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lennox castle stories


lennox castle stories


Index Introduction Ronnie McCulloch Colin Young Sadie Wright Neil Gillies John Meldrum Marie Christie Iain Doak Marie O’Connor Norman Telfer John Bryan Willie Docherty Rena Mitchell

Cover by Willie Docherty


Lennox Castle Hospital: 1936 – 2002

Lennox Castle Stories is a social history project led by a group of ex- residents of Lennox Castle Hospital. Lennox Castle Hospital was a large institution on the outskirts of Glasgow built to house people with learning disabilities. Originally built in 1936 to house 1200 people; at it’s peak in the 1970s it housed almost 1700 people. It was conceived as a “model” self-contained community with its own kitchens, recreational facilities, church and large, segregated wards which each housed 60 people. Throughout the 1990s a phased closure of the hospital was carried out and a planned resettlement of the residents implemented. In 1998, Greater Glasgow Health Board sought approval from the then Scottish Office to close the hospital by 2002. Lennox Castle Hospital finally closed it’s doors in June 2002. In 2012, having secured funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the arts organisation Project Ability and supported living organisation C-Change formed a partnership to give people who had lived in Lennox Castle Hospital an opportunity to share their stories of life in the “Castle”.


Employing a huge range of media including: Text, painting, print, ceramics, sculpture, textiles and animation, a group of ex-residents have come together, in a series of weekly sessions at Project Ability’s studio in Glasgow, to share their memories. The final legacy of this project is a website, film and book. www.lennoxcastlestories.co.uk Many, many thanks are given to the project funder The Heritage Lottery and to the ex-residents, ex-staff, family members and carers who have contributed so much to this project and shared their story with great dignity and humour.


Ronnie McCulloch Born: 16th November 1947 Lives: Glasgow Left Lennox Castle in 1990


Colin Young Born: 6th December 1956 Lives: Glasgow Arrived at Lennox Castle in 1993 Left Lennox Castle in 2001


Sadie Wright Born: 18th February 1953 Lives: Glasgow Arrived at Lennox Castle in 1968 Left Lennox Castle in 1999 Favourite Activities: Swimming, cinema, dancing and walking.


Neil Gillies Born: 27th March 1948 Lives: Greenfield, Glasgow Left Lennox Castle in 1998 Favourite Activities: Practice Pad, Project Ability, socialising, driving and holidays.


John Meldrum Lives: Kirkconnel


Marie Christie Born: 14th May 1962 Lives: Glasgow Arrived at Lennox Castle in 1977 Left Lennox Castle in 1987 Favourite Activities: Drawing and painting, colouring books, sewing.


Iain Doak Born: 5th December 1954 Lives: Glasgow Arrived at Lennox Castle in 1980 Left Lennox Castle in 1988 Favourite Activities: Dominoes, snooker, cycling and going to the cinema.


Marie O’Connor Born: 17th November 1965 Lives: Glasgow


Norman Telfer Born: 11th January 1940 Lives: Sanquhar Arrived at Lennox Castle in 1954 Left Lennox Castle in 2002 Favourite Activities: Driving, gardening, fishing, looking after my cat.


John Bryan Lives: Elderslie


Willie Docherty Born: 10th June 1947 Lives: Elderslie Arrived at Lennox Castle in 1960 Left Lennox Castle in 1963 Favourite Activities: Art, photography, looking through books and newspapers, architecture, TV.


Rena Mitchell Born: 14th March 1950 Lives: Glasgow Arrived at Lennox Castle in 1965 Left Lennox Castle in 2002 Favourite Activities: Shopping, pictures, entertaining friends. Involved in committees.


C-Change is a supported living organisation that was founded in 2001 on the principle that everyone has the right to live in their own home and live the life of their choosing. They set out to support individuals leaving long stay institutions such as Lennox Castle Hospital, as part of the Government led long stay hospital closure programme. C-Change help people identify how to get the most from their support, at the same time as enhancing and maintaining the quality of their life. C-Change have supported people to successfully achieve their personal goals and dreams by focusing on their outcomes and identifying ways to make the most of their natural support networks and community connections. This has enabled C-Change to continue to promote real positive change in the lives of individuals and over recent years, diversify their work to support people regardless of age and personal circumstances. C-Change believes that we all need support at different times in our lives and with the right support all of us can flourish and be full and active citizens. Ideas are not enough. They are committed to supporting positive change in the lives of families and individuals who have support needs. C-Change believe that the people they work for are experts through experience and that their role is to listen and learn, changing and evolving support so that it suits where the person is now and is focused on where they want to go next in life.

Melisa House, Brand Place, Glasgow G51 1DR www.c-change.org.uk


Project Ability Project Ability is a Glasgow based visual arts organisation offering development opportunities and creative learning in the arts to people with learning disabilities, people recovering from mental ill-health and children and young people with disabilities, their families, supporters and the wider community. Set up in 1984, Project Ability delivers a year round programme of workshops, bespoke projects, training, events and exhibitions to an average of three hundred people each week, aged five to over ninety years. Project Ability provides expert tuition, supported studios and specialist workshops in drawing and painting, textiles, ceramics, glass, printmaking, film and media. Through exhibition and gaining prominence in the arts community they promote the talent and achievements of artists with disabilities and those who are in recovery from mental ill-health. Project Ability’s workshop and gallery are located at Trongate 103 (www. trongate103.com), a centre of excellence for creativity and the arts in the heart of Glasgow’s vibrant arts community; here they enable people to develop their artistic practice in a professional, accessible and safe working environment. Project Ability delivers their programme of artistic excellence in partnership with statutory and third sector health and social care organisations, education and childrens’ services and local, national and international arts organisations.

Trongate103, Glasgow, G1 5HD

www.project-ability.co.uk


Project Ability

Š Project Ability 2012



Lennox Castle Stories