes, the place looks a sad mess now, what have they done to our town?

  5. I have just come across this page and pics I have wonderful memories of this iconic place,i went here as a cadet nurse in1967 then went on as a student,so many memories ,so sad that its gone loved it and all it stood for,lived in the nurses home,best years of my life.

    1. I was at RVH as house officer med surg, then SHO A/E from 79/81. I am trying to contact Sister Macari of Scot-twentyman ward, surgical. I worked for Mr. R.H Grace. any clues on any of the other staff nurses, e.g. Sue Poole ? yours sincerely Jon. J. Neylon.

      1. Hello Jon, Nice to hear from you. I see the Royal Hospital has been refurbished in a satisfactory state and we in Wolverhampton are all now waiting for some one to come along and find a useful role for it , Now that Tesco have come unstuck with their plans for the site.
        I met Mr Grace and Mr Swarbreck a few times in the 1980’s whilst collecting for the British Digestive foundation which they played a big part in. I being in the pub trade at that time.
        Did you know Roy Stallard he is a fellow historian and a good friend of mine.

        We have a parallel site Lost Wolverhampton, on facebook and if its all right with you I will place your request on there.

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