Welcome to aturnofthekey

 Memories of Old St.Georges Hospital 1818-1995  and Coton Hill Hospital 1854-1976 Stafford
A shared record of the Life and Times of these once-proud Old Hospitals. 25/02/2012

Copyright © to All Material on the Site is acknowledged as being Retained by the Donor/s – Permission for Use – Is Required


In case you Missed it


Reflections –  A Few Ramblings From Me.

It is now 3 Years + since this Site was first Published, and at least another 12 months of prior preparation, equating to over 4 Years in Total.
So I have have taken time out recently to do a review, giving much thought, to all that has taken place during this period, and to the future.

It’s not been easy to put this all together technically, even with having a reasonable amount of computer experience over some years, and it has been a bigger learning curve than I originally imagined.
The first major problem was where and how to contact people who may have something to contribute, and convince them it was worthwhile. Another  has been that the number of people in my age group and older, who maybe could have passed on first and secondhand knowledge from their and previous eras, are sadly shuffling off this mortal coil.
Connecting with and trying to enthuse others from the later period of Hospital life, in the decade or so before St Georges closed, has also been somewhat of a problem. Inevitably there have been many difficult times when I began to wonder despondently, whether people would eventually respond and/or even contribute, and also about the eventual outcome.
This was never just a personal indulgence for self gratification. If so I would have done it in a much more private way, with access for my relatives only. Many of you who know me reasonably well are aware that I am very tenacious and – with no apologies – have not been afraid of ruffling a few feathers here and there to achieve what I believe in, whether it be personal or wider issues.
However the time did come when it was beginning to look possible, due to the generous co-operation and interaction of enough people, who also wished to preserve these memories, so I tentatively took the plunge and Published the Site in 2012.
I think that due to our joint efforts, we now have a Web Site well worth all the effort. It is turning out to be a vibrant site, with a good variety of interesting content. Although we may never be able to cover all eras, it still stands in it’s limited way, as a fairly good record, clearly depicting many facets of the lives of people and place.
The Site now has over 500 Photos/Images, some Anecdotes and many Comments etc. –  Keep them coming they are the Lifeblood of the Site.
Site Viewing numbers , see the Stats breakdown below, appear to be stable with many regular visits from Ex-Staff and some from Ex-Patients.
Increasingly, requests are up from Relatives of Patients and/or Staff, who are in contact with me, for help with finding  Information about them.
There would also appear to be a number of people visiting the Site, who may have no connection with the Old Hospitals, just a general interest.
Some interest has been shown about Site-Material , for University-Theses and an Australian Nursing Textbook reference – No feedback yet.
Judging by all of this, the present Site Contents, current Viewing Numbers, Feedback On and Off-Line and speaking personally to others, the Dynamics appear to be right. – I hope you are pleased with the outcome to date, if not please tell me.
Part of this review means that I have also had to take into account some negative changes relating to myself. This includes issues like the frustrations of getting older and  the unwelcome truths of increasing health problems, which do impact directly on my lifestyle. Despite this I
do think that I have still been able to maintain enough energy, time, and commitment to manage all the logistics of the Site fairly well. It is also true to say that up to this present moment in time, I have not received any feedback or reports of seriously negative problems about the Site.
On reflection then I am positive and still committed – So – Yes I am still Up for It, into the near future at least and as a result of this, have just paid my Fees for re-Registration of the Domain, Name and Mapping etc. for the next Year.
Inevitably this also leads to some questions about the longer term future of the Site. I have been and will continue to give this some thought and at least some of you may have been too. Nobody has yet come forward with any ideas or suggestions but I am sure that in all probability, the subject will generate some feed back, eventually………………

I have also been reviewing whether any changes are needed to the Site Layout and decided to make – Just a Few Tweaks including :-
A reworked Menu including some new pages  “About” and “Bits and Pieces”   some  “Info-Messages” and  a couple of “Basic Guidelines”.

I am very grateful and Thank You All for Your Contributions, Donations and Comments etc. and look forward to many more of the same.

So Current Ramblings Over  –  Food For Thought  –  Brian


Since Publication on  25/02/2012  Upwards of 67,000 “Views” have been Recorded from  Over 80 Countries Throughout the World

This is a quick approx. Number-Crunch of the Stats-Totals from 25/02/2012  to February 2015

United Kingdom…59,425) – Australia…(3,977)
Greece…(807) – United States…(598) – Canada…(277) – Spain…(359) – Brazil…(289) – Isle of Man…(242) – Ireland…(183) Guernsey…(139) New Zealand…(109) – Austria…(105) – Italy…(60) – Germany…(51) – Sweden…(28) – Netherlands/Czech Republic…(26) India…(24)
South Korea…(20) – France…(41) – Switzerland…(18) – Portugal…(17) – Argentina…(15) – Thailand…(14) – Philippines…(16)
Turkey/Belgium / Mexico / Singapore…(9) – Turks and Caicos Islands / Israel / Russian Federation / Chile…(8) – Hungary…(6)
Finland / Venezuela / Peru…(5) – United Arab Emirates / South Africa / Ecuador / Romania / Denmark / Colombia /…(4)
Pakistan / Indonesia /  Jersey / Albania / Trinidad and Tobago / Norway / Luxembourg…(3)
Saudi Arabia/Jamaica/Iraq/Jordan/Japan/Paraguay/Mozambique/Uruguay/Nicaragua/United Republic of Tanzania/Georgia…(2)
Angola/Sao Tome and Principe/Barbados/Cyprus/Hongkong SAR China/Taiwan/Vietnam/Nepal/Dominican Republic/Egypt/Lithuania…(1)
Maldives/Macedonia/Ghana/Algeria/Haiti/Macao SAR China/Slovakia/Latvia/Panama/Slovenia/Honduras/Syrian Arab Republic/Poland…(1)
Brunei Darussalam…(1)


Information about Developments to the Old St Georges Main Building 

After doing some investigations into the current situation I have discovered that Responsibility travels down the tree as follows:-
English Heritage – Staffordshire County Council Historic Environment Record Office – Stafford Borough Council Conservation Office
As a follow up to this for more specific information, I have been in touch with all of the above recently during February 2015.
The most recent response I have been given from a Stafford B.C. Conservation Officer is:-
“The building has recently changed hands and is now owned by “Shropshire Homes”, who will carry out repairs to the building and convert it to flats. I understand they are already on site, and you should see scaffolding being erected ready for the works to commence very soon.”

Having explored their Web Site I have also Contacted Shropshire Homes for Current – Information about the Status of this Development.
They do appear to have some sensitivity for similar Developments but  do not yet have Details and/or a Brochure until later this Summer.
Check out  “Past Developments”The Monklands  and  Woodland Cross, Shrewsbury – also – Home Park, Preston Upon the Weald Moors.
“Future Developments” –  include – our own  St Georges Mansions – and – Shelton Hospital.  See Website Link on the Links page or  HERE


Walked through the grounds last week and found that “Scaffolding” now going up apace and workmen moving about on same.

Please let me know if you see or are aware of any relevant activity and
See Below – for Updates



Since opening the Site people have contacted me Privately, wishing to find information about their relatives, who were patients in St. Georges and/or Coton Hill hospitals, some even from as far afield as Australia. Sometimes despite confidentiality issues we have been of general help. As
a potential for more fruitful results, I have generally  recommended and pointed people in the direction of – The “Staffordshire Record Office”.
They are attempting to raise more public awareness about the services they have to offer and to encourage more people to use their facilities.
Aware of this Site, and the referrals from it, they have contacted me, asking if I would consider publishing their services, contact details, etc.
It’s something which fits well within the aims of the Site – another facility for us to offer / for all to use – and which I have willingly adopted.


Further to the Previous Item 28/06/2015  re: The Record Office and new Research/Info pages

They are trying to promote a Public Consultation about the future of the Archive Service. Taking account of reduced number of personalised visits as more people expect services online, they are hoping a Centralisation of the Service, with some possible further space, will enable the Service to continue into the future – You can pick up a Consultation Form from the Library or Record Office – or You can do this online  HERE
The Consultation is Open from 19th June to 14th August
Anyone who completes a consultation form can be entered into a free prize draw to win Find My Past vouchers HERE
and a family pass to the historic Shugborough Estate in Stafford HERE


“Aturnofthekey” will soon be preserved for the future, as part of The UK Web Archive – Project.

We have kindly been nominated and recommended, by the Staffordshire Record Office, to The British Library, as being a suitable Website for selection/inclusion in The UK Archive project. At the request of The British Library, I submitted permission, agreeing for them to do so.
I have now received a “confirmation of process” from their Archivist. This may take a little time, but will be completed as soon as possible.

Some Extracts from the UK Web Archive Info Pages

There is a growing amount of Digital Information, with no corresponding, traditional paper equivalent, available to Archive in the usual way.
This project set up in April 2013, is for the selection and collection of material off the Internet, to fill a “Black Hole” in the Nation’s memory.
In April 2013 the British Library began archiving the whole UK Web Domain, under terms of the “Non-Print Legal Deposit Regulations 2013”.
Their Partners, the other five Legal Deposit UK libraries are, the National Libraries of Scotland and Wales, the University Library Cambridge,
the Bodleian Library in Oxford, and the Library of Trinity College Dublin.
Access to the whole of the Legal Deposit Web Archive will be possible, only on premises controlled by one of these six Legal Deposit Libraries.
However, “UK Web Archive” can seek additional permissions, from owners of a small selected group of sites, for online access through their site.
This large project will reflect the rich diversity of UK lives and aspects relating to Social, Cultural and Community History, etc. in the UK domain.
It aims to provide with it’s partners, permanent online access to Key Sites, safeguarding and preserving their presence for future generations.
Sites will be visited regularly, taking snapshots to be stored individually in the Archive, which will provide a record of their evolution over time.
It is intended for the use of –  Academic and Personal Researchers – Teachers – Journalists – Policy Makers – The General Reader – and More.
Some of the other Key Institutions the British Library have worked with include:- The National Archives, The Wellcome Library, The Womens Library London, The Live Arts Development Agency, The Society of Friends Library, J I S C  Digital Technology in Education and Research.

Much more information is available from – The UK Web Archive Website –  HERE


A Very Interesting Article about the History of our old Hospital
“A Brief History Of Staffordshire Lunatic Asylum”

© Rebecca Wynter 2010/11- University of Birmingham

03/09/2015 see also – 21/03/2015 and 14/06/2015 above

The Development to the Old Hospital Main Building is progressing

Retaining the Instantly Recognisable Facade, of this Historic, Local Landmark

For – Artists Impressions – Plans – Features – and – Virtual Tour Video

See Here


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