Sunderland hospital celebrates 120 years of caring

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AN exhibition is to be staged to mark 120 years of Sunderland’s Cherry Knowle Hospital.

Next month sees the official end of mental health care at the former hospital site in Ryhope.

Cherry Knowle Hospital in 1979.

Cherry Knowle Hospital in 1979.

Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust wants former and current staff and residents to share their memories and photos of the hospital, to form part of the week-long exhibition at the Barton Centre, Hopewood Park, Ryhope, from Monday, February 23.

The Trust’s lease on the site will expire on February 28, when the land will be handed over to the Government’s Homes and Communities Agency to be used for housing. NTW Trust Chairman Hugh Morgan Williams, said: “Last year we moved into our new Hopewood Park site, and it is down to the hard work and dedication of our staff who made this transfer of services from Cherry Knowle run so smoothly.

“As we close this chapter on the Trust’s history, this exhibition will give us the chance to illustrate the improvements which have been made to look after those who are mentally ill.”

Residential health care began at the site in 1893 when Sunderland County Borough Council began construction of its asylum on the Cherry Knowle site, which was completed in 1895.

Further developments took place on the site during the 1930s and after, with the construction of an admissions hospital and convalescent villas.

Emergency medical service huts were built next to the main gate for casualties from the Second World War, which later became Ryhope General Hospital.

Anyone with photos or information about Cherry Knowle can email communications@ntw.nhs.uk and put “Cherry Knowle” in the subject bar, by Friday, January 30.