We thank Mark Davis for the many excellent photographs he has taken for us, they can be seen on his web site
Below is Mark Davis’s video on the restoration of the Chapel
“These people that are in the ground have been forgotten about after all these years and now they will never be forgotten.” Derek Hutchinson
Plans to transform the Memorial Garden into a place of beauty are discussed at a public meeting at High Royds Social Club at 7.30pm. They include turning the burial site into a community centred memorial garden by restoring and converting the old chapel into an historical building. Negotiations with owners, 3 sets of solicitors and Fund raising Not yet the owners but received permission to restore roof which will be completed by Alan Storey and Steve Taylor. Leeds College of Building teacher Joe Clancy hears about the plans to transform the derelict chapel and field on Buckle Lane, in Menston into a memorial garden. Two of his college students lend a hand to the campaign and build the timber arch window frames for the chapel. Richard Marriott, 18, from Guiseley, and Chris Owen, 17, from Temple Newsam, are aiming to complete the project during their second year apprenticeship at the Leeds College of Building.
This atmospheric photograph by Mark Davis captures some of the desolation as work started to commence and so many volunteers transformed the Chapel/Garden into an “Oasis of Peace”.
December 24th “Best Christmas present ever!” We are now the owners of 3 acres of grounds, the wood and the chapel ” Dr Ron Sweeney
John Steel OBE, the Hon. Secretary who worked so hard for three years died on March 20th 2011 knowing that the Garden/Chapel was now owned and cared for by the local community. A bench, immediately outside the chapel has been named in his memory
“I wondered if my MSc students (‘Archaeological Prospection’ at the University of Bradford) could use our techniques to plan the exact position of the burials.” Dr Chris Gaffney University of Bradford
After making some enquiries I found out a plan existed of the burials but clearly there were too few plots for the number of individuals. After contacting the Trustees it was agreed that we would undertake some student training on 23rd March 2010. The aim was to map the burials and see if we could say anything about structure within the burials without disturbing the soil.
The students undertook a number of non-invasive techniques including earth resistance, fluxgate magnetometry and ground penetrating radar (GPR). When we got back to the laboratory it was clear that the students had produced an excellent set of data. In brief we found that the magnetometry mapped the position of large metal artefacts that we believe represent burial plot markers, the resistance identified the edges of the burials. Much to our surprise the GPR clearly indicated burials three deep in some places.
The students told me that they were pleased to have been given the opportunity to measure and map the graveyard which has helped in its restoration. Of course this has been done using modern non-invasive equipment and therefore without any disturbance of the burials. I am glad to say that I will bring a small team of students back to the garden in a few weeks and I hope that we can contribute to the understanding of the site. As requested we will also measure the boundaries and establish the precise acreage (sq.m) of the garden and adjoining Heritage Wood for which the community is responsible.
PHASE 1 – 2011 – grounds finished. “I am interested in heritage work and traditional skills so it is a good chance for myself, and the lads at the Leeds College of Building to get involved in this kind of work,” Joe Clancy (tutor)
Alan/Steve A job well-done
Following the re-roofing of the chapel carried out by Alan Storey and Steve Taylor a very useful start to phase 2 was given by David Robinson. David has made a first class job of varnishing and restoring the chapel doors (and the original lock – still working after over a hundred years!) to their former glory. We thank Alan, Steve and David for their valuable contribution, which together with the windows installed by the Leeds College of Building, has given such a good base to work on and provide lasting tribute to those who have gone before.
Derek Hutchinson, who is also chairman of The Friends of High Royds Memorial Garden charity, praised the work. The Chapel roof completed by Alan Storey , Steve Taylor, and the work students have done. “It’s amazing that they have managed to do this”.
Phase 1 – the opening of the Garden July 2nd–“This is an amazing place. It ensures that we never forget those who died in psychiatric care, but remember their struggle. Paul Farmer (CEO of MIND)
The ribbon is cut by Derek Hutchinson and Paul Farmer CEO of MIND
WE MUST NEVER FORGET
Paul Farmer, the Chief Executive Officer of MIND, said when he opened the Memorial Garden, “We are on a journey with and for our fellow citizens and users of the past, the present and the future.” He then added “This is an amazing place. It ensures that we never forget those who died in psychiatric care, but remember their struggle, and it should act as a lighthouse for future generations. Come, look, and remember, but never ever repeat this.”
Paul’s words are particularly appropriate because contrary to generally accepted public opinion a survey carried out in 2004 (just after the closure of the large psychiatric hospitals) showed that the public’s tolerance for those with mental health problems WAS WORSE than it was in the 1990’s. Previous to the closures it was often a case of “out of sight – out of mind”, so as Care in the Community started it led to more stigma and discrimination against those suffering from mental health issues.
Opening ceremony “I hope this restoration will help to focus people’s minds on reducing the stigma which so often surrounds people who suffer from mental heath through no fault of their own” Paul Farmer (CEO of MIND)
Dr Ron Sweeney and Revd. Ruth Yeoman. with the cross specially designed and crafted by Brent Thompson
A SUNNY OFFICIAL OPENING
July 11th was a red letter day for us After three years of legal work, fundraising and voluntary work, assisted by a Big Lottery (Groundwork UK) grant, Phase 1 of the Memorial Garden was opened to the public. Some 150 people attended the opening event and were favoured with a beautiful sunny day. The Vicar of St. John the Divine, Menston (Revd. Ruth Yeoman) opened the proceedings with prayer and blessed the Celtic style cross. The cross was specially designed and crafted by Brent Thompson, a specialist craftsman and cabinet maker of Ilkley, from wood salvaged from the doctors’ and nurses’ quarters in the old High Royds hospital and was paid for by Otley Churches
Together. Paul Farmer, the Chief Executive Officer of national MIND, gave a keynote speech thanking the Chairman, Derek Hutchinson, who first conceived the idea of restoring the derelict paupers cemetery, and the team of helpers who had given so much time and financial support to the project.
Paul hoped that the restoration would help to focus people’s minds on reducing the stigma which so often surrounds people who suffer from mental ill health through no fault of their own. Mental illness affects up to 1 person in 5 in England and Wales and it needs, Mr Farmer stated, positive action such as this initiative, to counteract the discrimination.
Due to ill-health, Derek Hutchinson, resigned as Chairman at the Management Committee Meeting held on the 3rd August 2011. The committee accepted his resignation with regret and thanked him for the drive and enthusiasm which he had shown since the start of the project. Vice Chairman and Trustee Ron Sweeney has agreed to act as Chairman until the AGM, to be held in 2012, when all the Committee members and Officers will require to be elected..
PHASE 1 grounds finished. High praise was also expressed by Yorkshire in Bloom judges. When presenting a Silver Gilt Award to Menston they said “This project is a fine example of what can be achieved by a few hard working people’.
The garden and the adjoining wood are now owned by the community. It must be emphasised that over 150 local people give their support and it is this commitment that is still required so the Garden and Chapel can be developed and maintained on a sustainable basis to both respect the dead and be a credit to the living.
PHASE 2 – THE CHAPEL
Now that the garden is largely complete it is intended, subject to funding, to concentrate on the interior of the chapel and to clean the walls, plaster round the windows and hopefully find a joiner who can construct a cupboard around the electrical installation which was kindly paid for by the Leeds Partnerships NHS Foundation Trust.
Following the re-roofing of the chapel carried out by Alan Storey, (whose great grandmother is buried in the cemetery), a very useful start to phase 2 was given by David Robinson, (whose mother Edna Agnes Robinson is also buried in the cemetery). David has made a first class job of varnishing and restoring the chapel doors (and the original lock – still working after over a hundred years!) to their former glory. We thank Alan and David for their valuable contribution, which together with the windows installed by the Leeds College of Building, has given such a good base to work on and provide lasting tribute to those who have gone before.
The chapel of the old High Royds mental hospital, where thousands of the inmates were buried – and forgotten – over the years is now a lovely memorial garden. A lesson for all of us on how to treat people – with kindness, and not cruelty.” Emmerdale’s Paddy Kirk (actor Dominic Brunt) praises the Memorial Garden “
CHAPEL INTERIOR RESTORATION
Following Phase 1 of the restoration of the old pauper’s cemetery on Buckle Lane last year work is now commencing on Phase 2 to restore the interior of the chapel and convert it into a Heritage Centre. The Heritage Lottery Building Fund have given a grant that will build on the voluntary work already carried out so successfully on the exterior.
The original brickwork and distinctive features will be retained but the work will entail: cleaning and pointing all the internal walls, restoring the plaster round the windows and the porch, tiling the entrance in keeping with the main floor, and channelling and making a cabinet for the electrical cabling and equipment
22nd March. Community Heroes Award Shipley & Bingley Voluntary Services wrote on the 17th November 2011: “ We are pleased that our help and advice has helped you in the creation of the Memorial Garden. We are fully supportive of the concept and are pleased that in addition to helping with the funding we have helped in developing appropriate policies and procedures including: a Constitution, a Safeguarding Adults, Equalities and Diversity and Heath & safety policies. Please feel to contact us at any time” Paul Stephens, Chief Executive Officer. Subsequent to this we were nominated by Cllr Dale Smith and Peter Finlay, the Chairman of Menston Parish Council for consideration to receive the 2012 “Outstanding Achievement Award for a small group of active citizens of any age who have worked together on a particular project – with no paid staff.
Cllr Quentin Mackenzie, Cllr David Hestletine, Sylvia Robertshaw and Dr Ron Sweeney accepting the award.
reopened.And the first Thanksgiving Service was conducted by the Venerable David Lee, Archdeacon of the Bradford Diocese and Revd. Ruth Yeoman, Vicar of St John the Divine, Menston. A WORTHY TRANSFORMATION
Colin and Elaine Belton from St Hugh’s Church, Old Brumby, Scunthorpe with a framed photograph thanking them for all the church furnishings* given to the Chapel from the Church of Reconciliation, Westcliff, North Lincolnshire which closed in 2008 but now lives on in the Memorial Chapel.
*Furnishings include the brass cross, candlesticks and bible stand. The wooden lectern, two pascal candle stands and the oak table
West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum ( Mark Davis) Voices from the Asylum (Mark Davis and Marina Kidd)
Mark Davis, a professional photographer, researcher and author of a series of “Through Time” books, has given much valuable free time to record the history of High Royds and other places. Now we look forward to his new book West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum – Through Time which gives the background to a major 2300 bed psychiatric institution from 1888 to its closure in 2003. A history we can, and should, all learn from. Well done Mark and thank you for all your work which has helped so much in ensuring that the dead are not forgotten and that we, the living may learn from them.
Benches There are now six benches, some of which three have been dedicated and plaques placed in memory of loved ones. (In addition to the thought behind the dedications, the money contributed is also useful. If you wish, or know of anyone, who wants to dedicate a bench please contact us and we will be happy to discuss the matter with you).
Freda Hullin with Cllr Quentin Mackenzie on the bench she dedicated to her husband Dr. Roy Hullin . Throughout his long career with the University of Leeds and his work at High Royds Hospital Dr Roy Hullin is remembered with affection and gratitude. His research interests focused upon the chemical pathology of mental disorders, in particular the nutritional aspects of Alzheimer’s disease; the metabolism of tricyclic antidepressant drugs; the biochemistry of manic depressive psychosis and the field in which he became an early and respected authority, the use of lithium in treating manic depression. He was appointed to two honorary directorships at High Royds Hospital, where he conducted much of his research: Honorary Director of the Regional Metabolic Research Unit in 1962 and Honorary Deputy Director of the Pathology Laboratories at High Royds in 1976.
Lighten our Darkness this dramatic shot was taken to highlight our commitment, not just to the Memorial Garden and the Chapel itself but to helping with the current emphasis on reminding people that those with mental ill-health problems should not be sidelined or ignored but their problems need to be recognised and dealt with in a sympathetic way.
The outreach to youth was helped when pupils of the Bradford based Dixon-Allerton Academy produced a DVD entitled “Lighten our Darkness – a teenage look at mental health issues”. Funded by Bradford Education Department the students wrote the script helped by a professional film-maker and members of the Memorial Garden Committee.
” least we forget the name of the fallen” The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Cllr. Mike Gibbons The Chapel, as part of the national movement, remembered the 100th Anniversary of the start of WW1 with a special Service of Remembrance attended by the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Cllr. Mike Gibbons and his Consort for the year, Elizabeth Sharpe.
Lord Mayor of Bradford, Cllr. Mike Gibbons and his Consort for the year, Elizabeth Sharpe.
A moving service included Elizabeth, who runs the Ladies Please choir who have been so supportive since the commencement of the project, singing a solo and then leading the congregation in rousing, and moving, songs from WW1. The Lord Mayor read out the names of staff members of the Hospital who had given their lives in both WW1 and WW2. The restored Memorial Plaque was a focal point of the Service supported by a Tower of London Poppy and framed certificate which had aroused so much national interest.
Mrs Elaine Belton, from St Hugh’s, Old Brumby, Scunthorpe who had contributed so much in re-furnishing the chapel, read a poem which she had written and framed to be displayed near the Memorial Plaque
The 1&2nd World War Memorial Plaque that had been vandalised and stolen is restored and placed in Chapel together with a poppy from the Tower of London Tom Booth and Cllr Quentin Mackenzie
National TV film Michael Portillo
” High Royds Memorial Garden is a real
gem and is capable of further development subject to finances”Yorkshire in Bloom judges said Hon Secretary, Quentin Mackenzie talks about the garden with two visitors at an open day. Visitors are always welcome. Please see Contact Page link.
We all know how plastic bags cost 5p each. In the case of the supermarkets the 5p’s they charge amounts to millions of pounds which is given to selected charities. We applied for a grant, and by virtue of the many votes cast by Tesco shoppers, were voted as No 1 choice in our area. Funds were made available in May of this year for the following work to be carried out.
Stone wall between the Garden and Ambulance Depot RepairedGates repaired and repaintedPaths Re-grouted and repaired. Another job well done by Alan Story and Steve Taylor not forgetting assistance from SionThe neglected woodland had rotted and overgrown trees managed and the broken fencing replaced all with a aid of the TESCO grantThe surrounding woodland during WW2 supplied some much needed timber to help with the war-effort. However, apart from some spasmodic strimming, it was then neglected. It was badly in need of planned management so the TESCO grant enabled us to remove some badly rotted or overgrown trees and replace all the broken down fencing.
St Mary’s School Menston help again “The students are keen and full of good ideas” Mrs Jo Hings, St Mary’s tutor In the Autumn of 2013 pupils at St. Mary’s, Menston planted hundreds of daffodils. The bulbs are now well established and continue to give a lovely splash of colour during the Spring months. Now other year 9 and 10 students from St. Mary’s, currently undertaking an OCR Diploma in community and environmental studies, have been working this year on the garden partly as a result of a Grow Wild free seed offer sponsored by Kew Royal Botanic Gardens. Mrs Jo Hings, a St Mary’s tutor said this is a practical way of giving them a sense of “ownership”. It creates interest by parents, family friends and provides a perfect opportunity to further develop local links as well as maintaining an important piece of history.
WEDNESDAY – APRIL 26th 2017
Is another key date in the continuing development of the Memorial Garden, Wood and Chapel. An Open Meeting, was held in the Menston Methodist Church Hall, we welcomed Anna Hope who wrote the acclaimed novel: Ballroom.
She made a special journey from Sussex, together with a Film Director to talk to the meeting about the projected film of the book.
Cllr Quentin Mackenzie, Dr Ron Sweeney and Anna Hope with a copy of her book The Ballroom
NATIONAL RECOGNITION BY THE DUKE OF YORK’S COMMUNITY INITIATIVE AWARD. Quentin Mackenzie, Ron Sweeney and Alan Storey represented the Memorial Garden/Chapel at an Afternoon Tea event held in the Palace of St. James, London.
The Duke of York congratulated them and said ” Well done and my congratulations to all the volunteers for their work” These thanks and congratulations were emphasised again by the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire when she presented a special plaque at Heritage Weekend Service in September
Railway Memorial Dr Steve Elams researched the railway that ran from Menston Station to the Hospital though the wood next to the cemetery, and commissioned this memorial to mark the route the railway took, with help from the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway
A Service of Thanksgiving was held on Sunday the 10th of September in the Memorial Chapel when the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire presented the Duke of York’s Community Initiative Plaque
Dr Ron Sweeney, the Deputy Lord Lieutenant Virginia Lloyd and Cllr Quentin Mackenzie,
The Chapel was full with some having to stand through the service as the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire Mrs Virginia Lloyd presented the plaque to Dr Ron Sweeney Chairman of The Friends of High Royds Memorial Garden The service was led by Revd Jason McCullagh with Members of the Ladies Please Choir and organist Mike Nicholas leading the singing
The Duke of York has given official recognition to the work by many volunteers in restoring the Memorial Chapel & Garden. Well done to all who have made this possible
JULY Plans to enhance the garden with the addition of a Sensory Garden area are drawn up and an application for a grant applied for to help with the costs.
October New chaplain for High Royds Memorial Chapel and Garden
The Rev Andrew Howorth is an associate priest at St John the Divine, in Menston. He is a former chaplain to the Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust where he had more than 25 years experience in dealing with mental health issues.
He said: “Even today people are still having to experience the cruel stigma of mental distress which frequently makes recovery all the harder – the Memorial Chapel stands as a proud reminder of all the untold stories.”
November 3rd There was a service to dedicate an illuminated memorial tribute and plaque to the 14 staff members of the former West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum – later High Royds Hospital – who gave their lives in the First and Second World Wars.
The public service was held in the Memorial Chapel on Buckle Lane at 3pm on Saturday, November 3.
SO FAR – SO GOOD – BUT!! In addition to the chapel/graveyard we are also responsible for 1.5 acres of the surrounding woodland and the site of the former railway line which was used to connect High Royds Hospital with Leeds. In an area which is increasingly being developed this area of natural beauty is important and is already home to a variety of wildlife. In 2020, as part of the national campaign, we were looking to develop this further to help with the wild-life and environment. Local schools have already helped to install Bat boxes in the wood and a Hedgehog sanctuary has recently been established. Now, in view of the serious decline of bees, a request was received regarding the possibility of one or two bee-hives also being installed. Whilst the plans for developing the Woodland Nature Reserve have had to put on hold for the time being the Garden, despite the lockdown, has remained open and is available for anyone who wishes to spend a peaceful few minutes there. On behalf of the Trustees/Management Committee our thanks for all the past help in helping to remember the former patients and also in keeping our environment as green and pleasant as possible.
We are pleased to report that we had a successful ‘Open Day’ for Heritage Day. We had 28 visitors according to our ‘track & trace’ records and they kindly donated £74 to our funds. The visitors were spread over the course of the day and kept their social distancing. Many thanks to Tom and Ron who were able to answer a lot of detailed questions. One question we couldn’t remember the answer to was ‘who made the wooden cross that hangs above the Altar?
NB The wooden Celtic Cross above the altar was funded by Churches Together in Otley (of which Ron was then Chairman). It was made by Bret Thompson, Cabinet Maker, of Ilkley who was also responsible for making the 30ft Easter Cross that is erected on the Chevin every year. Bret did get the wood for the Chapel Cross from the hospital. It was selected from one of the doors leading to a doctors room.
THE FRIENDS OF HIGH ROYDS MEMORIALGARDEN
The project to restore the graveyard began in September 2007 and sincere
thanks are given to the many volunteers, firms and organisations who gave
so freely in terms of money and practical help,
Ben Bailey Homes – (Donation of land and chapel)
Bradford Metropolitan District Council
CNET – Grassroots Fast Track Scheme
Churches Together in Burley and Menston
Churches Together in Otley
Community Spaces Groundwork UK
Coronation Lodge – RAO.B
Guiseley with Esholt PCC
Heritage Lottery Fund
Ladies Please Choir
Leeds City Council (Guiseley & Rawdon Ward)
Leeds College of Building
Leeds Involvement Project
Leeds Mental Health Teaching NHS Trust
Shipley & Bingley Voluntary Services
St Wilfred’s Church, Calverley St John the Divine Church, Thorpe Edge
Alan Storey – (Roofing Contractor)
Swarthmore College (David Lynch and friends)
Leeds Primary Care Trust (NHS – Leeds)
Menston Parish Council
Menston Methodist Church
North of England Horticultural Society
Q Equality of Queensbury, Bradford
TESCO (Bags of Help grant).
Our apologies for any omissions. So many organisations and individuals gave so generously and freely that it is not practicable to list them all.
The restoration of the Memorial Garden & Chapel and its maintenance would not have possible without volunteers becoming shareholders and this providing the assurance to Grant Givers that the project has, and continues to have, local support.
Shareholders, who purchase a minimum of £10 worth of shares, together with those who give by standing order, are the solid base upon which the Memorial Garden depends. The shares are non-negotiable but do show an appreciation and commitment that is appreciated. For further details please use the contact form attached.