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Netherne Mental Asylum

- Simon Cornwell - Saturday, June 24th, 2006 : goo

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Trying to navigate around the former Netherne Mental Asylum is quite difficult. The new roads twist, turn and abruptly end leaving the bemused, and increasingly frustrated, car driver to the whim of illogical road planning. However it allowed us to visit Admin (now restored as flats for sale, superb foundation stone), the Water Tower (clad with scaffolding and a bit of a white elephant) and The Chapel (now a swimming pool).

image 12993

Testament to the bizarre road layout, whilst attempting to go north, we ended up at the eastern point of the site, and admired the Main Hall. The doors were open. Why not?

The site supervisor was inside and allowed us to look around, but forbade any photographs. The hall was one the best I’d seen with its intricate stained glass, exposed wooden ceiling and large stage. G T Hine was obviously allowed a little more money than usual for the building of Netherne; the asylum’s opening date was even immortalised in stained glass at the back of the hall: 1907.

Unfortunately the site supervisor hadn’t heard of the cemetery.

After reversing down "Hine Road" we called into Gleeson’s site office. The cemetery was now second from our minds, as some directions off this confounding road network would be nice. They couldn’t be more helpful. Not only were we furnished with directions, we were shown pictures of the hospital’s construction, the laying out the foundation stone (one of the gentlemen in the picture being Hine) and we talked asylums. They told stories of previous jobs at Warlingham and Long Grove (the later being rather spooky and workmen disliked working in many parts of the old buildings).

They’d never heard of the cemetery but were able to direct us out of the housing estate.

image 12994

We finally found the original road to the north of the site and quickly located the graveyard. The broken sign lead into a forgotten bramble choked field surrounded by tall unkempt trees. A collection of gravestones were laid in a concrete slab by the entrance.

To all intents and purposes, the graveyard at Netherne was truly forgotten. And despite the loss of its parent asylum, the gradual transmutation of Netherne Asylum into Netherne On The Hill, the cemetery would endure.

image 12995

This article has been viewed 76318 times in the last 10 years

joey: 24th Jun 2006 - 22:33 GMT

looks more like a 'long' forgotten bramble choked field, until you took these photos. now it is never to be forgotten. nice work. do the trees not bloom in this locale? after all it is summertime.

jack: 25th Jun 2006 - 04:22 GMT

i once was lost in a mental asylum and drifted from room to room. i spoke with abe lincoln and rudy valentino, it was by far the most craziest place i've ever been to and the women walk around with hospital gown on and no undies and they dont cover up.

Simon Cornwell: 28th Jun 2006 - 12:51 GMT

These pictures were taken in January hence the sheer bleakness of everything. Even in the midst of winter, the field was choked with brambles and nettles, so who knows if there's more under the undergrowth.

paige: 13th Jan 2007 - 16:31 GMT

i live in netherne and have beenin the grave yard a few times i have thought my house was haunted and still do allthough itis spooky it isnt scary bacause they have caused no harm. the graves in there are weird altoug u can only see 5 graves onthe slabe there is many more

Ian Spencer: 1st Feb 2007 - 13:20 GMT

I trained as a psychiatric nurse at Netherne (Sept. 1979-March 1984 - which included a stint at the nearby Redhill General to to my SRN training).
The Graveyard was in a similar state even then. There were also remnants of the old farms - poultry sheds, orchard. Generally, its a really lovely part of the world. I used to spend many a happy hour wandering quiet country lanes. Then not even all the staff knew where the graveyard was. I was told about it and then found it almost by accident. It was quite a nice place to work - although fairly awful for hundreds of institutionalised patients.

Imelda Pentony: 21st Mar 2007 - 23:51 GMT

Having trained at Netherne as a psychiatric nurse in the late 60s, I too stumbled across the cemetry by accident. i was actually picking blackberries along the hedgerows in Woodplace Lane . There was very little traffic along that lane then and it was a joy to take long rambles around the area of Netherne hospital.I once heard the old cemetry was a favourite place for courting couples after closing time at the Social Club which is nearby.Perhaps it wasnt so overgrown with brambles and nettles then!

Caroline: 27th Mar 2007 - 12:56 GMT

I lived at Woodplace Farm until ten years ago and we always did what we could to protect and respect the burial ground.I believe there are literally hundreds of poor souls interred there, many unrecorded deaths, forgotten people , so much pain. We alwys hoped they found peace in this beautiful corner and were comforted to see on your website that they are still undisturbed. It is a very spiritual place.
We once had to rescue a roe deer that had got hung up on that lovely old gate. Her companion, another hind, waited only yards away. They rested the night in the cemetary, among the brambles and next day they both melted into the woods.

kelly : 20th May 2007 - 17:21 GMT

i live on netherne but have no idea where this area is? wouldnt it be a nice idea to tidy it up?

Sharon: 22nd May 2007 - 15:35 GMT

I too live in Netherne and do not know where this cemetary is. Could someone please enlighten me. Many thanks.

Sam: 15th Jun 2007 - 23:42 GMT


The cemetary is well hidden away between the old tree nursery and the football pitch on Woodplace Lane. Take a look at the attached map, which should get you there in one piece.


Steve: 22nd Jul 2007 - 06:49 GMT


Having just spent a day trying to find this cemetry without success I could really use some help. How can I view the "attached map" you refer to. I found Woodplace lane and the football pitch but no sign of atree nursery.


Dev Ramdas: 25th Nov 2007 - 19:57 GMT

I trained at Netherne as a psychiatric nurse from 1979 to 1981 and did not know anything about the cemetery. It was a nice place to work and I have some fantastic memories of my time there.

susan anne hitch: 30th Dec 2007 - 16:38 GMT

ive just discovered my aunt spent some time here after she was sectioned,was hopeing some one whode worked there could tell me what it would have been like for the patience,
many thx in advance

Alan Ingram: 31st Dec 2007 - 18:42 GMT

My wife is trying to find any info about her uncle, Derek Arthur Bateman, who died in Netherne in May 1978. Any leads as to why he was there or any memories would help us to find a sadly forgotten member of our family.

Lucy Hart: 29th Jan 2008 - 19:12 GMT

I grew up in Netherne Lane as my father worked at Netherne,we used to go down to the graveyard by crossing over the farmers field stating from Park Lane.Netherne was a great place to grow up,the orchid,the woods and fields were all around us,and not once were we afraid to go out.I remember days of going out on my push bike and not coming home till late,and everyone knew everyone else.
The social club would take the estate kids up to Wembley every year to see the ice show,we would have sport days down 'the club',a bonfire every was a great place to be brought up.

Deborah Kemp 30th Jan 2008: 31st Jan 2008 - 20:53 GMT

Like Lucy Hart I grew up in Netherne Lane also as my father worked at Netherne, we spent many a day on the estate playing in and around the hospital, in Boxers wood (end of Park Lane, to your left). Our parents never worried about us as we never wandered far. I remember the hospital xmas parties put on for staff and families followed by the pantomines, holiday on ice organised by the social club was a great one to. I moved back here two years ago and still live in the house I was brought up in. Alot has changed but when I walk around the village I smile to myself and think about the good old days. It's ashame the grave yard was never looked after there are only a few of us that remember it clearly.

Dinny Laufenboeck: 10th Feb 2008 - 08:17 GMT

I recently learnt that a Great-Uncle died at Netherne Asylum in 1916 after having been there for 3 years (admitted after a "normal" and productive life). In searching for more information about the institution, I came across this website. Thankyou Simon Cornwell and all who have commented on his article so sympathetically.

donna saunders: 24th Apr 2008 - 12:24 GMT

after recently doing some family history research, i discovered that my great uncle, Ernest Osman born 1908 died at netherne aged only 12 years old. I am trying to find out who to contact so i can see how the asylum would have looked when it first opened in 1907.

Sue Hadingham:24th April 2008 -19:50 GMT: 24th Apr 2008 - 19:03 GMT

My Grandfather was the senior administrator at Netherne for many years and similarly my Grandmother worked on the wards as a nurse. My fondest memories were also visiting the pantomime and staying at my Grandparents in Woodplace Lane. I loved my Grandads garden with huge vegetables and rhubarb that backed on to the downs and loved many walks around the hospital, grounds and surrounding area. I too am interested in finding archive images, and historic information as many people in my adult life weirdly seem to have been associated with Netherne at some time in their lives. We have found a common interest through working with mental health patients and people with learning disabilities now living in the community. I have two teenage children with learning disabilities, and recently been involved in a campaign with Michael Gove M.P. to keep my local residential care home open, where people with disabilities and mental health problems have lived for many years.

I always remember Netherne being a happy place,the patients seemed happy and i know my Grandparents loved working there.For memories sake i would like to find that information for something to keep and show my family friends and my children

Sue Hadingham:24th April 2008 -19:50 GMT: 24th Apr 2008 - 19:28 GMT

P.S., thought the photos are great. As an artist i might take a few of my own and post. Haven't been back to Netherne since my Grandad retired in about 1980.

Lucy Hart: 13th May 2008 - 14:23 GMT

Hi,there is a book that was written and photos taken by a guy called Goerge Foggerty(i think thats his name).Just after the hospital closed he sold these to the remaining workers at Netherne..i will see if i can get his phone number and he might be able to help you with any info you might like.

alan : 19th Jun 2008 - 13:57 GMT


Annie Hills: 30th Jul 2008 - 12:37 GMT

Hi I live at Netherne, in the former Admin Building. I have copies for sale of the book "A Pictorial History of Netherne" written by George Frogley ( former manager of the hospital print works). It is a wonderful history of the site, loads of photos ad 100 of the sale proceeds go to mental health charities. If anyone would like a copy, you can email me at They cost 10 inclusive of p&p.

netherne child: 22nd Aug 2008 - 09:56 GMT

ive lived up in netherne for 7 years now with my parents and 2 siblings, i can say that there are hardly any more memorials of the asylum except for ofcourse the grave yard, water tower, and netherne ward me and my friends believe it to be

Lino: 22nd Aug 2008 - 14:26 GMT

Hello everyone. I came from Italy in holiday and end up working in Netherne as a porter first and then in the kitchen. The patient was treated very well and I have great memories. Beautiful place, I would like to trace some of my work friends Hassan my manager in the kitchen, or any other that remember me and my ex girlfriend Anna she use to work in the massive lawndry.
I have some photograph of the long corridor, and the wards somewhere. I use to live in the nursing home, and also use to go regularly at the club, or at the red lion pub in coulsdon. all around there was beatiful and safe, the countryside in spring time simply the best. Great years of my life

Maz, Netherne: 23rd Aug 2008 - 18:02 GMT

image 28938

image 28939

image 28940

image 28941

Hi everyone, I came across this site by mistake yesterday and was fascinated by everyone's stories and reading about the grave yard. I had heard other people here at Netherne mention it in the past so decided to go out this morning and see if we could find it.
We did find it and took some pictures and made some notes of the names on the graves so we could try and find out more about who the people were.
My 9 year old daughter and I were particularly touched by the grave of Betty Trotman who died on 31st May 1929 only 7 years old. Her stone is the easiest to read. We pulled out a few stinging nettles that were growing in the cracks and took some photos to add to this site. My pictures are a little greener than those above as it is August. The brambles have been completely taken over by 4 foot high stinging nettles except for the large concrete slam containing the grave stones, 6 in total plus a large cross top centre.
It is not at all creepy or eerie there but we did leave feeling sorry for the forgotten souls.

d saunders: 1st Sep 2008 - 07:54 GMT

these photos of the website are wonderful as i mentioned earlier, my great uncle ernest died aged 12 at netherne asylum in 1920 and i am trying to find out if he was buried there or whether his body was returned to my great grandparents. i contacted the Surrey history centre and they were very encouraging and helpful. i am hoping to come to visit netherne soon and i hope i manage to find the graveyard. It is amazing just how many people keep saying that Netherne was such a great place to work.

Martin Lee 11th Sep 2008: 11th Sep 2008 - 14:54 GMT

After searching for 7 yrs I have finally found what must be the final resting place of my fathers mother whose death cert I have at last obtained. It was and still is a very sad story. She was run over by a Dray in Islington circa 1926 after being raped by her brother and because of her injuries was sectioned and placed in several institutions, hence my father and brother lost all trace of her. One of my fathers last wishes was for me to find what happened to her but I was unable to grant his last wish in NOV 2007. Now I have traced her I just pray that he is looking down and now resting in peace. Her name was Ellen Phyllis Lee (nee Oakley). Does anyone have a record of who was buried in the Asylum graveyard.(

anon ( 16th Oct 2008 - 12:48 GMT

my name is catherine and i live in netherne on blue leaves avenue in the little cul de sac does anyone have any information on what part of the old asylum would have been where my home is now?

Annie Hills: 9th Nov 2008 - 20:05 GMT

catherine, I have copies of the book about the history of netherne, and also a plan of the original site, u can email me at
The book is 10 including P&P, it really is a fab memento for anyone connected with Netherne, all proceeds go directly to a mental health charity

paul..: 10th Nov 2008 - 19:15 GMT

hi..i am paul.. i used to live up in netherne..i used to live at park lane.(no i wont say what used to live at my parents house.their house is well haunted!! thats why i dont see my mum much.i do love my mum to bits though..even woodplace lane is haunted too!!.not just saying that-BUT IT IS!!..i remembered times i used to walk up that hill-the demons i used to see on that road!! it bused to scare me!!..then u got my mum's house--lovley house--i mean that too..then evey one goes to bed--in the kitchen there is a demon stands there!! it dont do any thing--just stands there--freaky!!..i remember times i used to be in my bed as u do,i close my eyes,second later-5 of these demons stand round my bed praying and speaking to their god and one of them strangled me!!.this happened few times..also at times i am in bed watching tv as u do-couple of mins later it feels my feet is on fire!! then i lifed up the bed sheet-nothing there!!..i had enough of this!! so 2005 i moved out-thornton heath here i come!!..left my parents behind..i moved to galpins my mind i was thinking-yes no more demons!!! well,thats what i thort!!..yes they followed me!! all the way!!! ..only once i saw one of those demons in that road.nothing happened.. each time i go to my mum's house i see them there..then i moved to redhill.brighton road infact.touch wood! i havent seen any thing here,just heard things.. any ways.. moving on..

lucy hart: 19th Dec 2008 - 10:20 GMT

Hi Catherine,the part of netherne that is now blue leaves avenue did not house any patients,when i moved here in the 70's as a child the area to the left of the green bungalow was garages and behind that was long sheds that housed the gardening equipement for the estate.Where there are houses now there used to be a huge field with an orchard leading to park lane.Also in blue leaves avenue there used to be a pig farm which was shut long before the 70's.

paul: 19th Dec 2008 - 20:56 GMT

sorry to bother u lucy hart.. i dont know if we know each other.i used to live at netherne.i used to live at 4 park lane.i am paul southon.nice to meet u..dont worry i not chatting u who do u know up there? do u know my sister vanessa southon? do u know carling carr? danny and david gotieriz? i moved at netherne at 1982 and moved 2005.. my email address is

paul: 19th Dec 2008 - 20:56 GMT

sorry to bother u lucy hart.. i dont know if we know each other.i used to live at netherne.i used to live at 4 park lane.i am paul southon.nice to meet u..dont worry i not chatting u who do u know up there? do u know my sister vanessa southon? do u know carling carr? danny and david gotieriz? i moved at netherne at 1982 and moved 2005.. my email address is

paul: 19th Dec 2008 - 20:56 GMT

sorry to bother u lucy hart.. i dont know if we know each other.i used to live at netherne.i used to live at 4 park lane.i am paul southon.nice to meet u..dont worry i not chatting u who do u know up there? do u know my sister vanessa southon? do u know carling carr? danny and david gotieriz? i moved at netherne at 1982 and moved 2005.. my email address is

paul: 19th Dec 2008 - 20:56 GMT

sorry to bother u lucy hart.. i dont know if we know each other.i used to live at netherne.i used to live at 4 park lane.i am paul southon.nice to meet u..dont worry i not chatting u who do u know up there? do u know my sister vanessa southon? do u know carling carr? danny and david gotieriz? i moved at netherne at 1982 and moved 2005.. my email address is

lucy hart: 31st Dec 2008 - 19:00 GMT

This messgae is for Paul, your house number 4 Park Lane is where my dad and his brother grew up with my nana and grandad, during the war when my dad was a lad, to my knowledge you are the first to say its haunted as I've lived up here all my life and my dad had never mentioned his old house was haunted either.

Karen Nielsen-Hayes: 4th Jan 2009 - 05:24 GMT

Hi, I was a student nurse at Netherne from 1977-1981. I remember being told that children born to the "insane" were kept at the hospital in a children's ward and observed for signs of mental illness. If they were diagnosed "insane" they eventually moved to the adult part of the hospital. I actually cared for a few patients who had been born at Netherne. Some of these poor children had fallen prey to the rage for "lobotomy" during the 50's and were brain damaged. Others were completely institutionalized and could not live outside the protected environment, others were just full of awful medications........ those were interesting times. Probably haunted.

Andrew C: 8th Jan 2009 - 21:35 GMT

This really is fascinating stuff. I knew Netherne very well in the 1980's both as a patient in an acute ward and as an 'auxiliary' in a psycho-geriatric ward. I can't speak highly enough of the place, and although I understand the arguments in favour of closing large asylums, I think Netherne provided a vital place of respite and care for people in certain states of mental distress. It certainly saved me!

sally: 13th Jan 2009 - 11:55 GMT

Why would people automatically associate asylums with hauntings?I lived up Netherne for 20 years in Netherne Lane,never heard such rubbish in all my life!!

Louise: 18th Jan 2009 - 20:32 GMT

I move to Neherne Drive a year ago, to this day I never knew it may be haunted. My time here has been blissfull. I love the old buildings and wonderful gardens - tree's etc. I think it's a great place for my children to grow up.

Margaret Kennedy: 8th Feb 2009 - 14:54 GMT

I was a patient in Netherne in 1974 (or 5) I suffered depression. I was on Red Coat ward (something like that)
I have a few photos of the staff and wonder is there an archives held on Netherne anywhere. Happily life turned around and I've just finished my PhD. My cousins live in Coulsdon. I'd love to know more about the place. I can't say I got 'better' there but on reflection it is interesting to have been part of its history. Even as a patient! Dr Forrest Was my consultant.

Anyone know of him?


anon: 9th Feb 2009 - 12:46 GMT

I have lived up here for 7yrs, blueleaves ave.... I read it used to be an old pig farm, and lots of sheds about! I know that people have written that its nonsense about hauntings etc....
But I believe there to be a few! Would someone be able to tell me where abouts the childrens ward was, as I have since a young boy on a few occasions round by the old tower builing.

Jackie: 11th Mar 2009 - 18:36 GMT

Hello, I live in Old Coulsdon and regularly walk our dog on the Farthing Downs and have been branching out a bit walking around Woodplace Lane etc and nearer to Netherne and have found it fascinating. A lovely place to walk around and lots of nature to photograph! I look forward to seeing more of it as Spring arrives too so can imagine more in the way of bluebells etc. I have walked around Cane Hill a lot and feel sad to see it being demolished but "that's progress", something has to be done with it.

I can imagine these places have a sort of ~echo~ of the past as there must have been so much unhappiness there but can't imagine them being haunted.

Jackie: 12th Mar 2009 - 16:23 GMT

Well I went for a walk around today and found it.

If you are in Woodplace Lane just before the sign for the playground on your left and look to your left there is a football pitch, then bare trees where the Cemetary is. A very sad small place. I took some photos

Annie Hills: 23rd Apr 2009 - 12:58 GMT

Netherne Hopsital is 100 years old! To commemorate this history of Netherne, the village social committee are holding a Family Fun day and Walk on Suandat May 3rd from 2pm onwards, based at the Bowling Club. Anyone with a connection with Netherne, especially former patients, staff and their families, are invited to attend.

AJ: 25th Apr 2009 - 01:42 GMT

My Auntie was a patient at Netherne Hospital in the 80's back when I was young girl, I used to visit her with my family, I used to play the piano in a hall/games room and go outside and collect conkers in a pillow case in the autumn, it was such a beautiful area to explore.

I moved 200 miles away years ago and forgot about dear old Netherne until yesterday when I was driving to Redhill from Croydon and passed it, so I thought i'd have a nosey to see what it looked like now, I was amazed to see all those new houses there (beautiful houses though!) I didn't even give it a second thought that it might be closed!

Anyway, I was trying to locate the area my Auntie would have been and the place where I used to collect conkers, but to no avail unfortunately!!

If anyone has any idea where it would be 'approx' i'd love to know!! I know there used to be a little hut type thing with a roof shaped like a bandstand nearby (I used to play in there too!). I wish my memory was more clear so I could have located which area it was!! I'd love to see some old photos and try and work it out.

Lucy Hart: 11th May 2009 - 09:55 GMT

Hi,i know the area your talking about it is opposite the tennis courts and play area up netherne.There were huge conker trees and i think two small bandstands,i used to collect conkers too.The grass area is still there and some of the trees,further up the road is the cricket pitch.

OSB: 11th May 2009 - 21:27 GMT

As a resident of Netherne, I'm intrigued by the varied and colourful past of what was once Netherne Hospital and is now home to a thousand or so people.

George Frogley's excellent book, A Pictorial History of Netherne (, which has been out of print for some time, is an invaluable source of information concerning the history of Netherne.

If there are any former residents, patients or staff who have stories to tell, please get in touch ( I'm about to update the history on the Netherne community website, and the centenary is a perfect excuse to collate information. I'm interested in hearing anything about the history - be it German bombers crashlanding, mysterious sightings of children in Victorian attire or the more run of the mill stories of life in the hospital.

Take a look at what's on the site now - there's plenty of scope for updates on the past (if that makes sense!): -


Maz: 15th Jun 2009 - 20:15 GMT

image 33771

This aerial photograph of Netherne Hospital was taken by Surrey Flying Services in the 1920s.

Maz: 15th Jun 2009 - 20:29 GMT

AJ -
My picture above shows all the little huts you mentioned, they do look like bandstands. It also shows all the young conker trees which are still here today.

The thing I found interesting is the little Cedar tree next to the church, 89 years later and it would block the view of the church from this angle. I have also worked out where my house is situated.

Malcolm Wood: 18th Jun 2009 - 12:17 GMT

During my student vacations in 1969 and 1970, I worked at Netherne as a Ward Orderly in Pendellswood Villa. (That's it in the top LHS of the picture above.) This was a Residential Block for patients suffering from chronic schizophrenia. I recall there were around 60 male and female patients living there. All of them had 'day jobs' (the laundry, the kitchen or the farm). Mr (Bill) Murray was the Charge Nurse and Sister Barrett (an Irish lady from Hooley) was his Number 2. The Gallery (long entrance foyer which I had to polish every day) was packed at Lunch Time, so organising the serving of meals and washing up was a real adventure! Whilst much of the therapy may be questionable by todays standards, many of the residents, patients and staff appeared to live and work in a happy and contented state. The Parklands, Trees, Woods and Fields all contributed to making Netherne a very beautiful and serene place.

Simon Edwards: 27th Jun 2009 - 10:29 GMT

Well it's not a serene place anymore!!!And it's lost it beauty with over 1000 'new resident's...

charlie-boy..: 26th Sep 2009 - 19:19 GMT

u know that one.. serene-not any more yeh i still love that place.park lane used to be my home.(yeh its still my home-i just dont live there any more)lol.. since they built all those new homes its not good any more,gone down hill ever

Susan Ramtohul: 3rd Oct 2009 - 19:41 GMT

I lived firstly at 59 Woodplace Lane and then moved to 1 Park Lane with my husband and three children. We moved from Netherne in 1987. We have been back a few times and were saddened to see what had happened to the netherne that we knew.

pauline: 4th Oct 2009 - 16:33 GMT

I still live there,and it is sad to see what it is.Kids screaming at all hours and the amount of theft and damage to cars,property etc makes for bad reading.Idiots in cars going too fast.What makes me laugh is that people up here paid well over 300,000 for their houses with a garden the size of a postage stamp and they think they live in the country!!lol

albert cooper: 21st Oct 2009 - 11:35 GMT

lots of messages regarding the hospital.I worked there from 1955 to 1964 in the laboratory which was situated at was the called Downs House.Part of this building served as the ward sisters accommodation and also the flat of the Matron - Miss Smith.The Chief Male nurse was Tom Jupp and he lived in the small house that was at the start of the road leading up to the hospital.At one time there used to be a lovely wood at the end of Park lane composed of beech and other deciduous trees.For some unknown reason they were felled and replaced with awful conifers and the place became unwelcome for the prior wildlife.We lived at number 8 Park Lane (wife and 4 children).The social club was designed and overseen by a patient although the building was carried out by staff members.Every year the staff used to organise a pantomime for the benefit of the patients and used to visit other hospitals with the production.Tom Garvey was the wizard organising this effort.Perhaps other "old timers" from my years there can contribute more information.

albert cooper: 21st Oct 2009 - 21:20 GMT

further to my comments of this morning:- within the grounds there was another "hospital" and was called Fairdene and this unit had one male and one female ward plus a neurosurgical unit and the x-ray department.The entrance was rather grand and it seemed a shame that the building was demolished instead of being converted . I wonder what became of the main building and of all the "villas" within the grounds - the whole area of the hospital and its grounds amounted to some 520acres.there used to be a running track beside the social club and this was a training place for Pirie (I think his forname was John (?).it was a normal practice that at the end of July there was a "flower Show"in which patients and staff could enter exhibits.George Shipton who was the Chief Fire Officer used to show dahlia plants - his garden in Park Lane seemed to be composed of paper bags over the plants to protect them from the rain no doubt.The field behind Park Lane used to beknown for turning up items of ancient pottery bits and pieces - perhaps someone should do a survey with a metal detector- who knows there could be valuable items buried!.

albert cooper: 22nd Oct 2009 - 15:45 GMT

some more information.netherne was to all intent and purpose "self contained" in that it had a woodwork department,a plumbing one,a glass and paint one,an upholstery one,a shoemaker one, a tailoring one,a laundry,pharmacy and a kitchen that reminded one of Euston station with so much steam about !Electricity was produced although it was direct current only as the production of alternating current would have been prohibitively costly.By the way it was Gordon Pirie who used what was the running track (440 yards).

albert cooper: 26th Oct 2009 - 20:28 GMT

some more info. comes to mind. Netherne was the first psychiatric hospital to have an art therapy department - it organised by edward adamson after prior discussion with the then hospital superintendentby the name of Cunningham Dax ( he left to go to Australia). Another first was the inauguration of a hospital library and was the "brain child" of Elizabeth Stuckey. Along with the library in Downs House was the electroencephalic department that also served as a reference centre to other hospitals, plus a male and female hairdressing units.Netherne was always at the forefront of innovation.

John Alger: 8th Nov 2009 - 14:44 GMT

Does anyone know how to find out any information on a patients stay at the Netherne Hall hospital, which would have been some time in the early sixties? I am trying to find out any information about my grandmother Olive may short, and where she ended up.
If there are still people out there with info it would be greatly appreciated.

Inger E. Srlie: 22nd Nov 2009 - 21:00 GMT

I am reading these with interest as I Trained as a nurse at netherne hospital from 1965 - 1968. I came from Norway in -64 working as an assistant in the O.T. department.I use to spend a lot of time in the fields and woods around looking for flowers. I remember the old graveyard.It was a fantastic time and i got to know lots of people from different parts of the world.I have not been back since mid eighties, and wonder what it looks like know.Wonder if anybody who reads this, remeber me? My maiden surname was Evensen at that timt.I stayed in England for 10 years, and I really think it is a nice country.Purhaps I will take a trip to visit the place.I might meet some body there I knew before?

Carol Dent, : 26th Nov 2009 - 23:45 GMT

We moved to Netherne in June 1967 - first living in Upweys, the house on the crossroads, and then no. 10 Netherne Lane. Both my parents worked at the hospital, my father in the kitchen, my mother was a nurse. I did my holiday job stint in the laundry. I was married in the church in 1976, my father died in service and the church was overflowing with their friends and colleagues - there was such a community spirit then. I spent my teens cycling round the lanes, playing knock about tennis on the old court. My brother Dave, now sadly deceased, was the DJ at the social club and grew up playing football both for Netherne and Chipstead. I am amazed by this website - I live overseas now and haven't been back to Netherne for years My mother finally left Netherne when it closed down and she retired, one of the very last to leave. By the way, does anyone know about the two, or possibly three, German airmen who were shot down and buried in the cemetery?

Carol Dent, : 26th Nov 2009 - 23:58 GMT

Another interesting thing no-one has mentioned is the abandoned encampment - no other word for it - that is at the end of Park Lane. It was most strange, almost completely overgrown way back in 1967 ish, with walls, rooms, doorways, pits, wells, and I remember piles of slate. Unless work has been recently made there, it might now have completely disappeared. We always thought it was a Roman village but that was probably just childish fantasy. Anyone else know anything about it?

John Moore: 3rd Dec 2009 - 14:43 GMT

It was a wonderful institution with enlightened psychiatric supervision, apart from ECT applied rather indiscriminately which in the 50s and 60s was the accepted treatment. Dr Eckdowie (?) was a remarkable man. My sister was there from 1958 to 1993 and she had happy times at the socials and dances held for the patients. Care in the Community? Bit of a joke really, with little life once they left Netherne. Does anyone know what the basis of the funding was when the patients were transferred out into homes in Surrey?

Malcolm Wood: 4th Dec 2009 - 17:29 GMT

MESSAGE TO CAROL DENT: Carol, you mentioned your father worked in the kitchen. What was his name? Did you come across a gentleman called Corr who worked in the Laundry? I can't remember his first name, but I know he had two daughters - one called Theresa - and the other - name escapes me - both went to Purley County...

Malcolm Wood: 5th Dec 2009 - 18:49 GMT

Just remembered his other daughters name - Valerie.

lisa: 21st Dec 2009 - 12:04 GMT

i live in netherne and my flat is haunted with a small girl... she crys at night and my kids are petrafied but i dnt mind her..... but i noticed when she crys that after about 5 mins it sounds fainter n fainter like shes being smothered. im going to move out of there soon

ex netherne resident: 26th Dec 2009 - 20:20 GMT

Yes Lisa,sure it is..funny how new residents in Netherne seem to see or hear ghosts!!!

albert cooper: 28th Dec 2009 - 19:14 GMT

re carol dent's remark about an abandoned encampment at the end of Park Lane, it must have been the result of the demolition of what, at one time,was accommodation for a few nursing staff. It then became known as the Freudenberg centre.I believe the house she calls Upweys at the corner of the main drive from Hooley and facing the hospital entrance was the house of the hospital engineer - sorry forget his name.Along from this corner house lived the deputy secretary and the hospital pharmacist; they had it good as the houses were heated by steam from the hospital boiler house just across the road !.Never heard any news of German airmen being buried in the graveyard.Peter Hill a member of staff was actually a pilot during the "battle of britain".after all these years it is still very interesting to find out snippets of information from prior staff. Carry on with the good work - there's not many of us left !.

Mary/Miguel Gutierrez: 6th Jan 2010 - 16:25 GMT

Mary came with her family from Northern Ireland to work at Netherene Hospital in 1974.She meet me(Miguel)at the hospital to which i worked in the kitchen. I come from Spain and a lot of Spanish worked at the hospital.In fact the hospital work force was very diverise then.I remember very well the Social Club was busing with entertainment(Mary designed all the adverts to these activities and decorated the club beautifully on every social occasion). I was the resident DJ at the club.Mary and I have walked the grounds of the hospital, north,south,east ,west night and day and have not seen any spirits/ghost..However I was driving home the other night and what leaped out on me was a No not a ghost A Deer.Lino I remember you in the kitchen very we.. I still see Hassain he is a taxi driver now in the Redhill area.

Abz: 8th Jan 2010 - 07:41 GMT

Does anybody know about a hidden church somewhere?

John Rowland; 12/1/10 14.37 GMT: 12th Jan 2010 - 14:37 GMT

I can remember as a small boy being let in to the projection room at the cinema which was quite a large cinema. The sound system for the films was not optical i.e a track alongside the frames it was on a huge record disc on which the projectionist or his assistant I suppose, had to drop the pick up arm at just the right moment or synchronisation was lost. This must have been about 1950.
The only other things about Netherne I recall were the excellent conker trees on the drive and the farm piggeries.

Jane: 20th Jan 2010 - 17:55 GMT

We are currently staying on the caravan site at Alderstesd Heath. On a short walk thro the adjacent fields and woods came across a view of Netherne. Returning to motorhome I first looked at satellite view of the area on Google maps. subsequently found this site. What a fascinating place. We'll go for a longer walk and discover more. We are just here because its open in January- no other reason. Its amazing what you come across!

rob: 20th Jan 2010 - 19:21 GMT

lisa;would like to here more about your ghost of a little girl crying.ive heard a lot of stories that come from this place but everyone seems to laugh them off

Mary Netherne Lane.: 30th Jan 2010 - 18:38 GMT

When I worked in Mapother Ward on Night Duty,I remember unusal crying in the bathroom area(on many occasions but i was not afraid ). This crying was of a little person(not sure if girl or boy).Maybe you are living in this quarter of the new building now.Please dont laugh anyone as you may be living at the area of the ward that i worked in 21years ago.I walked the corridors of this past hospital in the middle of the night and i have experienced many strange things.

The Cook: 3rd Feb 2010 - 18:09 GMT

When I was a chef at Netherne Hospital, we had a ghost in the kitchen. His name was "Bob". He was said to be an alcoholic who worked in the kitchen before the war. We sometimes found empty whiskey bottles in our wellington boots.

natalie: 16th Feb 2010 - 11:07 GMT

i also live up netherne. i would love to see the grave yard, it has so much history! but we have never come across it? does any1 know where abouts it is? the netherne site doesn't really tell you much of what it used to be like, neither is there many pitures of it. does any1 have any? the rooms the padded rooms anythiink at tall?

the cook: 13th Mar 2010 - 16:57 GMT

near the club at the end of the football pitch turn right and walk towards the downs it maybe overgrow

Mary: 20th Mar 2010 - 14:15 GMT

I was in Netherne for 6 weeks in 1992 and loved being up there. the grounds were so beautiful and i loved having the freedom of being able to find myself again after coming out of a bad marriage and suffered bad depression.i did like exploring the grounds whilst i was there. Like all the local asylums if the walls could speak there would be many things to tell about these places. i do believe that mental asylums should not have been closed down as there is always going to be members of society that can not live in the community. As we often hear about "care in the Community" doesent always work.

S.OTHENDEE: 24th Mar 2010 - 11:15 GMT

I came across this site trying to obtain the hospital address( trying to recover an old bank account! while a psychiatric student nurse).I live in the Nurses Homes between (1991-1992) along with some mauritian friends.It was the best times of my student life.Got fantantic memories of patients and staff alike.I went there after 10 yrs and was saddened that it was barricaded and I could not approach the front entrance.Each times I drive to London, I feel like taking a turn over the bridge heading towards the hospital.I learned how to drive a car, some spanish dudes told me how to play golf but never came across the cemetary!! met two great teachers of mine namely Raj Choomun and Mr Leman.Those were great times but we have moved forward in terms of patients'care.

the cook: 24th Mar 2010 - 15:20 GMT

the spanish dudes where alex juan and carlos, raj still working in the community and leman retired

the cook: 24th Mar 2010 - 15:20 GMT

the spanish dudes where alex juan and carlos, raj still working in the community and leman retired

the cook: 24th Mar 2010 - 15:20 GMT

the spanish dudes where alex juan and carlos, raj still working in the community and leman retired

the cook: 24th Mar 2010 - 15:20 GMT

the spanish dudes where alex juan and carlos, raj still working in the community and leman retired

me: 27th Mar 2010 - 21:08 GMT

I find it really sad , my great grandmother was put in there 1910 as she was suffering from post natal depression , her husband stuck their children in Banardos, she died 1919 in the hospital .

kas : australia: 5th Apr 2010 - 10:46 GMT

my grandfather died in netherne in 1940 - would a patient who died at the hospital be buried there?

mary: 9th Apr 2010 - 19:42 GMT

mhaviy grandmother elizabeth ashley died in netherne around 1950s she had been admitted in ?1900s after a breakdown when her young son had been drowned at sea.

James O'Toole: 12th Apr 2010 - 13:37 GMT

My mum (Janet) worked in the laundrette here in the 80's. I used to attend the nursery. Lots of fond memories!

Vi: 15th Apr 2010 - 21:10 GMT

I am hoping to move to netherne on the hill near jennys way . I have heard mixed feelings on what it is like to live there. Is it a nice place to bring up young kids? I'v heard about anti social behaviour being a bit of a problem can anyone tell me a little more?

tanya: 25th Apr 2010 - 15:45 GMT

i am amazed to have found this site and would dearly like to know if there is anyone alive still who was working in netherne in the early 1950's. i am trying to piece together the last sad year of my grandmother's life there. she was admitted with severe depression and a drink problem following the break up of her marriage.Sadly, having her children fostered was a terrible blow to her and she took her own life there in june 1952. i know she was in broadwood villa because she wrote to my mum from that address. would anyone have known her.her name was margery huber(maiden name ogg) and she was a gentle soul.any information would be wonderful. i am hoping to visit this email is

Micky: 26th Apr 2010 - 08:25 GMT

Hi everyone,

I went up to Netherne graveyard yesterday on behalf of someone looking for info on an ancestor. I wouldn't have been able to figure out how to get there without Google earth, it is really hidden away. My son used to play football at the ground nearby and at that time I had no idea (or interest I suppose) that the cemetry was close by.

After the initial excitement at having found the place, I was struck by the incredible sense of peace & the fantastic view of the Downs. Apart from the gravestones that are set into the large concrete slab at the entrance there appear to be no other gravestones, although it's hard to tell what's underneath the dense blanket of blambles.

I took 7 pictures & there are some strange blob type things on 3 of them. I don't know what could have caused these anomolies I don't think it's a fault with the camera (olympus 790SW) as surely they would appear on every picure? Anyway the pictures are below with close ups of the blobs & any comments/opinions are welcomeimage 41877

Micky: [[img:41878]]

Micky: [[img:41879]]

Micky: It looks like I can only upload one of them?

Micky: 26th Apr 2010 - 08:33 GMT

P.S. I said to my husband that we should go back with a video camera to see what it picks up but he said "your bonkers, i'm not going back there".

Beatrice Day: 28th Apr 2010 - 10:55 GMT

Hi I am from Australia and appreciate everyones information as I am looking for info about my Grandmothers sister Ruth Moors who died at Netherene in 1919 - she had been there for a while...she was only around 26 yrs old when she died. She had been interned there for a while it seems. I am in England visiting for a week and hope to find the cemetery today to look for her grave. best wishes Beatrice email

Frances Bach: 28th Apr 2010 - 22:45 GMT

Records about patients are held by Surrey History Centre. But access may be restricted. See:

Bill Mearns: 30th Apr 2010 - 20:47 GMT

What a fantastic trip down memory lane! I was a student nurse at Netherne 1974/75 and loved it! When I finished my general training I couldn't wait to get back and got my first Staff Nurse job on Furzefield. Then Charge Nurse opposite Ian Harrison on the newly refurbished Elizabeth Ward. Great nurses! Carlos Cebraro, Alex Ossi amongst so many others. I was one of the Charge nurses in John Reid up until I left in '78. I remember Netherne very fondly. I had many friends there and of course there were some characters both staff and patients, but oh what good times we had and what I learned there has benefited me and hopefully the patients I have taken care of ever since. So here I sit in Mississippi 30 odd years later and the faces of Mr Murray (who I knew on Lyttleton), Joan Barret etc etc some flashing back. The Pantos, the WVS shop, snow on the Cricket Pitch walking back to the Male Hostel after a night shift. It does bring a tear to the eye to know that enourmous hospital is no longer there. If you remember me (hard luck!) or were at Netherne in any capacity drop me a note to
Best wishes all.......Bill

Beatrice Day: 5th May 2010 - 14:23 GMT

Hi, after 2 hours of walking we finally found the black wrought iron gates had to climb through barbed wire has all been fenced off from overgrown and only found the large cement slab with about 7 tombstones laid into it...what happened to all the other tombstones? I thought it was the responsibility of the local council to maintain gravesites/ can relatives pay respect to their deceased loved ones? Can any local residents contact the council to protest? I am now back in Australia...couldn't find the grave of my Aunt Ruth Moors so will have to research records for Netherne. All helpful hints are most welcome.

patric heraty: 10th May 2010 - 18:19 GMT

I was a patient in the 1960s in a few surrey psychiatric hospitals in surrey when conditions had greatly improved but i almost shudder to think of conditions a few decades earlier.Patients were treated as scarsely human then.They went in and never came out.I find sentimental feelings towards such places as unhealthy and very weird,such people should go and live in a mausoleum with a garden of nettles around it.

chloe lewis: 11th May 2010 - 15:43 GMT

oh my god i live in netherne it is so differnet lol

les slater: 14th May 2010 - 13:38 GMT

My grandmother was in Netherne twice for nervous breakdowns for 3 months both times.Basingstoke had Park Prewitt Asylum which was closed down and redeveloped into houses and flats five years ago. Parklands has taken over but has fewer beds for people with mental health problems like myself. I think it's not good that they have shut down all the asylums. i know a few people from park prewitt that have either died or moved into other accomadation.I remember going to Netherne in the car with my grandmother and parents sometime in the late 60's. It looked a bit spookey. I have similar problems with mental health but try and cope without the need of being admitted. I don't think I would be in any case as they don't have the room anymore.

karen nielsen hayes: 17th May 2010 - 02:18 GMT

I was a student at Netherne Hospital 1977-1981. It was a lovely place to live and work. I had many good friends of all nationalities. I remember the hospital pantomines and a wonderfully talented man call Neville Hallyburton. His daughter Paula was a very good friend of mine. I have such happy memories of Netherne. I was out there on my own when I had the good fortune to get accepted as a student nurse at Netherne and I had a good home there and a future as a nurse. I still visit my old friend Ruth Bowman when I come to England (I live in Arizona, USA). I am sure we had our faults but I believe we all did our best for the patients at the end of the day and there should be some good karma still around that place. We were a very large family.

Richard King: 20th May 2010 - 15:04 GMT

I grew up in and around Netherne, I lived in no 59 Woodplace Lane and then moved to No 17 where my mum still lives now. She used to work at Netherne on Figswood and Lordswood Wards. I was part of the Netherne Strolling Players and took part in many of the plays and pantomimes that were put on in the Recreation Hall. I know exactly where the Graveyard is as we used to dare each other to go in there on our own as kids.

the cook: 23rd May 2010 - 17:37 GMT

hello richard i know now where you danny david and simmon where hidind then ha ha

paul southon: 26th May 2010 - 08:34 GMT

hello to every one at park lane netherne.. most people in that road knows i used to live at number 4..

catherine gibbs: 27th May 2010 - 17:07 GMT

hi i worked at netherne for a cleaning company called rco in 83 till around 85 best years off my life the long corridors always places to hide.. i lived in above the canteen we had a room and the lounge area. i made friends with amanda sanders and a few other people.. they used to call us the treble twins cos we were always skiving... i went on to do nursing auxillary there.. i worked on a few ward cannot remember the names off them.. i always remember the big hall and the big green carpet at the frount entrance.. i remember a women in particular she was put in their 1909 for being pregnant such a shame she spent her whole life there their was nothing wrong with her when she went in but she was mentally ill when i new her, i do not remember no childrens ward.. i remember the lock up ward they were not allowed to have knives and forks on the table.. i wish i had more memories.. oh and also lived in what was like a shed with rooms a building on its own painted white near the hill that goes down...

catherine gibbs: 27th May 2010 - 17:07 GMT

hi i worked at netherne for a cleaning company called rco in 83 till around 85 best years off my life the long corridors always places to hide.. i lived in above the canteen we had a room and the lounge area. i made friends with amanda sanders and a few other people.. they used to call us the treble twins cos we were always skiving... i went on to do nursing auxillary there.. i worked on a few ward cannot remember the names off them.. i always remember the big hall and the big green carpet at the frount entrance.. i remember a women in particular she was put in their 1909 for being pregnant such a shame she spent her whole life there their was nothing wrong with her when she went in but she was mentally ill when i new her, i do not remember no childrens ward.. i remember the lock up ward they were not allowed to have knives and forks on the table.. i wish i had more memories.. oh and also lived in what was like a shed with rooms a building on its own painted white near the hill that goes down...

catherine gibbs: 27th May 2010 - 17:43 GMT

to the lady whos auntie was a patient at netherne in the 80s i worked their at that time what was her name and can you remember what ward she was on

Jay: 20th Jun 2010 - 21:45 GMT

Hi Vi,

We are also hoping to move to Netherne on the Hill, what bad things have you heard about the area and if anyone currently living there could provide a little more information about the area that would be great!


sharon: 9th Jul 2010 - 20:30 GMT

I have been looking for the grave yard for a few days and can not seem to find it. I looked behind the football pitch just to find lots of trees and bushes. Am I looking in the right place ?

Julian Newey: 12th Jul 2010 - 11:16 GMT

I spent five ye ars at Netherne from 1989-1994 I was very happy there,and the majority of the staff and patients were very nice.If anyone who knows me do get in touch......thanks

anon ( 15th Jul 2010 - 19:49 GMT

ROY 15th july 2010 20:40
Hi Sharon, I have just got back home after going to look for the graveyard and i found it. Yes it is just pass the football pitch.

Natasha: 18th Jul 2010 - 11:45 GMT

I have a friend who lives in Netherne and as I have a keen interest in history I have been doing some research on her behalf. I have looked at the Surrey History website and found that betwwen the years of 1909 (when the hospital opened) and there were 1296 burials at Netherne Asylum, Where would thay all have been buried? It has been very interesting reading all these posts and I think I will delve further to see wht I am able to find. here is the link for the webpage I looked at.

paddy : 9th Aug 2010 - 14:24 GMT

hi sharon,
me and a couple of my friends (keeley and paige) went to see the cemetry and it is the feild behind park lane right at the back but due to the fact that there is quite alot of stinging nettles and thorns,we were unable to get a closer look at the gravestones which are pressed into the ground
bibi x

Local Resident: 21st Aug 2010 - 21:54 GMT

Hi to you all

I have lived around netherne since a child, both my parents worked at Netherne from mid 1960's till closure in the 90's.
The pics shown here are behind Netherne social club, it used to be a grave yard for the deceased who were patients at Netherne,there was a lot of bodies buried there abd from speaking to people over the years at netherne, there was no space left for anymore patients, as netherne used to be a massive Asylum and closed slowly from late 80's due to the Thatcher era wanting to privatise everything including the NHS. Netherne, Canehill, and Earlswood in Redhill, very sad as Netherne always held Fetes, pantomines for the kids, firework displays. This area has a lot of warm memories thanks to the community that lived near by (most of whom worked at Netherne) to see it slowly disappear was very sad. Netherne Social Club was the place to be always great nights and very sociable, would be nice for Netherne to have a local pub to help the community to get to know each other.

Keith: 27th Aug 2010 - 13:08 GMT

in about 1960/61 aged 8 I lived with my parents at a caravan park which was between Merstham and Couldson which from Google earth would seem to be at Aldershead Heath. I remember playing in the woods that lead to a large Mental Asylum which must be Netherne. I remember two things, the incredible conker trees and their conkers. and the noise coming from the building. Are they figments of a small boys imagination?

Dorothy Eason: 31st Aug 2010 - 09:14 GMT

Netherne Social club - now Netherne CASC - is still open and I am the secretary. The team is Coulsdon United. Unfortunately local residents don't seem to want to use it although we do have a few football players from the "Village". It is the walk down the long narrow lane from Netherne which is dark at night - this puts them off. There used to be a footpath at the end of the football field near to the aerial. There was a gate at the front until recently when a fence was put up in the field next door. This seemed to narrow the footpath and this is where there was access to the graveyard. We sometimes have visits from Goths who ask where the cemetary is but it should not be accessed via the football club as this is a private ground. I would be really interested to know what was on the site of the social club pre 1948 when it was built - I think. Does anybody remember? If anybody has photographs or memories of the Club or what was there before please could you send them to the club in Woodplace Lane. Thanks.

Peter Francis : 13th Sep 2010 - 11:00 GMT

My great aunt Is buried somewhere in this cemetary she was an Inmate of Netherne Hospital/asylum and died there in 1944.

Erica Henley: 16th Sep 2010 - 04:26 GMT

I am intrigued by the discussion on these pages.
I have just found out that my paternal grandfather married a Kate Farris in 1916 in Epsom. Kate's father and her siblings lived for many years at Harrow Inn, Cheam where her father then her brother were the licensed Victualler. Kate's death is recorded as being at Netherne, Coulson, Surrey in 1939. Does that mean that she was a patient at Natherne Hospital prior to her death?
I do not believe that my grandfather divorced Kate but instead chose the poor man's divorce - bigamy- by 1926 he had emigrated to Western Australia and married my grandmother.

Stephen D'cruze: 19th Sep 2010 - 16:57 GMT

Hi My Friend has brought out an article on the Netherne which is in this weeks Croydon Guardian.
He is keen to contact any relative of patients whom may be buried there.
Please contact and i will forward your names to him.

karen fitzgerald-now nichols: 23rd Sep 2010 - 22:11 GMT

I trained as a psychiatric nurse at netherne in 1985 at the tender age of 18. I can honestly say that i loved every moment and have nothing but fond memories . So sad that some building were not retained as they were beautiful. The big old nurses home was def haunted a very spooky place .I remember disraeli ward,john reid house the fairdeans ,Edward ward,harpswood villa-rather scary cant remember the rest. I was informed that the graveyard was put in place after a fire at netherne the victims having been buried there. My friend and i discovered it and it was overgrown then but strangely surreal and peaceful.

the cook : 26th Sep 2010 - 16:01 GMT

yes the main kitchen was very spooky to!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Stephen D'cruze: 27th Sep 2010 - 15:48 GMT

Karen or anyone.
Do you have any idea if British soldiers were buried in the cemetery ?

Kirsty Whalley: 1st Oct 2010 - 15:17 GMT

I am a reporter with the Croydon Guardian who has written a couple of stories about the asylum based on research done by a local history enthusiast Adrian Falks. Over the past few weeks I have been learning more about patients buried at the asylum and have been fascinated with the information contained in this interesting thread.

We have managed to extract a promise from the developers to do something about the state of the cemetery (see links to stories below) and I am really interested in finding out more about the people buried there. Especially world war soldiers and the children. If anyone has any more information about this I would be delighted to hear from you. I am especially interested in the point that some of the children at the asylum were the offspring of patients or victims of lobotomies. My contact details are below.

Kirsty Whalley
Chief Reporter
Croydon Guardian
Mobile: 078 2571 5315
Tel: 020 8330 9559

wendy mortimer: 5th Oct 2010 - 10:28 GMT

i'm truly hoping that the cemetery will be cleared now. its a disgrace that its been left like this. see my article in the croydon gardian(c/o kirsty whalley..) gleesons should be made to rectify great aunt is buried in the cemetery in 1915,she died from epilepsy/brain damage. i would glady help in the clearence of the cemetery..

Bobs: 16th Oct 2010 - 10:34 GMT

Hope we move to Netherene On the Hill . We would like to know if there are community activities for children? Which schools do netherene children go to ? Is it a great place for kids to grow up despite spooky stories around Netherene?

Nigel Burton: 19th Oct 2010 - 19:46 GMT

Hi I worked as a chef in the kitchens between 1985-89 and have great memories of the place. It was a big kitchen with two huge revolving ovens and there were some real charecters (both staff & residence)that made life colouful. Does any one remember the sheriff? Miguel get in touch if you see this (

Vonni Wood: 19th Oct 2010 - 23:46 GMT

Hi.. My Fathers Wife was resident at Netherne between 1945 and 1964. Her name was Mrs Maud Wood. I'm currently tracing my family tree and I am trying to find out about the circumstances surrounding her disappearance from one of the wards in the hosptial on 23 December 1964. She was later found, 3 weeks later, Drowned in Earlswood Lakes,Redhill, in the boating lake. She was due to be collected by her Daughter and Son-in-law the day after her disappearance, to spend Christmas with them at their home in Lancashire. She left the hospital without her handbag or hearing aid..she was considerably hard of hearing. Her disappearance was widely reported in the local newspaper,The Surrey Mirror and Horely Post I believe it was called back then, and despite Police enquiries to people known to have contact with her,and publicity and press releases from her daughter, she was not seen either travelling to Earlswood lakes or during the following 3 weeks before she was found. When she was found, according to the coroners report, she had been in the water for less than a week and she was well nourished, suggesting that she had been looked after by person or persons unknown. The Coroner recorded an open verdict. If anyone looking at this page recalls any information regarding this or knew her as a resident at Netherne, remembers her or recalls any visitors or information however small about her or her disapearance, please email me..I will pass on your information.. .. Thank you in anticipation

henry medwell: 22nd Oct 2010 - 15:36 GMT

about l953-4 a staff psychiatrist at netherne hospital took his own life.He was probably in his early 30's and a Canadian by nationality. does anyone remember his name or anything at all about him? the incident was recorded in the surrey press [Comet or Croydon Guardian or other] so the incident well-known then. e-mail;

Sam The Hat: 28th Oct 2010 - 10:10 GMT

I was taken to Netherne as a teenager at the end of the fifties. It was a grim harsh regime - not the happy fun palace described by some above and most definitely not suitable for young people. Fortunately, I and another teenager admitted at the same time were later transferred to 'Fairdene' which had a very different and much more humane attitude to its patients. If you behaved yourself you were allowed out for a cup of tea in the Hooley Cafe at the bottom of the hill....

the cook : 29th Oct 2010 - 17:24 GMT

hi nigel remember the gosts in the kitchen rest room i do one was portuguese and the other spanish ha ha ha SPOOOOOOKY

Angela: 1st Nov 2010 - 23:02 GMT

To bobs, yes netherne is a great place to live for children. We have not seen any yet.
I wanted a fairytale childhood for my kids or as close as you can get and netherne in my opinion is the closest to it.there is a mamas & papas group for family activities and much more.

Minnie: 29th Nov 2010 - 04:30 GMT

Hi I was looking for some information about Winifred Lillian Allen nee/Dugdale. I was told that she worked at Netherne for about 35 years. Anyone here remember her and could tell me anything about her?
Please post here and I will give you my contact details.

the cook: 2nd Dec 2010 - 17:18 GMT

when netherne was open we never had any problems when snow.why? well we had Wolly lardwood and hes team puting salt in the drive and the surrending areas in the hospital,very early so the staff could get to we all snow in for days can anyone tell me why?after all we all pay council tax

Mary: 2nd Dec 2010 - 17:30 GMT

Hi Cook,
Netherene is open to the new wonderful community(Village). Yes I remember Wally the Gardener and his dedicated team.They came out early in the morning to make sure we were all safe to go to work.In fact we all helped Wally to clear the roads of Nethererne as goodwill gesture (Then it was a close community).Where I live Cook we are still helping each other.Our new neighbours who moved to Netherene do not have this community spirit and their roads and the lane is in an awful state.I had the digger coming out to our road early this morning/afternoon and blocked my drive.I had to and with others in our road dig the blockage he left behind.

the cook: 18th Dec 2010 - 14:57 GMT

and we all are snow in again grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.bring wally back isaid

paul southon: 23rd Jan 2011 - 17:03 GMT

hello every one on here.. i am the first one this year who mailed on people in park lane must know

paul southon: 23rd Jan 2011 - 17:06 GMT

if any one who knew me give me a call.. 079 356 95 749

paul southon: 23rd Jan 2011 - 17:09 GMT

forgot to say.. this my new emil address.. or if any one on hotmail?

Adam Mehmet: 25th Jan 2011 - 23:23 GMT

I used to play around Netherne Hospital as a kid in the 1970's as my mum worked as a psychiatrist there. they had some sort of activity club in what i remember to be the cricket pavillion (but it may not have been)located in the bottom left hand corner of the aerial photograph of Netherne Hospital taken by Surrey Flying Services and posted by Maz. The conker trees then were fully grown and plentiful with conkers, i have never seen so many since in any other setting. spent many memorable summer days just running around the grounds whilst my mother worked !.such were the times..also spent time over at cane hill feeding the donkeys and daring to run through the corridors...

Mark Harrison: 1st Feb 2011 - 15:01 GMT

I worked at Netherne as a Community Service Volunteer for six months (October 1972-April 1973). I have very happy memories of the place although it was very daunting at first; it formed a significant part of my post-A level education. I worked as a nursing assistant in Harpswood Villa and then helped with OT in (I think) Woodcote. I remeber some great characters, both staff and patients. Does anyone else remember those days ?

the cook: i do!!!

Deborah Kemp: 21st Feb 2011 - 22:02 GMT

I've been reading about all these comments and have trying to get in contact with Lucy Hart,who said her dad and his brother lived at Number 4 Park Lane, if so what were there names, as my father and his brother, with my nan and grandad lived there from at least 1939 until way after the war had finished,my uncle got married in the church at Netherne in 1959.

paul southon @ 4: 23rd Feb 2011 - 18:34 GMT

hello deborah kemp and lucy hart..its paul southon here..
how are u both?

David Whickman 27 Feb 2011 -: 27th Feb 2011 - 15:00 GMT

After trying to find the cemetery with my partner on 23 Feb 2011 we returned again on Fri 25 Feb 2011 after studying Google Earth and found the site at the far end of the farmers field. The large slab shown in earlier comments on this site is right near the main gate and the following names were recorded :


We walked all around the site and unless the site has been covered by a large amount of earth as far as we are concerned there are no further memorial stones to any other burials. It is quite a shame to think that over thirteen hundred people buried in this cemetery and it has just been forgotten by society with the site left to nature .

Fiona Watkins: 19th Mar 2011 - 14:09 GMT

I've moved into Netherne recently and have just found this site today, it is lovely to hear all of your stories about the old times and what it used to be like, does anyone know if the book that has been discussed is still avaliable.

maureen elliott: 21st Mar 2011 - 16:29 GMT

hi,i have been renting privately in netherne for 5 months now and am looking forward to the next seven months. i love this place, the wide spaces, the people, the wild birds, the privacy, the fact that even cabs cant find me. even being snowed in was an amazing experience. i do not have young kids so cannot comment on the schools etc. but personally i have not had or heard of any trouble or unsociable behaviour. for me at least this place is a little closer to god (if you will)

the cook: 27th Mar 2011 - 16:05 GMT

yes the book still aveliable from a man name GEORGE FROGLEY he lives in HOOLEY ask around hooley

paul southon..: 9th Apr 2011 - 07:38 GMT

hello george frogley.. what book is thios ?
paul southon

sam: hi where can i find this place :)

the cook : near the football grounds

Vonni Wood: 16th Apr 2011 - 21:43 GMT

Hi...What is the title of the book and is it still in print ??
Im trying to find out about the time when a family member disapeared from Netherne hospital under mysterious circumstances at Christmas time, 1964, and was later found drowned in Easrlswood Lakes, Redhill... Can any one help me with any information about what Netherne was like back then ...were patients allowed out of the grounds without being accompanied? how secure were the wards ?? Were there close ties with The Redhill General Hospital ? Anything about that time would be helpful, however seemingly insignificant... just trying to build a picture of what life was like then for the patients.

Vonni Wood: 16th Apr 2011 - 21:43 GMT

Hi...What is the title of the book and is it still in print ??
Im trying to find out about the time when a family member disapeared from Netherne hospital under mysterious circumstances at Christmas time, 1964, and was later found drowned in Easrlswood Lakes, Redhill... Can any one help me with any information about what Netherne was like back then ...were patients allowed out of the grounds without being accompanied? how secure were the wards ?? Were there close ties with The Redhill General Hospital ? Anything about that time would be helpful, however seemingly insignificant... just trying to build a picture of what life was like then for the patients.

catherine gibbs: 19th Apr 2011 - 08:12 GMT

i worked at netherne around 1986 till 89 brilliant times i started working there for RCO the cleaning company then i moved in to the rooms above the canteen and started auxillary work i remember merpother ward very well... i loved my time there ....

catherine gibbs: 20th Apr 2011 - 04:51 GMT

when i worked there for RCO i remember we used to clean the big green carpet and polish the admin offices.. it was fun my best friend at the time was amanda saunders and they used to call us the terrible twins we always found somewere to skive.... to talk to the patients was amazing ..SUCH SAD STORIES...the main corrider seemed to go on forever so long... when i started working as an auxillary nurse im sure it was mr duffey who interviewed me a nice man... i remember the big hall and the big buffer machines we used to use.. does anyone remember RCO US CLEANERS..i dont think we were very popular at the time ... but somebody had to do the cleaning... we also had digs at the end off the corridor outside they were white huts i can only just remember them.. but when i lived above the canteen it was amazing only had to go downstairs for your dinner... FANTASTIC TIMES ... I LOVD IT THERE.. and we used to take the big old coach down into coulsdon it only went at certain times off the day... and the old painters we used to talk too.. i never knew there was a grave yard there .... i went back up there recently with my daughter to show her were i used to work... the only thing i reconised now is the admin office which off course are now flats .... such a shame .. one off the best times off my life was working there great place ..but sad for the people who lived there.....

Dev Ramdas: 4th May 2011 - 20:06 GMT

Hi Catherine, the man who interviewed you is possibly Noel Duffy. He was a Senior Nursing Officer. He interviewed me too!!!

Chris Emms: 12th May 2011 - 13:54 GMT

My Grandfather was a patient at Netherne from the late 60s until it's closure he sadly passed away not long after leaving, the strains of everyday life were too much for him. I am currently starting to write a play about Netherne, based on the staff and patients. If anyone has anything that they would like to contribute, be it family stories, documents.. anything that could be of help please email me at

Lynda: 21st May 2011 - 13:22 GMT

My mother was admitted to Netherne in 1974/5 suffering from Depression. She remembers it as an awful place. Her Doctor had sent her there for a "rest" yet she remembers a strict daily regime. Her pet hate was Occupational Therapy where she made lampshades with rafia! She said she shared her room with 5 other ladies all of whom were in a far worse state than her and she was scared quite a lot of them time as one was clearly Scitzophrenic and tried to injure herself on many occasion.

I visited her once one evening with my Dad and I can remember going into a "day lounge" type of place and the Bay City Rollers were on TOTP singing "Give a little Love" I remember the room quite well, easy chairs were around the perimeter and a few odd tables here and there, the walls were that typical hospital green and there were high ceilings. The smell was awful, a mixture of disenfecant, vomit and general "sweatiness" the floor was that wooden criss-cross stuff with the odd scruffy piece of carpet.

We saw her room, it was at the end of one of the blocks and was a circular room on the first or second floor. It had the same flooring, the windows were long and almost full length with bars going half way up. High ceilings. The curtains were faded red with a white spotty pattern on. I remember the beds being quite narrow and low down and dark mahogany stype furniture, and not much of it either

My Mum stayed there for 6-8 weeks (Summer Holidays) and whilst she was never "cured" of her depression she swore she would NEVER go back there ever again. Sadly unlike some of the comments from others, her time at Netherne was, to quote her "Hell on Earth!"

On a different note, whilst researching my family history I discovered that the son of my great grandfather's brother (making him my first cousin twice removed apparently) was there from 1909 until 1916 when he died from Tubercular Meningitis and Pulmonary Tuberculosis when he was 24. Prior to that he was at The Royal Earlswood Asylum in Redhill, about 10 miles south of Netherne. His father was also a resident in the 1950's until his death in 1954 he was 86. I presume he was there not because of mental illness but as a geriatric patient. I am due to visit the Surrey History Centre at Woking sometime soon where I have been given access to their records.

Annie: 22nd May 2011 - 12:20 GMT

HI I am selling copies of the Pictoral History of Netherne on behalf of the author, George Frogley. Theya re 10 including P&P, all the money goes to mental health charities. It ahs some great pictures and lots of history. George worked at netherne for decades, and still lives in Hooley. ANyone wanting a copy can email me on

paul southon: 8th Jun 2011 - 20:15 GMT

hello to every one who uses this site..and hello to every one at netherne on the hill..

the cook: 12th Jun 2011 - 16:24 GMT

dev would you said mr duffy was a nice man??????????

Linda: 19th Jun 2011 - 12:43 GMT

Can anyone help? My dad's mother, Kezia Pattie, spent 30 years in and died in Netherene in 1955. As a family we are trying to find out more about her and her background and are therefore trying to trace anyone who may have know her. I know its a long time ago but my dad is 90 and is wanting to find out more.

If you have any information please post here and I will contact you.

andrew makin- ex kitchen superintendant(1982-880: 27th Jun 2011 - 19:09 GMT

nice to have found this site I remember hassan,miguel and mary,stedford dixon,leroy mcfarlen,abala,bart,tribak, bob,pepe,rafeal all who worked in the kitchen and laura the dinning room supervisor.dave pearce cat man lyn thomas,assist cat manager,sue and frank ramtahul,wally and his wife joyce.there was something special about working at netherne,it was a community that worked wishes to all,sorry if i missed your name off the list.

the cook: 3rd Jul 2011 - 08:12 GMT

chut up snoopy hahahaha mr pearces still here dixon went back to jamaica bob die and joyce aswell

Jacqui: 4th Jul 2011 - 20:58 GMT

Trained and worked at Netherne from 1986 til it closed, I truly look back and remember it very fondly it shaped my nursing career. I loved it.

Malcolm Sinclair: 4th Jul 2011 - 21:16 GMT

Great site, lots of memories, worked there from 81-87, Fairdene North, Kean Ward, then as a student, then John Reid House. Have been getting in contact through Facebook with some I knew there.

Angi Knight: 5th Jul 2011 - 18:59 GMT

Reading this has made me feel quite choked with fond memories. I did my training at Netherne from 1982 and left in 1986. It was a very happy part of my life. Funnily when people refer to the dark old days of institutions it never occurred to me that Netherne was one of them. I had my 21st in the social club, played hockey for Netherne (someone asked about the 'sherrif' his name was Derek and he was our chief supporter, coming to all the away games. I had my daughter there and made many good friends, some of them sadly no longer here. I would go back and work there at the drop of a hat and only remember good care, a staff family community and an incredibly innovative training school. I also remember racing in laundry carts down the corridor at night but never any ghosts!

andrew makin- ex kitchen superintendant(1982- 88: 10th Jul 2011 - 05:45 GMT

Thanks cook for the info sorry to hear about Bob and Joyce.Just remembered a few of more people John (the butcher)who replaced Roger,"Georgie" Best,Brian,Ernie and Andy in the stores and I think John who worked with him.Plus Wally the patient who worked in the butchery,"there is more out than in you know"he used to say.e-mail me and we will have a

Philip Burnard: 13th Jul 2011 - 18:52 GMT

I trained at Netherne and was a charge nurse on Fletcher and Lyttelton wards. Later I was a tutor in the school of nursing - something I enjoyed very much. I even got married in the church at Netherne and we had our reception in the social club. This was during the period of 1969-1986. We now live in Wales, where I was Professor of Nursing and Vice Dean at Cardiff University, until I took early retirement a couple of years ago. Netherne gave me everything, in a way: inspiration, the route to an interesting, international, career and of course, my wife! We brought up two, wonderful, children in a hospital house, too.

I rememember loads of people: Maggie Naylor,Charles Baily, Joe Dicker, the complex Noel Duffy, too many students to name here - but fondly remembered, John Pink, Bill Murray, Julie Birmingham, Eddie McGaffney and so on...So many real 'characters'! I often wonder what happened to the sheer number of staff that were there.

Great days for most of us that worked there. Probably less so for many of the patients, although I think they were well cared for. I hope so. Certainly no ghosts, though!

Dev Ramdas: 20th Jul 2011 - 21:18 GMT

Hi Mr. Burnard. I was one of your students when you were teaching in the school of nursing at Netherne. Having qualified as an RMN, I worked in Surrey and subsequently studied at the Tizard Centre, University of Kent where I met you after many years.(You were lecturing there).I went on to become an Inspector with the Commission for Social Care Inspection and am now retired. I owe you and Charles Bailey a debt of gratitude and I am delighted to see your posting which made me very happy indeed.


Philip Burnard: 21st Jul 2011 - 18:58 GMT

Hi Dev, Good to hear from you too and thank you for your kind comments. I hope you are well. Very best wishes, Philip

Vic Townsend,Qualified Plumber.: 22nd Jul 2011 - 18:53 GMT

Hi,I worked at Netherne Hospital for the Merstham Builder R.Whitakers in the early 60's as a Plumber.I plumbed in the New Nurses Building that was situated by the main access road.My favourite story was I used to go and fetch the Tea for the Builders every morning in a big aluminium billy can.I worked there for about 6months when I became very shall we say down.I went to my Doctors and he took blood from my arm.A few
days later I was summond to the Doctor and asked where I worked.When I told him "at the moment Netherne" he asked me if I drank the Tea from there."Yes was my reply".Can you tell them that the Tea is for your personal use and not the Patients.The man who worked in the Canteen was putting "Bromide"in the Tea for the patients.:o))

the cook: hi dev i notice that you retired? hehe

Simon Lam: 12th Aug 2011 - 20:26 GMT

Hi all you lovely Nethernites and especially Phillip Burnard. I was part of the team from 1975 to 1989 so for those of you who remembers me I wish you the best of greetings. I mentioned Phil's name because he was the one who introduced me to alcohol as a second year student nurse on Fletcher Ward !!! And yes I still drink. What a lovely piece of luck to find this site. I would love to hear from any of you who remembers me from Netherne. Like all of you I have moved on and now work in Forensic Psychiatry in Melbourne. I still keep in touch with Noel Duffy and I am please that he is keeping well and may he live to a 100 and more so that he can continue to wind others up as he did with me at Netherne. My e-mail address is I am also saddened but remember with fond memories of those colleagues who have passed away since those beautiful years when we were at Netherne.

the cook: 13th Aug 2011 - 21:35 GMT

i remember you kicking the bag in the trees early in the mornings ,when on my way to the kitchen from pinewood

the cook: 13th Aug 2011 - 21:36 GMT

i remember you kicking the bag in the trees early in the mornings ,when on my way to the kitchen from pinewood

Simon Lam: 18th Aug 2011 - 19:26 GMT

That was me alright when I was a spring chicken.

Philip Burnard: 18th Aug 2011 - 20:28 GMT

Hello Simon, I remember you very well and its good to hear from you again. I can't remember introducing you to alcohol on Fletcher ward, though! What a terrible thing to do - was it a Christmas party or something?

I hope you are enjoying life in Australia. I have been there a couple of times as a visiting professor and thought it was a beautiful country. I particularly liked Melbourne and Adelaide. Two very different cities.

I haven't been back to Netherne since it became a housing development but it would be interesting to see what it looks like now. All the best, Phil.

Simon Lam: 19th Aug 2011 - 16:46 GMT

Hi Philip

How lovely to hear from you. You are spot on about my baptism to alcohol. It was at my first Christmas party on Fletcher.
There were a few other partners in crime of whom their names I fail to recollect other than Joe the Mauritian Chinese.
It seems only like yesterday that I was on Fletcher but time has flown by 35 years !! I hope that you and your family are well and enjoying retirement. Netherne has been such a huge part of my life I do recollect it with very fond memories and I hope one day I will be able to walk its grounds again.

Warm Regards


the cook: 19th Aug 2011 - 18:40 GMT

joe el chino like the spanish just to call him is a policeman in the met and married with childrens

Dev: 21st Aug 2011 - 21:03 GMT

Anyone remembers Paco Espinosa? and do they know his whereabouts. As for the cook I know who you are.

Sally: 23rd Aug 2011 - 17:38 GMT

My Great-Grandmother was admitted there in the early part of the last century and died there in 1941. I am going to trace her burial through the Surrey History Centre tomorrow. Hopefully I can find out why she was admitted and if she is buried there.

Gemma Ingram: 26th Aug 2011 - 20:02 GMT

Hope you all find what you are looking for but be careful may be too much for you or your family. I know my uncle Derek Bateman died there in 1978 but not much else except his date of birth. Grateful for any info


Gemma Ingram: 26th Aug 2011 - 20:46 GMT

Hi Sally hope u you found out what you needed this is a really big thing you are doing be careful. Still not brave enough myself

Netherne during WWII: 27th Aug 2011 - 11:10 GMT

My mother worked at Netherne Emergency Hospital as a VAD during WWII. I know she was posted there during the spring of 1940 during the Battle of Britain, and that the hospital is close to Kenley Field, which was often the target of bombing raids. Her hearing was badly damaged when she was in surgery and a bomb hit the Nurses Home. I've learned that the Nurses Home at Netherne was hit, but the bomb did not explode and I don't know when this raid occurred. Does anyone know about that incident or other times the hospital was hit, or of people who were at Netherne during the war? I'm working on a project about my British family during WWII and will be grateful for any suggestions and leads. Thank you.

Barbara Lawrence

karen nielsen-hayes: 28th Aug 2011 - 16:42 GMT

i was a student nurse at Netherne in 1977. I remember Phillip Burnard as one of my tutors. I also remember Simon. I also
made a career in nurse education and still enjoy my work here in Arizona where I live with my American husband and family.
I have wonderful memories of Netherne. It was a huge part of my young life. Does anyone remember Ray Field? Debbie, Nigel and Dougie? Paula Hallyburton? Bob Kerr. I was a part of that crowd. I am still in contact with Ruth Bowmen, who still lives in London and we visit each other in our respective countries. My oldest friend!
take care everyone.

the cook: i still live in netherne he he

Simon Lam: 2nd Sep 2011 - 13:36 GMT

Hi Karen

I remember you now. Glad to know you are doing well and wish you all the best. I am visiting the States for the first time to L.A. and Vegas after winning a competition. Looking forward to it. I know Nigel & Dougie well too and others like John Monahan Coombes, Clive Miller and Angela. I still keep in touch with Noel Duffy who is doing well too. Everybody knows Duffy !
It would be nice if others like Leila Ramsarup," Sister " Chong and Rosemary of Hamilton & Mapother night staff could see this and get in touch. What memories. I also remember Brenda Hayes well.

paul southon: 4th Sep 2011 - 19:07 GMT

hi simon lam.. i just read your message u sent on my googlemail... i just txt my mum your email address. hows u?

Joe Conaghan: 4th Sep 2011 - 21:36 GMT

I worked at Netherne as a staff nurse from 1971 to 1973 and I too remember Joe Dicker, Noel Duffy, Maggie Naylor, John Pink, Julie Birmingham and Eddie McGaffney. I specifically remember Noel and Julie and the help that was always forthcoming from them for all staff. I learned well from these two. Great days at Netherne. I used to play and sing with the band in those days. But Netherne was a place of comfort and refuge for those who needed help - patients and staff. Great atmosphere and good nurse patient relationships in those days. Where have all the years gone? Where have all the good guys gone?? I am now 65 and retired but with fond memories.

Philip Burnard: 9th Sep 2011 - 08:45 GMT

Some things I remember about working at Netherne Hospital:
-Arriving on the first day and being taken to the male hostel. Wondering what I had let myself in for!
-Una Kroll, a psychiatrist who used to cycle down the long main corridor. She is now a (famous) priest.
-Working 7 days a week, before a day off - then one day off before being back on duty. A long weekend every 4th and 5th week.
-The training school and the tutors.
-All the wards I worked in during training
-My first charge nurse job on Fletcher Ward
-Being nervous about being transferred as a charge nurse to Lyttleton (the 'disturbed ward'), then loving it!
-Being asked to work in the school. I can even remember what I was doing that day! A life-changing one, as it turned out.
-The year, full time teacher training course at Garnet College, Putney. One of the best years of my life.
-Becoming an advocate of humanistic psychology and interpersonal skills training as a tutor in the school. Trying out all sorts of 'new' things as a tutor.
-Most of the students I worked with.
-Doing an MSc at Surrey Uni.
-Publishing my first book while working in the school.
-Going to the social club (near the graveyard), parties in the male hostel, sports days, impossibly long 'concerts' at Christmas (often going with patients to these concerts).
-Unhappy periods of serious illness.
-My leaving do, in the School and me and my family's departure to Wales and another stage of our lives.

the cook: 17th Sep 2011 - 17:20 GMT

thats is live philip !!but you dont remenber me doing your ommeletts in the call order eh!!

Dev: 18th Sep 2011 - 13:36 GMT

Your always cooking omellettes!! Spanish omellettes!! It's the only thing you cooked well, Miguel. HaHa, Lmao.x

Dev: 18th Sep 2011 - 13:47 GMT

We had a great cricket team that played in the Surrey Slazenger League 1 in the 80's and 90's. Also, we won competitions including the London Mental Hospital Sports Association Cup. This was a great sporting achievement for Netherne Cricket Team which had a big following amongst staff and patients. I remember on some Summer days patients would be so engrossed in the cricket that they would miss their meals and medications and they would refuse to return to the 'villas' until the end of the match.

the cook: maybe they dink like my cooking!!!!!hehe

Dev: 18th Sep 2011 - 20:31 GMT

Rolling on the floor/laughing my ass off!!! After all these years, it has finally dawned on me!! Patients chose cricket to your food!! I must add however, you made quality steak, egg with chips. Hmmmmm!!

Philip Burnard: 19th Sep 2011 - 13:44 GMT

I remember your ommlettes, Cook! They were soufle ones and they were excellent! Thank you!

Philip Burnard: 20th Sep 2011 - 19:13 GMT

With apologies, above, for the spelling!

Dev: Where is Rob Murray?

karen nielsen-hayes: 25th Sep 2011 - 04:38 GMT

Hi Simon, winning a competition to visit the States! That is very cool. Ofcourse I remember Noel Duffy. How is Clive Miller? I remember him as a really nice person. When are you coming to the states?

anon ( 3rd Oct 2011 - 11:42 GMT

i worked in netherne in 1961 started nurse training jan 1962 but left in the summer of 62 which i have regretted. i went to the mayday in croydon and did general nursing there. anyone remember joan clifford from dublin, sister horan from mayo, joan o neill from cork i h
ad a pts photo i962 but seem to have mislaid it. iremember m naylor and mr dicker. netherne staff were a lot more laid back than any of the general hospitals where i have worked . anne king nee clarke.

anon ( 8th Oct 2011 - 21:07 GMT

Hi Karen

Just returned from my trip to the States. What an experience!!! Shopping experience I mean. Bought no less than 48 pieces of clothing and I am a bloke. Can't blame me for getting CKs, Tommy Hillfigers and Izoids at one third the price in Australia. The Rockies, Vegas & Hawaii were just another planet. I am heading back there again next year. Though not travelling first class anymore as this time the funds come out of my bank unless I win another competition ! It's real good to catch up on the blog with all those associated with Netherne all those years ago and I hope more will see this and join in for the nostalgia. Great to see Phil Burnard's comments and his souffle omelette. I too remember my encounters with Laura when I had my shortened lunch and tea breaks trying to get my orders in...
" wait for your turn " !!! Nobody cross Laura. A wonderful lovely lady and I hope she's well. But then I have big Tony in the kitchen who always I mean always cook a mean steak with an egg on top! Good old Tony I hope you are well too. Good to catch up Karen and Phil. Stay in touch. I will be ringing Duffy soon and will convey all your regards to him.


Philip Burnard: 10th Oct 2011 - 03:53 GMT

Hi Simon. I'm glad you had a great holiday - it sounds wonderful. The USA certainly is a great place (or collection of places, I guess). It's good that you are going back next year. I have been a few times and we are also going back to Boston and New York next year.

Do give Noel Duffy my best wishes when you talk to him.


the cook: 10th Oct 2011 - 16:58 GMT

i am glad you liked my ommelettes phil,antonio still living in Jerez south spain an d dev just remember i just to hide the eggs under the chips went you where SKINT hehehe

Simon Lam: 15th Oct 2011 - 08:37 GMT

Hi Phil

You are right. The States awesome in some parts and I am looking forward to going back. Will convey your regards to Noel this weekend. As I write, Wales is holding France to a 3-3 draw in the rugby world cup in Auckland. Bet the Welsh are all glued to the box.



Netherne Hospital Cemetary: 24th Oct 2011 - 13:49 GMT

Great to see that work on the hospital's cemetary has really progressed and finally the resting place of many is being cared for.. :)

Netherne Hospital Cemetary: 24th Oct 2011 - 13:52 GMT

This link will get you to the article in the Caterham Indepdendant newspaper

Philip Burnard: 25th Oct 2011 - 07:52 GMT

Re above: It's good to see that St Lawrence's Hospital graveyard is being tidied up but that is a different hospital, some miles away from Netherne!

Netherne Hospital Cemetary: 25th Oct 2011 - 10:39 GMT

Oh heavens how silly of me.. Sorry everyone! So why cant they do the same for the one at Netherne.. Its in an even worse state..

Dave Dumbrell: 2nd Nov 2011 - 18:33 GMT

Hi Philip, remember me ? departed Netherne (1975) to venture into Community Mental Health, Bedfordshire then Kent. Social Services care management 1994 - 2006, then retirement.

Noted your progress through nursing academia over the years, however the one thing I clearly remember about yourself is me & Mrs D turning up at Redhill A&E with a two year old son suffering from a shoulder dislocation sustained during some centra-fugal force training (!!!!) The medic on duty clearly had this tagged as a non-accidental injury & I was already preparing myself for extended contact with social services when you appeared with the casual observation that I was a charge nurse at Netherne, so that was alright then ! so belatedly thanks for that. That infant, is now a detective constable ..... what do you make of that Professor ?



Dave Ramkhelawon: 3rd Nov 2011 - 10:55 GMT

Hi All
I just came to this site by accident.
I used to be a student nurse at Netherne from 1986 to 1989. My group was very small and there were four other student nurses: Carl Finch,Adrian Scanlon,Neil Doherty and Eileen Lindley.I remember you Phil as you signed one of your book that I purchased on Self Awareness.I have good memories of Netherne and wish you all well.

Philip Burnard: 4th Nov 2011 - 08:55 GMT

Hi, I remember you both, though I don't remember the incidents! I hope you are both well and that your son, DD, is doing well as a detective. All the best, Phil.

the cook: 5th Nov 2011 - 18:03 GMT

i remember carl.adrian,neil,ect ect .i just to feed then all in the canteen hahaha

liam o'toole: 6th Nov 2011 - 20:08 GMT

hi, came across this by accident! i used to hang out up there in the 80's, it was cool!!!

andrew makin- ex kitchen superintendant(1982- 88: 8th Nov 2011 - 08:41 GMT

Tut=Tut cook hiding the eggs under the chips for Phil, and you honestly think that all knowing all seeing Laura (Griggs)dining room supervisor - didn`t know what you were doing. Snoopy

the cook: 20th Nov 2011 - 18:03 GMT

andy hope you and you family are well ,by the way you comment make me laugh hahahaha

Dave R: 21st Dec 2011 - 15:09 GMT

I wish you all a merry Christmas and a very happy new year 2012.

paul southon: 24th Dec 2011 - 08:26 GMT

hello every one on happy xmas eve.. have a nice day..

paul southon: 24th Dec 2011 - 08:28 GMT

also.. if any one on here knows me..
my email address.. i got 2..

paul southon: 31st Dec 2011 - 23:17 GMT

happy new year 2012 to every one who using this site
have a nice one

Philip Burnard: 3rd Jan 2012 - 09:23 GMT

Hello Frank, I remember you very well and its good to hear from you after all these years. You are right, I did work on Gilpin Ward as a student, but it wasn't my first ward. That was Furzefield Villa. It was good to be reminded of all those other people too. I hope you are well and have a great New Year.

chris emms: 8th Jan 2012 - 00:16 GMT

does any one now if the old netherne gate pictured above is still there? I am currently writing a screen play based on netherne and think that a shot of the old gate would be a great addition to the film?


Chris Emms

( my grandfather was in Netherne for around 30 years until it's closure)

Jilly Penegar: 11th Jan 2012 - 16:43 GMT

Hi, I worked at Netherne in the Print Department for a couple of years in the late 80s - there are some names on here that I remember, anyone remember me? Is the book by George Frogley still available? He was a great guy to work for. Plenty of good laughs in the print dept.

Karen Nielsen Hayes: 14th Jan 2012 - 02:56 GMT

Hi Simon, I am so glad you enjoyed the States! We spent Christmas in Vegas this year and then went to the Grand Canyon (where we were married years ago) for a couple of days. You are right, stuff is cheaper here! I saw Ruth Bowman in November when I was back in England. Nice to read your posts. Phil, nice to hear a little of your memories too! I might try and visit Netherne next time I go over. Take care...

Philip Burnard: 14th Jan 2012 - 10:24 GMT

It is good to hear from you, too, Karen. I still remember, with embarrassment, letting my car run backwards and into the front of yours! Hope you are well and enjoying life.

the cook : 15th Jan 2012 - 18:05 GMT

Well!!! the recreation hall had been restored, is now the village hall hahaha

Bob Kerr: 15th Jan 2012 - 22:12 GMT

Just happened to be browsing/thinking of of life 35 years ago when i too trained at Netherne as a psychiatric nurse ('77 - 81)& what ever happened to everyone when i stumbled across this site!
Remember those days very clearly -I was in Karen's class, remember Simon & Phil(Jazz piano player but never actually heard him play)
After fully training gave it all up, re-located to the south coast to run a decorating & building company (Able to use skills with some clients!)
Enjoyed playing in the hospital dance band, pantomimes.Unfortunately gave up the music, ....marriage, family & all that.........until 4 years ago mate started up a 7 piece soul band invited me to in 7th
heaven.... had a load of lessons from top pro & now blowing my own trumpet. Check us out
Regards to all, all the best. Bob Kerr.

imelda bures: 19th Jan 2012 - 22:21 GMT

well , hello Philip Burnard, I have so many fond memories of you at Netherne-the happy times at the social club and how you played the old piano with gusto!!Good to read your career progression in nurse teaching to Professor. Wow. Please give my best wishes to Sally and family and wishing you a very happy retirement.

Philip Burnard: 20th Jan 2012 - 11:06 GMT

Hello Imelda and thank you for your kind thoughts. I hope you are well and enjoying life. Our time at Netherne was certainly an interesting and mostly happy one. All the best.

wendy mortimer: 7th Feb 2012 - 00:28 GMT

update on netherne cemetery. adrian falkes and myself have had a meeting with the new manager of this place, of netherne management ltd. there is an awful lot to sort out with the archbishop of canterbury/boundary rights/farmers land/and the money to landscape the cemetery.hopefully going to apply for lottery grant through english heritage.there are many forgotten soldiers in this cemetery /also my great aunt is buried there she was frances mabel mortimer died 1916 epilepsy/idiot(known as mabel).one day in the future we will need volunteers to help with this project. if you want more info please contact me at (in remembrance i tied poppies and a palm cross on the netherne gates cemeterty on 4th feb 2012) BLOOMING COLD DAY LOL

wendy mortimer: i can't spell either .lol cemetery

Kendra Bean: 10th Feb 2012 - 13:24 GMT

Hi everyone,

I'm currently doing a book on the actress Vivien Leigh, who was a patient at Fairdene Hospital for a few weeks in 1953 and was treated by the famous Dr. Freudenberg. I'm wondering if there is anyone still around who worked there or at Netherne during or around this time. I'm trying to get a better sense of Vivien's time there and of mental health treatment in general in the 1950s. If you have any info I'd love to hear from you. Please get in touch at! Thanks in advance!

anne king nee clarke: 27th Feb 2012 - 12:50 GMT

hello kendra i worked in netherne in i961 1962 long after vivien leigh had been there but some of the nurses used to still talk about her. according to them she spent a lot of time walking up and down the ward cursing and swearing,had her own food brought in and was very tempermental. idont know any more than that. patients were generally treated well when i was there there were some locked wards.they were doing the ect treatment then and insulin therapy. ihated seeing the ect treatment.hope u can find out more. regards anne

chris emms: 2nd Mar 2012 - 22:08 GMT

Dear All,
I am currently producing and directing a play based around Netherne and other institutions like it which will be performed in London at the end of October. We are currently looking for any former staff or patients from Netherne to come forward and share some of their experiences of what life was like. If you would be interested in getting involved in this exciting production please email me at or call me on 07742603118.


Christopher Emms

Project Director

lianne king 5th Mar 2012 - 12:35 GMT

i was working in netherne in 1961 and 1962. in the main corridor there was a horrific painting hanging on the wall it was of a farm yard in which a horse was being speared by a pitch fork weilding man. the animals blood was pouring from its back.being an animal lover i was horrified every time i passed by it.does anyone remember it or what happened to it. i was told that the person who painted it had witnessed the actual scene.i dont know if that was true, icertainly hope not.anne king

Marilyn Clement: 5th Mar 2012 - 12:56 GMT

I just stumbled across your websited and wondered if anyone remembers my father Douglas Clement. He was in Netherne for most of his adult life being admitted in his mid twenties and never really coming out. He was one of the last patients to leave when the hospital closed down and was initially put into a community house in Woodhatch but then transferred to a retirement home shortly before his 65th birthday. He found life in the outside world very difficult to handle and passed away just after his birthday. I would love to hear from anyone who can remember him.

Kendra : 7th Mar 2012 - 10:00 GMT

@Anne King--Thanks for the information, Anne. That description of Vivien at the time sounds pretty accurate from what I've read. I know she was there involuntarily for a week and stayed on as a voluntary patient for another two. She was getting sleep treatments from Freudenberg and of course ECT, but awoke from the sleep treatments earlier than anticipated. Freudenberg said that when she first started treatment she alternated quite often between her normal sweetness and horrible aggression. From what I understand from my research, it sounds like Laurence Olivier paid for her to have exclusive treatment and that she wasn't meant to mingle with the other patients on the ward since she was only there a short time before receiving private treatment at home in Buckinghamshire.

Kendra : 7th Mar 2012 - 10:41 GMT

@Anne King--Also, do you have any idea what ward Vivien stayed in? Thanks for your help!

Una Kroll : 8th Mar 2012 - 13:30 GMT

I came across this whilst searching for good walks up on Farthing Downs, still a favourite place after the 40+ years since I lived in the grounds of Netherne Hospital as a young child. I am the daughter of Dr Una Kroll who was a psychiatrist at Netherne; Philip Burnard mentions her in an earlier post as cycling down the long corridor of the hospital! Thanks to Philip for a wonderful image, it made me laugh and you won't be surprised to hear that I can just imagine it! We only spent a year at Netherne in 69/70 but as a child it had everything, we ran wild in the countryside, there were derelict houses to explore, lots of wildlife etc Oh and it felt very safe (somehow the occasional escapee provided excitement for us kids rather than fear, possibly the childish love of the underdog grasping their freedom!) ....I feel terrible saying it because you have to feel some sympathy for the patients of the hospital, but I have some of my fondest memories of my childhood from that year at Netherne. I haven't been back to the area since it was pulled down but its been fascinating to read all the stories on here, I think I may take a detour from my walk on Farthing Downs to visit the old place again.

Wendy Mortimer, if you get the funding I would be happy to volunteer to clear the old cemetery and will mail you with my details and Christopher Emms, I will speak to my Mum about whether she would like to contribute or you may like some memories of children who lived there?? will mail you.

Philip Burnard: 8th Mar 2012 - 18:50 GMT

Hello Una, thank you very much for your post. I have very fond and distinct memories of your mother cycling down the main corridor! She was also an excellent and caring psychiatrist; qualities that were not always seen together at that time.

As for the Vivien Leigh post that she 'wasn't meant to mingle with the other patients on the ward' - this leaves me cold. The 'other patients' were just as much suffering human beings as she was, no more and certainly no less. I believe her stay was in Fairdene Hospital.

Imelda Bures: 8th Mar 2012 - 19:30 GMT

On the subject of Vivian Leigh, I knew both nurses who were assigned to care for her during her short stay at netherne--they were both sisters and Irish. ( i am sure some will know who they were!) As ward sisters they would tell us (Student Nuses) some fascinating stories about Vivian -how beautiful she looked even though she was quite ill at the time. Laurence Olivier visited frequently and both sisters were taken to Church in his rolls royce on Sundays. Apparently Vivian wrote to one of the sisters following her discharge from hospital and invited her over to the US but alas the offer was not accepted I understand.Vivian was nursed in Fairdene East during her stay.

Kendra : 10th Mar 2012 - 13:29 GMT

@Philip and Imelda--Thanks for the info. I thought Fairdene opened in 1954? According to the Surrey History Centre where her admissions records are still on file, Vivien Leigh was admitted to Netherne on March 20, 1953 and was discharged on April 13 before being transferred to University College Hospital for another two weeks. I meant no offense by saying "she wasn't meant to mingle with the other patients." It's just that from my research, it sounds like Olivier arranged exclusive treatment for her, that she was seen by nurses but got most of her treatment from Dr. Freudenberg. There are no references anywhere of her participating in any group activities or striking up relationships with other patients. Of course, this very well could have happened, but no one has ever published anything about it and I haven't been able to find anything in archives that mention it.

It's interesting what you say about Olivier being a frequent visitor, Imelda. He actually spent a majority of the time while Vivien was at Netherne in Italy. Letters from Freudenberg to Olivier that are now in the British Library confirm this. According to Olivier in his autobiography, her "sleep treatment" was meant to last for at least 3 weeks and that no visitors were allowed to see or call her during this time. But she supposedly woke up earlier than expected and couldn't understand why he wasn't there when this happened. I know Olivier wrote his book during a time when he was much older and quite ill, so comparing actual documents to what he wrote and what other people have written about the situation in order to piece together what actually happened hasn't been the easiest.

But I really appreciate everyone's insight and find it very helpful. Do you know whether the two sisters who were her nurses may still be alive? Do you have any recollections of Dr. Freudenberg himself? Olivier seemed to think he treated Vivien well.

Kendra : 10th Mar 2012 - 13:38 GMT

To add to the above comment, I just read Fairdene was opened in the 1930s as a voluntary admissions hospital. My comment about 1954 comes from an informational brochure called 'Introducing Fairdene" that was given to me by the Surrey Hisory Centre. I know Vivien Leigh was forcibly committed in the first instance and after a week agreed to stay on for a while as a voluntary patient so the order didn't have to be extended (letters from Freudenberg to Olivier). Do you think it's possible she could have been transferred to Fairdene? Or were both Netherne and Fairdene collectively referred to by the same name?

Philip Burnard: 10th Mar 2012 - 16:01 GMT

I can only say that when I became a student nurse in 1969 the two were known as 'Netherne and Fairdene Hospital'. The Fairdene wards were known as 'acute admission wards' but were always part of the larger Netherne Hospital. Most people, admitted for the first time, would be admitted to the Fairdene wards or to another part of the hospital known as John Reid House. This was both a day hospital and an acute admission ward. I don't remember when JRH became an acute admission ward and I can't remember why some people would be admitted to JRH and some to the four Fairdene Wards (North, South, East and West).

the cook : 10th Mar 2012 - 18:42 GMT

we had another small hospital oposite JRH but i cant remeber the name

Philip Burnard: 11th Mar 2012 - 09:09 GMT

That wasn't a hospital, Cook, it was Pendleswood Villa, a large, long stay unit.

lianne king 12th Mar 2012 - 11:08 GMT

hi kendra ialso remember the two sisters who looked after vivian lee.they were still there in i962 and possibly long after that.they were defintetly is so frustating i cannot remember their names.the one that i worked with very kindly provided treats for us student nurses on st patricks day 1962. i do not know what ward viv lee was in. i left netherne in 1962. i regret that. close relatives were ashamed that i was working there, that was the attitude of some people then anne king

mrs j. mcgarvey : 13th Mar 2012 - 19:26 GMT

the two sisters on fairdene in the late fifties may have been the barret sisters.

Simon Lam: 14th Mar 2012 - 06:53 GMT

Hi Marilyn

I remember your father very well and fondly.I was a student nurse and subsequently a staff nurse on the upstairs ward where he was on. The name of the ward is at the tip of my tongue but just can,t remember it at the moment. I am sure it will come to me.Medication that we have now were not available then to effectively relieved him of his symptoms which was sad to see his affliction.

Hi Imelda, good to read your write ups on this website. Gee, you go back a long way with Vivien Leigh ! I trust you and family are well.

Imelda Bures: 15th Mar 2012 - 07:35 GMT

Hi Simon , Thank you for your kind words and hope you are well. May I put the record straight! I dont remember Vivian Leigh--that was well before my time ! . I remember both ward sisters who cared for her (in their younger years) in Fairdene.

Philip, yes JRH became an acute admission unit in , I think 1969 . It also had a mother and baby unit and Fairdene remained an admission and longer stay unit.Prior to becomming an acute unit JRH was a "Top level Rehabilitation unit where most of the patients were in mainstream employment in the community.This was in preparation for eventual discharge and an independent lifestyle.They paid a weekly rent for board and lodgings and the only staff there were a Sister and Charge Nurse with the occasional Student nurse on placement.

Philip Burnard: 15th Mar 2012 - 09:11 GMT

Hi Imelda. Good to hear from you again and I hope you are well. Thanks for the added information. I didn't know about the history of John Reid House. I can remember other wards that only had a sister or charge nurse. I always thought it must have been a very lonely life!

The cook: 15th Mar 2012 - 17:20 GMT

Vivien Leigh was looked after in John Reid House, after a breakdown from Flying from America to England and she was admitted to JRH for 6 weeks. My wife remembers reading Vivien Leigh,s book(Do not remember the Author). Phillip did you get in touch with Antonio in the end. And Imelda you have an abundance of memories of Netherene,just like my wife.I remember you as well Simon Lam, doing your kicking on the trees(Near the criket field) in the early hours of the morning before coming to the kitchen.

FRANK ZUMPANO 15TH MAR 2012- 20:05 GMT: 15th Mar 2012 - 19:11 GMT


Simon Lam: 19th Mar 2012 - 04:33 GMT

Hi Cook

You have a long memory. I would be lucky if I can get my feet across a foot stool now. Alas Those were the days ! Still, it's good to know so many of my colleagues from Netherne like you are well. It's great to here from you guys on this site. I normally get my news from Noel Duffy. Yes I still keep in touch with him ! Somebody has to remind him what a lousy boss he was to me !!

Hi Frank, I remember you too but I can't remember if you were the one who drove a Fiat 128.

Simon Lam: 19th Mar 2012 - 04:39 GMT

Hi All
Apology for my spelling and grammer earlier ! Never mind the physical exercise of stepping over the foot stool, my English has also deteriorated ! Just as well I did have much empathy for those I cared for when I was in my prime. I could be seen as alaughing stock for Gen Y now.

FRANK ZUMPANO 19TH MAR 2012- 17:50 GMT: 19th Mar 2012 - 16:58 GMT

Hi Simon. Nothing wrong with your memory, yes that was me that drove a fiat 128, being an italian i had to, i see that you live in Australia now and that you're doing well, i have retired for some time now and live in the south of spain, Andalucia, to be exact. keep well my friend and lets continue this blog on good old Netherne.

Marilyn Clement: 24th Mar 2012 - 22:04 GMT

Hi Simon,

Thank you so much for your reply. I have so many unanswered questions about my father, I am not even aware of what his affliction was. So little was told to me as a child. Would we be able to talk via email please? My email is . Alternitvely if you posted your email address on this site I could email you initially.

Thanks so much


Marilyn Clement: 24th Mar 2012 - 22:04 GMT

Hi Simon,

Thank you so much for your reply. I have so many unanswered questions about my father, I am not even aware of what his affliction was. So little was told to me as a child. Would we be able to talk via email please? My email is . Alternitvely if you posted your email address on this site I could email you initially.

Thanks so much


Kendra : 26th Mar 2012 - 11:47 GMT

@The Cook--According to Vivien Leigh's admissions records, she was at Netherne for 3 weeks before being transfered to University College Hospital for another 2 weeks. Laurence Olivier then took her home to Buckinghamshire where she received home visits, with the occasional trip back down to Surrey for ECT by Dr. Freudenberg.

Simon Lam: 26th Mar 2012 - 22:21 GMT

Hi Frank

Half your luck ( Aussie slang ) that you are retired and I hope enjoying many more years of good healthy living. What a beautiful place in Spain you are in. I am hoping to visit Spain when I next plan a European trip during my long service leave. I am enjoying the beautiful weather and the multicultural community of Melbourne. Work is very challenging in forensic psychiatry which keeps me motivated and on my toes. Marilyn, I shall contact you on your e-mail that you have posted on my days off. Keep well to all my memorable colleagues at Netherne and also those who are now overseas like Karen.

The cook: hi Frank como estais todos

FRANK ZUMPANO: 01ST APR 2012-10:35 GMT: 1st Apr 2012 - 08:43 GMT


stephen turner: hi did any films made there

Simon Lam: 15th Apr 2012 - 17:07 GMT

Hi Marilyn

I wrote to you on your personal e-mail over two weeks ago about your father. I am just wondering if you had received it.

The cook: 17th Apr 2012 - 16:32 GMT

hi Frank i haven seen you oround here for a long time,how is you son he must be in his late twentys my younger is 30 yrs old and got his own contructions binness, and my elders just pass his police impestor examm

Jodie & Paige: 22nd Apr 2012 - 14:21 GMT

we've lived here for a few years and theres been a few people who have seen a little girl in the forest with a skipping rope ... we was thinking it might have been the girl that was burried over in the grave yard.

The cook: 22nd Apr 2012 - 15:28 GMT

i live here for 38 years and never seen nothing like that

Michelle: 5th May 2012 - 22:24 GMT

Hi All

Im desperate for some information!:

If you worked at Netherne between 1979 and 1982 I would be extremely grateful to hear from you especially if you remember a pair of identical twins (black): Janet & Jennifer Williams, I think they were trainee nurses, I do know they were living in, they would of been about 17 when they started. If you do remember them please leave me a post or if sensitive my email;

Thank you

anon ( 5th May 2012 - 22:42 GMT

Does anyone Remember an Italian male nurse called Mario? Worked there late 70's early 80's.

Simon Lam: 6th May 2012 - 17:21 GMT

Hi Martin

Where are you these days and what are you up to? After all these years I can now tell you that it was authentic dog meat that you had consumed in Soho.It was not a poodle but a red setter ! I bet the price has gone up these days. Good to hear from you on this post. Would love to know where Pedro is these days and also Marilyn our Carribean mama with the infectious laugh. The last I heard from my mate Noel Duffy, Paco Espinosa returned to Spain.... probably money laundering!
Have also been wondering how " Sister Chong and Sister Leila Ramsarup are doing " ? What lovely memories of Netherne.

andrew makin- ex kitchen superintendant(1982- 88): 11th May 2012 - 08:23 GMT

Nice to read all the comments and friendly banter, and people remembering their time at Netherne.There was supposed to be a ghost in the kitchen,or some sort of strange apparition in white.Was it a ghost or just COOK doing some work between all his meetings to "discuss the menu"? Hope anybody who worked at Netherne and remembers me are all okay. I am going to try to make a pilgrimage down to Netherne sometime this year, good health and time permitting.

The cook: 13th May 2012 - 11:14 GMT

hi simon,pedro went back to spain, married and got a fsmily,Marilyn works at Broompark nursing home and is well ,Sister chong retired,so leila,and paco yes back in spain,Mark clanaham,is Director of forensic at Springfield hospital,Rob Murrey is the same at Broadmore hospital,Dave weir still living in Coulsdon

anon ( 25th May 2012 - 22:05 GMT

Does anyone remember my father Arthur Buchanan? Dad worked in the kitchen until his early death in 1981. My mother, Gloria Buchanan worked as a nurse, and was one of the very last working before Netherne's closure. Sadly, Mum died here in France in February 2011. My brother Dave Buchanan was a DJ who entertained many, many discos at the football club and at Chipstead club.

Simon Lam: 26th May 2012 - 12:41 GMT

Hi Cook

Thanks for the info. Must see if I can get in touch with the likes of marilyn & Sister Chong. Good to hear that all others are doing well and also yourself. Now there are many cooks I know from the kitchen and who couldn't remember or miss Tony Gunther !!?? You would not be him would you ?

Hello Andrew-Makin. Good to hear from you and that you are well. I hope many more Netherneites will get on this blog and keep in touch. Keep those hairy ghost stories coming. I have heard much about Fairdene and even the male nursing home. Spooky !

The cook: try the spanish cook who makes good ommeletts

The cook: 26th May 2012 - 16:45 GMT

how can i forget mr buchanan and gloria,sorry tohear you brother dave and you mum die,how is paul doing,he justo go alot to my wife mary house

The cook: 30th May 2012 - 17:39 GMT

hi Simon,sadly many people who you knew from netherne die in last few years.Mr carter,joy lardswood,Mary walker,jimmy mare,and few more.

martin miller: 30th May 2012 - 20:24 GMT

Hi Simon/cook You remembered our Soho meal[at last I know!]. After leaving Netherne I retrained as a social worker and specialised in learning disabilities.I retired last year hence time to check out websites like this [and very good it is too].Do u know if Pedro still lives in La Linea?

andrew makin- ex kitchen superintendant(1982- 88): 31st May 2012 - 11:11 GMT

I didn't know Arthur Buchanan,but I took over his post after he passed away,and wasn't it a hard act to follow.All I got was for the first few months was "Arthur did't do it like this",or "Mr Buchanan did't do it like that". He was certainly a legend and it seemed to me a very well respected person, and as I say a hard act to follow. Hi to Simon Lam, thanks for your good wishes. And cook don't forget "snoopy" has always got his eye on you,ha ha!!

Simon Lam: 31st May 2012 - 13:31 GMT

Hi Guys ( Cook, Martin, Andrew-Makin and others )

This site is beginning to be my weekly highlight when I am working ( yes still working!). It is so refreshing
and rejuvinating reading the banters. Makes me feel young again.Delusional I know.
Anyway, cook I reflect back to those who have passed on with terrific memories albeit with sadness. It was always a delight to see Joy Larwood at the " money office ". She was such a delightful lady. And what experience I had with Jimmy Mare as my charge nurse. God bless his soul. Anyone knows the whereabouts of our lovely German brunette in the kitchen S.S. Laura. Boy, did she kept us in line queing up for food !! Our toes got chopped just being slightly off line or our ears got a bashing anyway.
What about Jack Hazard ? The last I heard he was back where the hemlocks were.
Martin - good to hear you are enjoying the fruit of success now being retired and I hope you have many more years of good health to enjoy it. Cook - I sure miss your omelettes. It's been bloody 23 years ! Keep well all you good people.

anon ( 3rd Jun 2012 - 11:22 GMT

simon what year were you at netherne

catherine gibbs: 3rd Jun 2012 - 11:24 GMT

does anyone remember the rco cleaners in the mid 80s

Vonni Wood: 3rd Jun 2012 - 22:41 GMT

Hi there...was anyone who has commented above, at the hospital between 1950 and 1965 please?

The cook: 4th Jun 2012 - 11:32 GMT

hi simon/martin/snoopy/etc.yes laura griggs is well she was partialy blind the last time i saw her, but she had an operation, she lives in BLETCHLEY, neom Andy rear Godstone,snoopy you took over from Andy revees not Mr Buchanan,Martin yes my cousin Pedro still lives in La linea married and got few children

Simon Lam: 7th Jun 2012 - 18:26 GMT

Hi anon

I was at Netherne from 1975 to 1989. Sorry Vonni, 50 & 65 were years before my time. Hope you get a response.
Thanks cook for info on Laura. Please wish her well for me if you ever see her.

andrew makin- ex kitchen superintendant(1982- 88): 9th Jun 2012 - 07:43 GMT

Thanks for the info cook,I had forgotten about Andy,it was a long time ago but I do remember that I "didn't do it somebody's way", and I remember that Mr Buchanan was thought a lot of. Glad to hear that Laura is still with us, she was like a second mother to a lot of staff, a hard exterior but underneath a heart of gold.Good memories.

The cook: 9th Jun 2012 - 11:01 GMT

yeap i will keep you all informed of anything happenning here at NETHERNE cos i still live here

Vonni Wood: 9th Jun 2012 - 23:25 GMT

Thank you Simon for your response...desperate for information between those two years and if anyone can help I'd be really grateful. Trying to track my Sisters mother who was a patient at Netherne.

Simon Lam: 12th Jun 2012 - 19:19 GMT

Hi Vonni

Just a thought. Miss Brueghe the French sister well known at Netherne may well be at Netherne around the mid 60s if anyone knows where she is? The other person would be Noel Duffy. I have been trying to ring him without much luck. Will keep trying.

Karen Nielsen-Hayes: 14th Jun 2012 - 04:37 GMT

Hey Simon, I remember that French sister. She strung red, white and blue decorations all over the villa ( i can't remember which one) and said " eet ees Bastille Day, Bastille Day!" Ha!
Hi Bob! it is wonderful to see you on here. I loved watching you play. I also remember Southview and you practicing your trumpet in the room next door! Do you remember my little cat, " Lucy"? She lived to be 22 years old!
So glad to hear you are playing in a band again, especially a soul band... my favourites. I live here in Arizona with my husband and family. I am a part time nursing instructor in the local community college and I also have an art degree and I paint mostly oils.
Have you ever heard from Paula Hallyburton or any of our old crowd. Lovely to hear of you. Karen

Vonni Wood: 14th Jun 2012 - 08:58 GMT

Hi Simon...Thank you so much for your information...a name and a lead is progress indeed as it has taken me twenty years to get to this point in my search. It would be great if you were able to contact Noel Duffy and I would very much appreciate you trying again. Any information that I can obtain from around that time will be very gladly received as it will all help to build up a picture of Maud Wood and of the Hopsital around that time, as far as how patients were brought there..I understand that Maud was brought from Redhill General Hospitalto Netherne,to whether the patients were allowed out of the grounds without supervision and the kind of measures in place to prevent patients leaving if they wanted to but were too sick to leave.Just about anything would be great really, but especially any information regarding the lady named Maud Wood. My email address is should you manage to contact Noel and you feel he may be able to help. As for Miss Brueghe, the french sister, does anyone know of her whereabouts now please??...and also her christian name ?? It sound as if it was a place to make memories at Netherne...good and bad Im sure, but its lovely to read about everyones thoughts here. Although I am searching for information about my sisters Mother, Maud Wood, my own Mother Joan Hawkins, was also a patient at Netherne for a while in the late 70's and early 80's. I do remember vistiting her in the day room, with chairs all around the edge of the room, and a kind of kitchen just off of the room. My mothers own room, If memory serves me correctly was a round shape and I recall her talking about padded rooms being close by and also ECT. She produced art work, and made raffia edged trays as part of her therapy although I dont remember what happened to them. I look foward to hearing from you again Simon, and thank you. Vonni x

Vonni Wood: 14th Jun 2012 - 09:12 GMT

Hi Karen...Do you remember which year it was that you remember Miss Brueghe stringing up Red white and blue decorations? Im assuming it was to celebrate French national day...Bastille Day...Which is 14th July ? Thanks in anticipation...Regards..Vonni

Philip Burnard: 14th Jun 2012 - 13:57 GMT

Much as people want to know about the past, it has to be remembered that health care professionals have a legal duty to hold information about patients in confidence. This also continues after someone's death. Vonni, this may not be the appropriate forum for finding out about your relatives.

Vonni Wood: 14th Jun 2012 - 23:17 GMT

Thanks Philip...I appreciate your comments and I am actively following other leads too. As well as tracing relatives, Im also interested in the hospital and its history, to gain background information. Its one thing to read articles about it, but so much livelier to hear peoples memories of their time there.

daniel jack wilde age 7: 26th Jun 2012 - 16:05 GMT

my dad works on stone house mental hospital and the piano is still in working order. he said it is really really good i beleive most of the things were there. and i'd like to go up there myself i would but it would be a 4 hour drive beacuase our home town is skelmersdale and i dont like travelling.

Karen Nielsen-Hayes: 7th Jul 2012 - 01:06 GMT

Vonni, I am sorry I don't know which year it was. I wasn't actually on the villa when it happened. One of my friends told me aout it in the evening of Bastille day.

Vince: 9th Jul 2012 - 22:34 GMT

hi, I was admitted to Netherne in 1985 after an attempted suicide. I was 18 at the time. I suffered severe memory loss due to my actions and have few memories of my time at Netherne. I remember the milk dispensers in the corridors. It always seemed to be sunny and I am sure there was a conservatory with a record player in. There were some Elvis records that I played on it. I felt very safe there and quite enjoyed myself. I think one of the male nurses was called Paul. He gave my parents his contact details when I was discharged but I never got in contact. I have never been back to Netherne although I work quite nearby. I almost drove up the lane from the A23 to it once but I turned round when I realised where I was. I don't remember any names of the nurses. There was another inmate who I got along with well. He was suffering from drug use and all he could talk about wasthe 1970's and going to concerts. We had a shared interest in music and we got on well. Good luck to everyone who has worked there or has been a patient, it gave me time to get back on track.

martin miller: 10th Jul 2012 - 15:51 GMT

Hi Cook I think I'll surprise Pedro and send him an E mail with an old photo as attachment.Do you have any contact details? My E mail address is if you can help.I have his parents address from when I was over there but as it is nearly 30 years ago it probably is no longer valid.Hoping you can help

YTS Student: 10th Jul 2012 - 20:55 GMT

1st YTS student placement,mid 80's.. OMG..for some reason I was thinking of my time at Netherne & thought I'd 'google' it & discovered this blog..Noel Duffy,Simon L,Philip B,various cooks..I remember you all !!! I remember Dermot H, he told the landlord at the club he'd been serving under aged young ladies,cheers Dermot !! My first month or so was on Edward Ward with Sister Bubbles..I remember her once saying'No this place will never close,there are far too many patients to re-home'. I remember working in J.Reid house,Larkswood,Harpswood to name a few...being called into Dave Kings office after a noisy weekend party having used the fire extinguishers, great times.. I recall Derek the Sheriff & his newspaper rounds..who was the character that directed the traffic around the main entrance ??? The Xmas parties were particularly wild,especially the maintenance dept !! Good times :)

David McEwan: 13th Jul 2012 - 16:31 GMT

I am trying to obtain a copy of A Pictorial History of Netherne Hospital by John C Welch and George Frogley (published 1993). Can anyone help? David McEwan. Email address:

anon ( 19th Jul 2012 - 20:50 GMT

David, I have George's e maill address but not with me. e mail me at and I will forward it to you

the cook: anon r u paul buchanan??

Andrew Makin - Kitchen Superintendant ( 1982 - 88 ): 16th Aug 2012 - 05:28 GMT

No postings for nearly a month,has everybody gone on holiday (I had mine in a damp Devon,in June,in our touring caravan)or have you all been too busy watching Team G.B.? I remember playing bowls for Netherne in L.M.H.S.A. competitions,not quite the same thing though.I suppose that the bowls club at Netherne is no more,it was a lovely setting up there on the greens on a nice summers evening.-

Niamh O'toole : 16th Aug 2012 - 15:49 GMT

I live in Netherne and its very differnt now and i personally have seen no ghosts ... yet but i have heard stories about ghosts beeing seen xxxxxx

leo mcgarvey: 18th Aug 2012 - 19:44 GMT

Hi Andre,with reference to the bowling green and the cricket pavilion they both have been demolished.There is still a cricket team playing there,they built there own prefabricated bulding,The bowling green sadly has become over grown.I took my dog for a walk there this evening,cricketers were siting in the shade haveing a drink and there children playing on the green in the evening sun,bringing back wonerful memories of the sixties and seventies

Nicky sedgwick: 27th Aug 2012 - 13:40 GMT

I used to stable my horse at woodplace farm where the field backed onto the cemetry,during the school holidays my friend and i decided to sleep the night in one of the stables "brilliant fun"untill i was awoken by what looked like a very tall lady with long dark hair just standing at the base of our sleeping bags,i dont no if this was just an eleven year olds over active and probably over tired imagination or she was real and was watching over us i will never no but i often think about it.

Nicky sedgwick: 27th Aug 2012 - 14:39 GMT

ps if anyone has experienced anything simular i would be really interested as even though this happened thirty odd years ago i have never forgotten it.

Andrew Makin - Kitchen Superintendant ( 1982 - 88 ): 29th Aug 2012 - 04:42 GMT

Thanks Leo, such a shame about the bowling green. Wally (Larwood) used to keep the greens in such a beautiful condition,-it did help that a member of the bowls club worked on the ground keeping side.

Sid Berman: Rather fascinating comments.

Charn Singh: 9th Sep 2012 - 02:33 GMT

It is with great fond memories that I read this site and the postings....I trained at netherne 1971-1973 and worked at various very first experience was at broadwood villa with the great caring man mr.tom bell as my charge nurse...anyone remember him..what a mentor and gentle person he was...I was also a charge nurse opposite Phil Burnard at Lyttleton might recollect some of the challenging moments we had with some of our trying clients...Alas...we survived i think we cared well for our then left for the school as a tutor and I was fortunate enough to secure a scholarship to undertake the cognitive behavior theraphy course at graylingwell hosp...and returned to work as the very first cbt therapist at the psychology dept until we left for Australia in 1987....
Hi Simon,I too am in Melbourne as an academic at monash university do call me on 99044205 or email me at we played hockey and badminton for netherne..the inter hospital games were you remember my badminton partner rajamanikam...was a mate of mine too with tony Martin..we had some great times with the Irish mafia playing hockey with great blokes like dermot Hennessy...the famous club secretary...John keoh who sweared like a trooper on
the field ..John scanlan our goalkeeper..and our mixed team with Julie as our keeper..amongst others girls like Jane Jackson, Mary, Christine garnet etcc...etc..what a team it was...I still have our hockey team photograph and will post it soon..the Irish boys adopted me as the browned off Irishman and introduced me to soccer supporting crystal palace..I went along with them for many games to selhurst park...those will be always cherished moments!!!!
I too am in touch with the one and only Noel fact we returned to netherne two years ago after 23 years and I had a tear in my eye to find it all changed...met up with noel at his house and believe it or not wife Jessie and I knocked on your including John Howley' s door but both of you were not in......missed you guys...maybe next time...
Hi Imelda I have fond memories of you, Phil Burnard, mr Murray, Tom bell, Shan Suleiman, Neville halliburton, Julie Birmingham, nev Hussein, sam poulley, the Barrett sisters, name a few....I also played cricket for netherne with the horrock of them Jim used to drive our hosp coach....the health authority should have preserved one of the coaches as an antique vehicle to showcase netherne's history!!!!!...
Hi cook my wife Jessie and I clearly remember you as our saviour cooking all those lovely omlettes and the famous netherne steak eggs and chips...with a mixed fruit and ice cream for desert...all for about 60 pence!!!!!!....the canteen was a great social meeting point too...who could forget miss dhillon...I spoke to her when I visited Noel Duffy...she is keeping well...
Bill mearns I do remember you and Karen Nielsen too....there were loads of good Irish nurses....including Mauritians...netherne was run by these two cohort of cultures.....amongst a few Malaysians like Simon lam, raj perumal, tony Martin spore, francis ho, dev jassal, and myself...better known as Charlie Singh...there was also another Spanish Charlie who was an orderly....I remember some of the great Spanish contingent too...Antonio Gutierrez, his sister and brother in law....the famous Carmen piris and her husband who played soccer....the orderly and part time mechanic nacka lacka...I have written too much already for a first posting...just an idea for those of us who are still around how about organizing a reunion at some place in coils don...let's start getting everyone's email address for a start...will be happy to start coordinating it with some help from you folks in uk....cheers and greetings from Melbourne in email is

Simon Lam: 13th Sep 2012 - 18:36 GMT

Hi Charn Singh

At last what a place to catch up with you. Noel Duffy gave me your telephone number and I left three messages but received no response.
Was looking forward to catching up with you. I am about to leave for Canada & the States in a couple of days time so I will be in touch again when I return. My e-mail is and my mobile is 0419 346 993.

What a good spiel of Netherne you have written and what memories once again. Hope to hear more from our colleagues in this forum. I have not been having any luck contacting Noel recently. Hope he is keeping well. Good to know that Ms Dillon is still keeping well. I wonder how are two of our esteemed colleagues Leila Ramsarap and " Sister " Chong. Hope they are well too.

anon: 20th Sep 2012 - 16:37 GMT

I live up here at netherne and have done for about 11 yrs, and I love it up here.........The problem with the snow is half sorted as the main hill gets cleared but unfortunately the side roads dont due to council and management not supplying enough grit! the gates are still there to the graveyard as my children went exploring and came across it! there is alot of talk about it being haunted and alot of people are interested in visiting the area to see if this is true!
but I did want to ask if anyone else has seen a young girl that walks up and down the main hill, she has been seen a few times, very gentle and smiles but then disappears

Philip Burnard: 25th Sep 2012 - 14:27 GMT

Quite why anyone needs to believe that there are 'ghosts' in a former mental hospital, I am not sure. It shows a complete misunderstanding of the nature of mental illness and doesn't do the cause of mental health much good.

Maria Pullinger: 27th Sep 2012 - 17:06 GMT

!935 - 1971 I am trying to find out about life in Neterne hopital. My grandmother was admitted to pshychiatric hospital when my father was 4 years old in 1935 and he never saw her again which I find tragic. he just accepted that he couldnt see her , yet she was regularly visited by a niece. Her name was Frances Mary Woods. I doubt I shall find out anything but I would like to try to understand it.

leo mcgarvey: 27th Sep 2012 - 20:59 GMT

I have lived at netherne for fifty years,and the only spirits that were seen were the spirts behind the bar in the social club,And probably those who had a little wackey backey saw the most spirits.Dear mr.Singh we spoke outside my house in park lane about two years ago.You were looking for mr.duffy and other staff you worked with at netherne.Mr Duffy is recovering from a bad heart attack but is doing well.There was a reunion three weeks ago,and about two dozen people turned up.The numbers get smaller each time

the cook: 29th Sep 2012 - 16:31 GMT

i lived at netherne for 37 years and walk up and down the hill many times at night and in day lite and never seen any ghost!!!only during howlloween pranks hahaha

anon ( 30th Sep 2012 - 03:18 GMT

Yes Mr.Leo wife and I clearly recollect our conversation outside your house up at Netherne Lane whilst we were looking for ex-colleagues of was lovely having the conversation with you and discussing at length about Netherne in the old days!!!..I did meet up with Noel Duffy later that day but missed the rest like Imelda, and John Howley who I understnad still reside near your was a trip down memory lane packed with a lot of emotions and happy the way you mentioned that Noel is recoveing from a massive heart attack...could you kindly confirm if he is back to his home at Netherne Lane..I will call him are absolutely right the numbers will only get smaller as the years go by...hope to visit UK again next year and will get up to Netherne again!!!..

great Simon Lam..I will call you on your return...we too are off to Malaysia at the end of Nov for a family wedding...I fully endorse with Phil Burnard that the notion of ghosts and mental illness do not relate..ghosts have been around from the time mankind has been in existence...I beleive it is part of the supernatural powers to which we all know very little about todate...more our own fears about the unknown!!!..anyway Leo who were the people who turned up for the reunion and where was it held???...they were indeed some great parties at the Social Club with Dermot Hennesy lording them all..great times they were...agreed Leo the only ture spirits were that in the club house behind the BAR!!!!!...Charn Singh

Imelda: 30th Sep 2012 - 08:46 GMT

Hi Charn, So happy you discovered this site and so sorry I missed you last time you were over in the Uk. Yes ! so many memories of netherne --I remember clearly your arrival to embark on student nurse training and then progress to greater achievements.I have fond memories of your time in Lyttleton ward next door to Morrison (female ) when I was in charge . You were always " on the ball" (remember that joke ?) --it seems centuries ago now. As you can see from this site --there are still a few of us still around the netherne area and beyond.Please give my best wishes to Jessie and family. I understand david green was over here from australia a few years ago --do you remember david.? Charn , please keep us all posted from Down Under ! Imelda.

leo mcgarvey: 1st Oct 2012 - 19:29 GMT

Dear Charn,thank you for your response,Noel is at home altough I havent spoken to him for a month.As for the reunion,it was held in the cricket pavilion which is a new prefabricated building.It was a lovely sunny afternoon.They had a bar there and everyone sat outside with their drinks and food,also lots of photographs of staff who had worked at netherne down the years.Mr.Hennessy,Mr.Duffy, of course Mr.Howley,Bill George who is recovering from a stroke,George frogley,Johnny Taylor,Margaret Carter, Ann Bhagea, Mrs Hennessy,Mrs howley,Meg Spencer,and others whose faces we couldnt put names to. I belive eveyone enjoyed what was beautiful afternoon talking about netherne,its clients,staff and its way of life

the cook: 2nd Oct 2012 - 17:21 GMT

well!!! winter would be here soon,hope no snow!!!!

Charn Singh: 6th Oct 2012 - 08:10 GMT

Hi imelda..great to hear from you after such a long time...indeed my famous phrase on the ball how could I forget that!!!!.. It was great fun on Littleton and Morrison ward ..please fwd your email address...mine is at
It will be good to chat.... the way Leo I spoke to Noel Duffy yesterday and he sounded ok...due for a valve replacement in the next few months...should be ok...he mentioned to say that he does not support anyone who likes Ian PAisley the politician.....hoping it will give you a giggle and to call him....all is well down under and spring is in the air..we had a long wet winter.
Imelda do send me an email on my email address and will talk further..regards....Charn

David Wallace: 16th Oct 2012 - 20:52 GMT

I was a student nurse at Netherne from 1967 to 1970 and had a happy time there I remember Eddie Mcgaffney,Norman Chacksfield, Mike Reid, Phil Burnard, Ian Hollingsbee, Trevor Phillips, Mark ? et al.and of course the Irish Barratt sisters who were very kind to me. I am try to remember the name of the French sister in Fairdene who was an absolute hoot to work for.If any one wants to get in touch my e-mail is I have many memories of both patients and staff.

David Wallace: 16th Oct 2012 - 21:04 GMT

correction Trevor Weaver and Mark Phillips

Philip Burnard: 17th Oct 2012 - 16:35 GMT

Hello, David! It was good to hear from you - I remember you very well. The sister you had in mind was Noelle Brugghe. I hope you are well and enjoying life.

David Wallace: 17th Oct 2012 - 16:56 GMT

Hello Phillip. I also remember Norman McPhail. Did Joe Dicker end up as PNO after Mathew Dalton? I was going through my Syllabus and Record of Practice, and found that Maureen Bareatt, R. Carter and few other names signed off my practice. Have you any idea of the whereabouts of Robin Carney and James Sawyer? I should be interested in catching up with you via another medium with you as I don't feel this is the appropriate for sensitive communication. I am grateful for you responding to my post

Rachel . . . .: 27th Oct 2012 - 12:09 GMT

hi i live used to live up netherne during the time that i lived there me and my friends used to spend nearly every other day in the grave yard we always used to hear noises it almost sounded like crying . . . .

Rachel . . . .: 27th Oct 2012 - 12:09 GMT

hi i live used to live up netherne during the time that i lived there me and my friends used to spend nearly every other day in the grave yard we always used to hear noises it almost sounded like crying . . . .

Rachel . . . .: 27th Oct 2012 - 12:09 GMT

hi i live used to live up netherne during the time that i lived there me and my friends used to spend nearly every other day in the grave yard we always used to hear noises it almost sounded like crying . . . .

Andrew Makin - Kitchen Superintendant ( 1982 - 88 ): 28th Oct 2012 - 05:12 GMT

Maybe if some notice had been posted on this forum about the Netherne reunion then more people would have turned up.This is the first that I have heard about it-maybe when the next one is being held something is posted here.I got back in touch and spoke to Laura Griggs (dining room supervisor)a couple of weeks ago,she is nearly blind but she is okay.I told her about the web site and read out some of the comments to her and some of the names of ex staff who are still about,she was happy to hear about everybody.

Dev Ramdas: 7th Nov 2012 - 16:33 GMT

In 1985, Netherne won the London Mental Hospital Sports Association Cup. The match was against the Manor Hospital. Do anyone remember where the match was played and any of the players?

Dev Ramdas: 7th Nov 2012 - 16:35 GMT

Why is Dermot Hennessy not on this site?!!! the man is a Legend.

the cook: 7th Nov 2012 - 17:39 GMT

it was play at the grounds of st lawrences hospital social club i think????yes where is Dermot

Dev Ramdas: 8th Nov 2012 - 11:59 GMT

Cook!! I know who you are. Why are you hiding your true identity? I know some of your most deepest secrets and can reveal them all on this site for other colleagues/friends to enjoy!! LOL!! Do you know where is Rob Murray and Vin Ghansham?

the cook: 11th Nov 2012 - 10:38 GMT

hi dev i can see you are eenjoying you retirement,walking around the Belfry,haha Rob is leaving in walligton and vince move near his children lol

anon: 19th Nov 2012 - 10:33 GMT

As the festive season is drawing near --perhaps we could have some postings on the great christmas Panto productions at Netherne in the past! these productions were amazing and very well played by an entire Netherne staff group. I can recall acting in The Sleeping Beauty, Jack in the Beanstalk, Aladdin, Cinderella etc. all the costumes were made by the ladies in the sewing room--brilliant. St. Andrews Night and St. Patricks night were also celebrated with a full cast of Irish/scottish dancers accompanied by a full band of staff musicians namely Rob Carney on guitar, Dermot on the double bass , Tommy Smith on the accordian and other staff playing the flutes and drums. These were very talented and accomplished musicians not to mention some brilliant solo singers.I also recall the Spanish Night when spanish staff put on a brilliant display of singing and dancing in full flamenco style .Two dancers I can recall were excellent--Maria Miles and Stephen ~Espinosa.

David Wallace: Anyone know where Robin Carney is now?

dave: 29th Nov 2012 - 22:25 GMT

i was in netherne in 1953 in what was called "m5" ward it was rough and i mean rough i was only 14 at the time and i realy studied the form and chose my freinds carefuly there was stefan the pole. peter the poof. doc dockerty. and old charley. i nether realy knewe there full names i was there untill 1958 and managed to get out with the skin of me teef as my dad was going to bring 2 quacks and a magistrate to get me on a section the nerses i knew where ceril. smithy and king cant remember the names of most of the others cept i worked on the farm and loved it but the wards i hated and i was well protected by dockerty the only other thing i liked was the mid week dances out side of that i hated nethern even the name makes me shiver

dave: 1st Dec 2012 - 22:50 GMT

if anyone can remember the years 1954 to 1957 and any of the patients or staff please email me

the cook: 9th Dec 2012 - 18:07 GMT

NETHERNE,NETHERNE,NETHERNE everyone remember but the truth is NETHERNE is GONE!!!!

Philip: 10th Dec 2012 - 07:39 GMT

So have all but one of the Ancient Wonders of the World, but people are still interested in them, Cook!

the cook: 16th Dec 2012 - 16:57 GMT

true philip,we get lots of people walking around park lane in the summer saking about Netherne still,some just leave in here during the ward as children of the staff.

Philip Burnard: 24th Dec 2012 - 08:22 GMT

A Merry Christmas to all our readers!

paul southon: 24th Dec 2012 - 15:22 GMT

merry xmas and happy new year 2012 for every one on here

Andrew Makin: 25th Dec 2012 - 06:24 GMT

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone from NETHERNE both old and new.

Dev Ramdas: 26th Dec 2012 - 13:28 GMT

Best wishes for the New Year 2013 to friends on this site! I for one, still love Netherne. I will be there in the Summer 2013 to watch the Netherne Cricket Team kick ass!

Frank Carew: 27th Dec 2012 - 03:24 GMT

I worked in the kitchen as a porter in 1969 all the staff were mainly spanish.One old lady always came into the kitchen with a donkey on a trolley.Man in charged had the surname Death.I had accomodation there but I only lasted a few months as most of the staff were more insane than the inmates.

Philip: 2nd Jan 2013 - 10:00 GMT

No, Frank, his name was Mr De'ath - not Death!

It's a bit of a stretch to say that 'most of the staff were more insane that the inmates'. First of all, they were patients and not 'inmates'. Second, although there were quiet a few odd staff at the hospital they were greatly outnumbered by the poor, mentally unwell, patients.

Auth: 2nd Jan 2013 - 15:17 GMT

Sidney! These are incredible! What an amzaing cat hospital. I can't believe it. I have seriously never seen anything like it. Those townhouses! Sigh I wish I could bring Benny there. (Too far from where I live, but ) Total bonus that there are no dogs in the waiting room to scare the be-jesus outta my cat! Beautiful photos, Sidney. They must be thrilled! So many beautiful cats, too. =)

dave: has any one cleand up theoldcematry yet?

dave: 9th Jan 2013 - 10:40 GMT


Philip: 11th Jan 2013 - 16:00 GMT

I don't know, but would imagine, that the local council is responsible for old old cemetery. Nothing is likely to happen to it unless people who would like it to be cleaned up, make their voices heard. I would suggest looking up the local council, on-line and then writing to them.

Dan: 11th Jan 2013 - 16:09 GMT

Hi - I have a friend who currently lives in NotH. Is the Graveyard still there and reachable?

the cook: 18th Jan 2013 - 15:04 GMT

Hi frank just to let you know i work in Netherne kitchen from 1975 until the hospital closure,and we had patiens working with us,staff and patiens enjoy working toguether i never though that any of us where odd or insane,look at you self maybe you where the odd one out and that is problaby why you did not last that long.

anon ( 18th Jan 2013 - 23:18 GMT

Hi, i have just found my husbands great aunt died in netherne in 1942, death certificate says there was an inquest and it was death by misadventure,paraldehyde narcosis
her name was florence jaques rayner, age 61 we do not know whe she entered netherne but would be after 1915,as i am overseas it would be great if this cemetery gets cleaned up and if ever anyone sees a gravestone for her i would love to know

anon ( 18th Jan 2013 - 23:22 GMT

in case anyone is interested , national archives hold all the medical records for netherne but if the patient is a named patient the records are sealed for 100 years

Philip: 21st Jan 2013 - 09:26 GMT

The above posting is really important. Patient records are confidential for very many years. It is important that relatives and friends do not use this site for finding out about patients. It is also important that ex-staff to not break the confidentiality ruling.

the cook: data protection

anon: 25th Jan 2013 - 11:33 GMT

Agree with Philip---all staff are bound by their code of conduct not to disclose any information in respect of patients or information contained in their past records under any circumstances.

S OTHENDEE: 29th Jan 2013 - 13:16 GMT

Hi there,
Having spent such a short spell in the hospital as a student, I am sorry to say I cannot remember any of you on this site. However if ever anyone knows where or what department Mr Raj Chumun works ( apparently he is working in the community)i will b most grateful if i can get in touch with him.
As for Mr Lehman ( retired) too.
Best wishes to all on this site. Netherne hospital rules!!

leo mcgarvey: 30th Jan 2013 - 19:41 GMT

With referance to s othendee enquiry,Raj may be teaching at the maudsly hospital,and mr.lehman may be working privately some where near gatwick.

Alan chappell: 31st Jan 2013 - 20:26 GMT

I can understand many in the area having many visits that would be classed as unusual. Ignore the ignorant that criticize, they would not understand, I mean how could they? They have never experienced anything so how can they judge. There were many deaths surrounding this area and many unsettled spirits.
For those of you still experiencing any activity, just contact us, we can generally and honestly help.

Philip: 2nd Feb 2013 - 17:13 GMT

You say that critics cannot judge because they have 'never experienced anything'. Well, I experienced working at Netherne Hospital for 17 years, as a nurse and teacher. Could you let us know what your experience at Netherne Hospital was? It was a humane place that helped very many mentally ill people. Of course people died: there was a large, elderly population at the hospital. Quite what you mean by 'unsettled spirits' and how you know they are in 'this area', I do not know. I am sure your intentions are good but I am not at all sure that you are helping much on this site. As you will see from what you can read, above, there were a lot of very caring people at Netherne, who worked there because they were compassionate. They made an important difference to peoples' lives. By the way, I am not particularly 'ignorant' but retain the right to be critical. If you supply the evidence for what you say, I am quite happy to review it and think, carefully, about it.

leo mcgarvey: 4th Feb 2013 - 21:16 GMT

I dont understand the obsession with the cemetery,I was told it was last used in the late forties or early fifties.It was in two plots,R.C.and C.O.E.The people buried there did not have any relatives.There was some German pilots buried there but their relatives took them home after the war.the upkeep of the cemetey was done by the gardeners

Philip: 5th Feb 2013 - 15:19 GMT

Leo, I suppose some people like to scare themselves with ideas about old cemeteries and - it seems - old psychiatric hospitals! I agree with you, a cemetery is just a cemetery, just as an old psychiatric hospital (that doesn't exist any more) is just an old hospital.

David Wallace: 5th Feb 2013 - 18:03 GMT

In response to Mr Chappells' post, After forty three years I took the opportunity to drop by Netherne recently. It is no longer a mental hospital environment but a housing estate. During my years as a nurse at Netherne I occasionally transported dead patients to the mortuary but I never felt any "unsettled spirits" or psychic phenomena lurking in the darkness or coldness of the mortuary.I suggest Mr Chappell is using this site to prey on the vulnerable and to advertise his organisation. It would be interesting to hear his evidence of what he purports in his post.

c/o N.C Duffy: 7th Feb 2013 - 21:10 GMT

my son Eamonn has brought me up to date with modern technology as i am a complete technophobe. i have read with interest the comments on this site, i remember most of the names, P Burnard, Charn Singh,S Lam, L Mcgarvey etc...i remember you all as "young pups" and glad to hear you are all doing well. i will keep upto date with this website and will be happy to answer any questions but again would like to reiterate P Burnard's post regarding patients record's and date protection. all the best Noel.(the complex)

Andrew Makin: 8th Feb 2013 - 06:21 GMT

All this talk of spirits. The unsettled spirits were at the social club and the bowls club. There were the spirits of `Gordon` from London,`Captain Morgan` from the West Indies,`Jamies son` from Ireland, the `Famous` mr `Bell` but he was an old `Grouse` and `Jack Daniels` the American.

Philip Burnard: 8th Feb 2013 - 16:23 GMT

Goodness, the man himself! It's good to see you Noel! Everyone from Netherne who has posted here will remember you; you are part of the legend of the place. I hope you are well and I send you my very best wishes. I'm glad you picked up on 'the complex'! Complex or not, I have never forgotten a kind gesture or yours, many, many years ago.

I enjoyed your message, Andrew!

nursing assistant;Fletcher Ward 1974.: 8th Feb 2013 - 19:00 GMT

Just got on this site browsing down all the communications.Going down memory lane.I enjoyed my time in Fletcher Ward working with Phillip Burnard who was then my charge Nurse,and Sister Eugene Moncriff(not sure of surname spelling,I was not intending to work with people with Mental Health issues as i was not sure what road to take on my career. Phillip and Eugene coached me well and i loved working with all people who needs care, compassion and support. I thank them for my postive journey.A long journey as a deputy and ended up as Team Leader working with individuals in the community.Now i am retired, and a new journey folds for me.

Niamh O'toole : 14th Feb 2013 - 17:58 GMT

I thought I Saw a girl the other daay Around the hill but i thought it was my eyes playing tricks and the left over bit of Mental asylum has been knocked down :( xxx

Philip: 15th Feb 2013 - 16:37 GMT

Great insights, Niamh! By the way, it was a hospital, not a 'Mental Asylum.

Miriam Macdonald (nee Kirton): 17th Feb 2013 - 02:09 GMT

I found this listing accidentally and am intrigued by the comments as well as some of the photographs taken. My grandfather Frank Kirton died here 12 July 1910 and was buried in the Netherne cemetery. He had been a patient for just a little more than a year when he was assaulted by another patient and died of head injuries. The other man was found guilty of manslaughter. I wonder if it would be difficult for someone to find his grave and take a photograph for me. He was the 20th patient admitted and I believe the 6th to be buried. I understand that many extra bodies were buried between the early graves but that no-one else was buried next to his grave. I live in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and don't believe I will ever be able to make the trip back to England to look for his grave. I would appreciate someone's kindness from across the pond.

Miriam Macdonald (nee Kirton): 18th Feb 2013 - 22:06 GMT

Upate: I made an error in the burial number for Frank Kirton. His grave was number 20 not No. 6. The early graves were marked by wooden posts which would have decayed by now. So there would be no stone to photograph, just a site. Does anyone have a map of the cemetery indicating where each grave is by number? I saw part of one on another site but for higher numbers.

Miriam Macdonald (nee Kirton)

the cook: 21st Feb 2013 - 17:18 GMT

n.o'toole if i was you i call the gousts busters hahahaha

Netherne lost soul: 22nd Feb 2013 - 01:02 GMT

I have lived at Netherne for 4 years, the beautiful surroundings, tranqulity, my love of history and what I felt would be a great community to bring my children up in are what persuaded me to buy a property. I can honestly say it was and still is the biggest mistake of my life. There is no community spirit, neighbours only contact is when they block your car in or I trip over there rubbish thats is dumped outside and teenagers who sit outside the church (gym) smoking drugs, so to end my rant I would say unfortunately Netherne is still a place for lost souls and residents who are unable to leave

the cook: 23rd Feb 2013 - 17:59 GMT

we where a very close community when the hospital was open,trouble free from thugs,and our children grow up with others in this commmunity,but i have to agree with you now is terrible we dont use the village roads in case we get verbaly abuse by kids,so we use woodplace lane,and we dont use Netherne on the hill in our adreess,i only can said thank god than we leave in one of the old street and we dont have any trouble,because all of us know eachother from years back working in the hospital....

ex staff member: 25th Feb 2013 - 10:03 GMT

I agree with Cook--Netherne was once a rich diverse community living in harmony and mostly trouble free. It was a nice environment to raise children who were free to explore the suroundings without any danger.How things have changed ,sadly in these so called modern times.

Philip: 25th Feb 2013 - 18:56 GMT

One of the problems, perhaps, is that Netherne-on-the-Hill is so isolated - at the top of a hill. When large mental hospital were built, they were usually in isolated places, to remove those with mental illness from the public. This doesn't make a good argument for housing to be built in those places. I suspect (but don't know) that many young people feel isolated. It is awful to think of the new housing as being so unpleasant. It is ironic, as the Cook, points out, that when a very large psychiatric hospital existed, this was a great place to live, with a true, community spirit and very safe.

Vonni Wood: 1st Mar 2013 - 01:49 GMT

Phillip, I dont think that there is any doubt that the 'staff members' who are posting on this site were caring and compassionate. I do however feel that you are being judgemental in dismissing others of us who did not work there, but who have an interest in the history of Netherne, and perhaps had relatives as patients there, to voice their thoughts without the air of superiority you feel necessary to reply with, if you arn'nt in agreement with what they say. I am one of those people who did not work there, but have had two of my close relatives as patients there, one being my Mother who is still living. I also investigate paranormal activity in various locations, and although I am not going to try and persuade you to open your mind a little, I would ask that you and other members respect that there are some of us who have had genuine experiences of paranormal activity, and just because you may not have done, does not mean it doesn't exist. We are open minded to your beliefs and deserve the same respect. I have browsed this site for a few years now, and in recent months it has become rather blinkered with a few people commenting without considering the feelings of others who come here to search for information and ask for help in doing so, and not just to catch up with ex-work colleagues.

Philip: 1st Mar 2013 - 10:17 GMT

Vonni, thanks for posting. However, you do not know any of the beliefs I hold, so you cannot accept them or dismiss them. As for the paranormal, it is up to you to give sound evidence for it and nothing to do with my close mindedness. I will accept anything for which there is concrete evidence. However, just because people 'believe' in something, doesn't make it true.

I certainly accept that many will have an interest in the history of Netherne and I applaud that. It was an interesting and vital part of mental health care in the past.

I would add that I am in no way 'superior' to others and very open minded. I have been a researcher for many years and know the value of not jumping to conclusions about others and making evidence a basis for understanding the world.

Vonni Wood: 2nd Mar 2013 - 23:37 GMT

Thank you for replying Philip.Its true, I do not know of any of the beliefs that you hold, but, I am open minded to whatever they may be,and respect whatever views you hold. However, your postings were judgemental about other peoples views, particularly to the person with regard to seeing a spirit at Netherne. Unfortunately, unless people experience paranormal activity, there will always be people who will not believe that it exists.I am not talking about watching and believing the Tv programes portraying such, but of investigations by people who have a healthy, open minded approach to what they experience, and who look for 'scientific' evidence before concluding that their experiences cannot be expained by atmospheric or human conditions, and therefore there is no explanation for what has been experienced and so it is concluded that there is paranormal activity. We have found that certain places have, by way of residual energy, strong paranormal activity. We have particulary found that although the building may have long been demolished, the energies of people who resided there are still in the ether. One experience, amongst many investigation which I have been lucky enough to be part of,was on the site of Hellingly Mental hospital, which has been demolished in recent years and now has new houses on it. Many of the bricks were re-used in the building of the new properties.During our investigation we noted some un-explainable activity there. I would agree with you that just because people believe in something, it doesnt make it true...but it is necessary to keep an open mind about such things, as the experiences of others are as important as ones own. If someone is interested in Netherne in a paranormal capacity, then it is important that their view is considered, as they may have had experiences which you havn't. There is a saying..."If you are a non-believer,no proof is possible.... If you are a true believer, no proof is necessary".
I have a great interest in Mental Health Care, both now and in the past, and have experiences of caring for a close friend with severe Mental Health Problems, as well as my Mother. I believe that the care of patients within Netherne and other establishments was varied in how it helped people - some gained from the experience of being cared for in the way it was believed helped them, and others most certainly did not. My interest in Netherne itself is to do with the kind of treatments,and the kind of security that was implemented, and the day to day workings of the hospital, as a close relative of mine went missing from there and was found, 3 weeks later, several miles away, Drowned. Open verdict. Not one person saw her leaving the hospital or since, to the time she was found. A mystery to us who are trying to establish what happened.
I have a feeling that we will probably have to agree to disagree on the paranormal aspect Phillip, but I will continue to follow this site, and look foward to reading more comments from yourself and others, and probably putting in a few words myself as well.
Kind regards Phillip..Vonni x

Philip: 3rd Mar 2013 - 17:21 GMT

Hello Vonni,Thank you for your posting. I guess we will have to agree to disagree, as you suggest. I hope you are well and look forward to your posts in the future. Best wishes, Philip

Anne king: 9th Mar 2013 - 14:00 GMT

I am with you Vonni I also believe in the paranormal and have lived in a haunted house,from which I was very glad to move. I did not experience any paranormal activity at Netherne but I have done in other hospitals and nursing homes where I worked during my career. Idont think that it is any reflection on any hospital or any care facility , there are spirits all around us , some people see them or sense them , some dont as long as they are benign spirits, I AM QUITE HAPPY WITH THEM. THE ONE IN THE AFORE MENTIONED HOUSE WAS A NASTY ONE. that was why I was glad to leave it. REGARDS TO ALL you Netherneites Anne K

Rob: 12th Mar 2013 - 10:09 GMT

Paranormal is something that You people talking about and it doesn't exist...well may exist and this is compliantly different story but not on Netherne-On-The-Hill.This is like some time ego someone told me that he have seen anteater on Netherne but few weeks later his friend he told me that anteater observer he is suffering from depression.So conclusion is "If You see something what other people can't see go to the doctor to make sure is not to late".Thank You for Your attention

Anne king: 12th Mar 2013 - 19:15 GMT

Hello Rob, you are entitled to express your opinion, as all of us are. I for one am not suffering from depression, I have never seen an anteater either,but I have experienced the paranormal.I only go my doctor when I am ill which is not very often TG.So like PHILIP and VONNI we will have to agree to disagree Regards to all at Netherne On THE Hill and all ex staff and patients of the hospital Anne K

Quentin Crisp: 13th Mar 2013 - 15:12 GMT

Rob, were you drunk when you wrote our comment or do you have a problem with the English language?

anon ( 13th Mar 2013 - 17:43 GMT

we had a ghost in the kitchen his name was Bob.

Philip: 18th Mar 2013 - 15:34 GMT

Can we steer this board back towards focusing on the 'bricks and mortar' of Netherne Hospital and away from particular peoples' beliefs?

ex staff member,: 30th Mar 2013 - 13:32 GMT

Wishing all readers of this site a Happy Easter and yes Philip -lets focus on Nethernes history and short stories on what life was like .

Gail: 3rd Apr 2013 - 13:22 GMT

I am a Professional Nature Photographer and last Summer 2012 my son and I drove around our local area looking for suitable undisturbed places for Butterfly photography, despite living in the area pretty much all my life I had never heard of Netherne - Cane hill most definitely but not Netherne.
We parked at the bottom and walked up, lots of Buddleia and lots of Butterflies, but i said to my son that I felt really uncomfortable about the area, uneasy and wanted to go.
He said he felt uncomfortable too, but said perhaps we should drive further up as we may find some meadows etc.
Driving up the hill I said to my son that I thought it felt like it was an asylum and both of us were so shocked when we reached the re-built village to find that it was.
It is now quite a complex of roads that seem to not flow around the development and got a little lost, we found a man that had worked at Netherne when it was a hospital and still does now, he told us there was a hidden cemetery that might be worth photographing, he told us that there were children buried there after failed lobotomies, already feeling uneasy this comment didn't help, my son being in his 20's thought he would like to find it which we did quite easily.
I do not know about the myths or realities, we spoke to a few people that lived there now and most were not even aware that a cemetery existed, all the ones that knew were disgusted that the cemetery is left in such an appalling overgrown state.
I took a load of images but you could not really get to much of the cemetery itself because of the brambles and nettles.
My thoughts on this are, the graves are hidden, you have to cross a field to get to it, where is the church? Why are the burials on unhallowed grounds? remember most of these burials were during the times when Christianity was the norm, without doubt in my mind there are secrets within Netherne Cemetery otherwise it would not be hidden, maybe that is why the council nor the developers want it left to nature, maybe the truth is too horrendous, whatever the reasons to leave it overgrown so no access is an insult to all the souls buried and their families some of who after reading this brilliant blog are very much wanting answers

Philip: 3rd Apr 2013 - 17:58 GMT

Gail, your posting was interesting and I am glad you found the site of Netherne Hospital. Just to say that the church is still there. It is now a swimming pool. The cemetery has not been used for years and years - certainly long before people had leucotomies. The idea that it contains contains 'children...after failed lobotomies', is just not true. Many cemeteries fall into disrepair and Netherne's was no exception. It was in a state of disrepair when I started to work at Netherne in 1969. The truth is not 'horrendous'. The Netherne graveyard simply fell into disrepair - many years before I got there in the late 1960's. As you will know, like it or not, not everything can be maintained.

I suppose my general thought would be this: there is nothing particularly odd about a mental hospital. Nothing spooky but just a place where people with mental health problems were helped or allowed to gain something from the huge grounds of the hospital. In the latter case, it really was offering 'asylum' to people.

Philip: 3rd Apr 2013 - 18:19 GMT

Those with mental health problems have to battle with 'stigma'. It seems that stigma is - unfortunately - alive and well. If people have physical problems, they are admitted to general hospitals and those hospitals are seen as being quite normal. Those with mental health problems, however, face the prospect of being associated with 'scary' mental hospitals. Having trained as both a mental health nurse and a general nurse, it worries me that people with mental health issues are still viewed as 'odd'. Oh, and I also write this as someone who has had serious mental health problems for nearly 50 years. I continue to fight the stigma associated with mental illness - even after all these years.

Karen Nielsen-Hayes: 9th Apr 2013 - 03:53 GMT

Hello old friends. Simon, Bob and Phil
We moved from Arizona last October to Boston, M.A. The west was getting a bit wild for us! Ruth is coming out to visit us in the "new" place in June and I hope to be over in the U.K. in Late September. Bob, are you playing anywhere? Karen

Simon: 10th Apr 2013 - 07:27 GMT

Hi Karen

Good to hear from you and trust you and your family are well. I was in the States and Canada again in September last year but it was quite full on with our itinerary. Great trip though. Hi to Phillip and all the other Nethernites. I have been following the correspondence with interest and I would agree that we should look back at our experience during our time at Netherne with positive memories and how we have assisted those who are less fortunate to become well ( in some cases . We should also reflect on the camaraderie and support for each other and empathise with those who have loved ones who may not have had closures of their loss. As for the stigma and the lack of insight, from the public's perspective we should continue to break this barrier and persevere with imparting informed knowledge with understanding of their circumstances whilst respecting their cultural and spiritual beliefs that they may hold. I hope all my friends at Netherne who are reading this are well and have had a happy Easter. Noel Duffy, it was good to talk to you and I am glad you have joined the forum. I wish all of you well.

Simon: 10th Apr 2013 - 07:27 GMT

Hi Karen

Good to hear from you and trust you and your family are well. I was in the States and Canada again in September last year but it was quite full on with our itinerary. Great trip though. Hi to Phillip and all the other Nethernites. I have been following the correspondence with interest and I would agree that we should look back at our experience during our time at Netherne with positive memories and how we have assisted those who are less fortunate to become well ( in some cases . We should also reflect on the camaraderie and support for each other and empathise with those who have loved ones who may not have had closures of their loss. As for the stigma and the lack of insight, from the public's perspective we should continue to break this barrier and persevere with imparting informed knowledge with understanding of their circumstances whilst respecting their cultural and spiritual beliefs that they may hold. I hope all my friends at Netherne who are reading this are well and have had a happy Easter. Noel Duffy, it was good to talk to you and I am glad you have joined the forum. I wish all of you well.

Philip: 10th Apr 2013 - 08:23 GMT

It was good to hear from you both again, Karen and Simon. How lucky you are to live in Boston, Karen! I'm glad your trip to the US went well, Simon. Very best wishes to you both and to all the others here who worked (and lived) at Netherne. Best wishes, Phil.

julie: 20th Apr 2013 - 21:17 GMT

Have just come across the site and its great to be 're-living' Netherne through everyone's memories. thank you all so much. Are there any folks out there who were CSV's back in 78/79 - would love to hear from you. Holger, Judy, Steve, Paul.........where are you all now....

julie: 20th Apr 2013 - 21:17 GMT

Have just come across the site and its great to be 're-living' Netherne through everyone's memories. thank you all so much. Are there any folks out there who were CSV's back in 78/79 - would love to hear from you. Holger, Judy, Steve, Paul.........where are you all now....

trevor weaver . paul headley: 6th May 2013 - 12:17 GMT

It was good to see all the names after all these years.We are both living in Perth Western Australia Trevor is still working part time in nursing and I am retired after an extensive nursing career. How about some photograph??? Hope to hear from you.....Anyone who remembers

Philip: 10th May 2013 - 18:39 GMT

Hello Trevor!

We lived in Southview at the same time as each other. I lived in the first block,with people I can't recall, then there was a middle block, where Matty McGlynn and Tony Levi lived and you lived at the other, far end, block. Les Graham also lived in the same block as you. It would have been about 1971-2. I hope you are both well. Best wishes, Philip Burnard.

trevor weaver . paul headley: 13th May 2013 - 08:50 GMT

Philip, I was the charge nurse of Hamilton Ward where we instigated student talks at lunch times. I then moved to Keane Wd.which was the secure ward. Since returning to Perth I progressed to be D.O.N at Bently Hospital which is a general hospital with an acute Mental Health unit of 130 beds Iwill always remember the good grounding I had at Netherne Take care Paul Headley

Philip Burnard: 13th May 2013 - 15:15 GMT

Paul, I remember you and both Hamilton and Keane wards. Later on, I was charge nurse on Lyttlelton ward (which, then, was called the Disturbed Ward). I too remember the good grounding we had at Netherne. FIve years ago, I retired as Professor of Nursing at Cardiff University, having published 38 books. Very best wishes to you and Trevor. Phil

Julie jones: 21st Aug 2014 - 15:00 GMT

Wondering if anybody can help me .im tracing my family tree and have recieved my great grandfathers death certificate and it says he died in netherne hospital. He was 42 we know the cause of death but wondering why he would of been sent there as he was living in swansea southwales prior to death with his three children this information has left us with some questions. Any information would be great. ..

leo mcgarvey: 21st Aug 2014 - 21:07 GMT

this site had disappeared for a year,and iam unsure how much news people abroad missed.Its a year since John Howley and Carmel passed away.There was a reunion on Saturday and people like Maureen Lennon Marian Mc cluskey Mary and Terry payneMeg Spencer Graham Morris,Ann and sister bridget who organised it and many others Mr Hennessy was in America.There was lots of photographs and memories

Anon: 5th Sep 2014 - 19:55 GMT

Is this site up and running again?Hope so as I missed all the news from past Netherne colleagues.

Ex Netherne Nurse: 7th Sep 2014 - 11:46 GMT

This page appears to be back again ,so let's hear from those here and abroad.

Ex Netherne Nurse: Look at Google Chrome for updates.

David Wallace: 8th Sep 2014 - 14:11 GMT

Trevor and Paul - I have written to your e-mail address but not had a reply from - just wondering if the address was spelt right?

anon ( 8th Sep 2014 - 17:09 GMT

MR duffy is in a home in Reigate not well

trevor weaver . paul headley: 16th Sep 2014 - 09:20 GMT

Paul Headley My e mail address Will be good to hear from anyone ex Netherne

Anon: Mr.Noel Duffy died this evening.R.I.P.

anon ( R I P

Simon Lam: 23rd Sep 2014 - 17:51 GMT

I am truly saddened to hear of Noel Duffy's passing. May he rest in peace. Memories of him will be far reaching. My thoughts are with his family.

anon ( 23rd Sep 2014 - 19:35 GMT

Noels funeral is on 29-9 at 11o,clock,at St.Marys old Coulsdon

anon ( 23rd Sep 2014 - 19:37 GMT

Noels funeral is on 29-9 at 11o,clock,at St.Marys old Coulsdon

David Wallace: 24th Sep 2014 - 16:16 GMT

Anyone know how old Noel Duffy was when he died?

leo mcgarvey: David,Noel was 78.

David Wallace: 26th Sep 2014 - 11:21 GMT

Leo - thanks for the information. I was 22 when I was at Netherne and Noel always appeared and acted much old than 30 when I worked with him.

Carole Heath: I

leo mcgarvey: 3rd Oct 2014 - 20:32 GMT

Mr.Albert Cooper,I was browsing through earlier posts on this site,and noticed you had talked about park lane,you mentioned dear George Shipton.Well we moved into park lane in 1965,the year after you left and George lived opposite.David Knight lived at NO.1,and we moved into NO.2.Can you remember who lived there before us I would be grateful if you can help.

karen nielsen: 13th Oct 2014 - 03:09 GMT

I was saddened to hear the news of Noel Duffy's passing. He truly was a legend at Netherne. R.I.P.

Netherne resident: 16th Oct 2014 - 20:25 GMT

My friend was walking the dog tonight and passing the cricket pitch at about eight o clock noticed an old man with a walking stick on the pitch the dog stared across and when my friend looked back again the man had disappeared. This happened on a previous occasion about three and half years ago when the same old man disappeared again. Has anyone else seen this old man. Both times he was on the cricket pitch. Is my friend the only one to have seen him. Let me know

Netherne resident: 16th Oct 2014 - 20:25 GMT

My friend was walking the dog tonight and passing the cricket pitch at about eight o clock noticed an old man with a walking stick on the pitch the dog stared across and when my friend looked back again the man had disappeared. This happened on a previous occasion about three and half years ago when the same old man disappeared again. Has anyone else seen this old man. Both times he was on the cricket pitch. Is my friend the only one to have seen him. Let me know

James Victor Grant: 16th Oct 2014 - 23:07 GMT

Hi many years ago I was on John Reid House and Dissralie ward I remem ber some of the nurses such as Terry Beaver Carl Finch Dave Weir Ann, Vicky Cooper Brian S and My Dr Piermuhamed also new a lot of patients. I was in there for manic depression if anyone remembers me you can email me at (I can tell you a few stories about the place!]

James Victor Grant: 16th Oct 2014 - 23:07 GMT

Hi many years ago I was on John Reid House and Dissralie ward I remem ber some of the nurses such as Terry Beaver Carl Finch Dave Weir Ann, Vicky Cooper Brian S and My Dr Piermuhamed also new a lot of patients. I was in there for manic depression if anyone remembers me you can email me at (I can tell you a few stories about the place!]

karen nielsen: 13th Nov 2014 - 21:12 GMT

Hi everyone. I haven't been on here for a while. Nice to see you all "drop in"here from time to time. The move to Boston was a good one. We love living here and it is easy to fly to London ( which I do at least once a year ). I miss the desert and friends/ family in Arizona..... but I get to fly back there e ery once in a while too. Lovely to talk to Bob Kerr on here. Next time I come over I ope to catch you playing somewhere. Hi Simon, how is Australia? You sound happy. If anyone hears from Paula Hallyburton, please refer her to this site. I still have contact with Ruth Bowman and we would both love to hear from Paula.

anon ( 15th Nov 2014 - 12:14 GMT

Hi Karen

Good to hear from you and that you are still actively travelling. Like you I also do a fair bit of travelling mostly to China, Vietnam & Malaysia. Hope you and family are doing well. Aiming to get back to UK in 2016 or 7 for a visit after nearly 30 years.Australia's great with good weather and predictable barbies ( BBQ ). Also hope to see more of Nethernites writing in this forum and how they are. I wish them all well.

anon ( 15th Nov 2014 - 12:15 GMT

Hi Karen

Good to hear from you and that you are still actively travelling. Like you I also do a fair bit of travelling mostly to China, Vietnam & Malaysia. Hope you and family are doing well. Aiming to get back to UK in 2016 or 7 for a visit after nearly 30 years.Australia's great with good weather and predictable barbies ( BBQ ). Also hope to see more of Nethernites writing in this forum and how they are. I wish them all well.

Ex Nethernite: 18th Dec 2014 - 21:01 GMT

Wishing all readers here and abroad a very Happy Christmas and New Year.

Charlie McKane ex Banstead: 24th Dec 2014 - 21:26 GMT

Sorry to hear about Noel Duffy.He was a lovely guy.We used to look forward to meeting Noel and Dermot Hennessy at the six a side football which they organised every year.He was a decent golfer as well.R I P.

leo mcgarvey: 2nd Jan 2015 - 21:40 GMT

So sad to hear of the passing of Jim Horricks, I rember him as a fine cricketer

anon ( 25th Jan 2015 - 12:00 GMT

Studied at the hospital as a student nurse from St Stephens Hospital in Chelsea in May 1969 for three months. Very interesting. Art that expressed feelings was encouraged. Many very impressive nurses. Very helpful to residents and to the student nurses from London.


Ex Netherne Nurse: 29th Jan 2015 - 18:45 GMT

So interesting to hear from a former St Stephens nurse.You were always welcome at Netherne and your ideas and innovative suggestions inspirational to many.

frank: 1st Mar 2015 - 12:01 GMT

I worked in the kitchen as a porter with the spanish guys approx 1969-70.loved the cakes made by the Italian pastry cook.I lived in as I had nowhere else to live apart from some old guy swearing at the TV it was not to bad.I swapped a bass guitar for an acoustic with one of the other staff members. If he is reading this Ron that guitar is a fender precision bass and is worth three thousand pounds do you want to swap back.One of the doctors names was De ath.I am now in Australia.

Netherne resident: 17th Apr 2015 - 21:11 GMT

I have lived here over 12 years and love the environment we live in. I have bouts of severe depression and can only imagine the peace and tranquility these surroundings would of given past patients! There is nothing nicer than having a stroll around once you've forced yourself out of the house! I feel for patients now who have to be hospitalised as they no longer have these places of refuge!

Christine Waring: 21st Apr 2015 - 11:00 GMT

Hi everyone, hope some of you can remember me?
Worked at Netherne for 22 years and retird in 1991.
Does anyone know about Noel Duffy he ws a Nursing Officer
and a Charge Nurse before that and I was his opposite in Broadwood villa.

leo mcgarvey: 23rd Apr 2015 - 21:02 GMT

HI.Christine,Noel passed away in September last year.He was 78

Christine Waring: 25th Apr 2015 - 12:17 GMT

Sorry to hear about Noel and thanks to let me know

anon ( 25th Apr 2015 - 20:21 GMT

Hi Christine,I remember you well when you worked in Alderstead day unit and then was re named the Stroll in Club.Alderstead played a very important role in enabling and supporting severely disabled people with meaningful day activities and recreation.
I also knew your sister Karen who was a Nursing Manager
Wishing you well and good to hear from you.
Imelda Bures

Christine Waring: 9th May 2015 - 18:37 GMT


HI Imelda, , my Sister Karin LIVES IN Gloucestshire you could look at my website if you interested to see what I was doing after I retired


Kevin Olive: 11th May 2015 - 06:22 GMT

Hi Leo,
Have just revisited this website after a couple of years.
So sorry to hear that Noel Duffy and John Howley have passed

leo mcgarvey: 14th May 2015 - 19:48 GMT

Kevin,great to hear from you.Yes so sad about John and Noel,both had heart conditions.The numbers of ex staff get less each year.It would be nice to know how Paul is,and where he is living.Hope you have a good winter

Kevin Olive: 18th May 2015 - 03:46 GMT

Leo, I will be in the UK mid to late July this year. Will be spending some of the time in Edenbridge.
Will try and catch up and give you all the Goss.

Paul Southon: 4th Jul 2015 - 09:42 GMT

Hi every one on here. Its Paul Southon. I havent been on here for just over 2 years. I used to live at netherne between 1982 when i was a kid.moved from my mum's 2005. She still lives there with her husband.
My email address is

David Peers.(catering manager).: 28th Jul 2015 - 10:51 GMT

Just found this site. Lots of happy memories ,good to be reminded of people who worked in the kitchen. I am still living on netherne lane with my wife Hilary,we have been retired over 21years and still limping along. Despite all the changes we are still enjoying living

Christine Waring: 30th Jul 2015 - 09:41 GMT

Does anyone know what happened to Dr Forest (Consultant Psychiatrist?
He originate from New ZEALAND.

Anne williamson (nee williams): 29th Aug 2015 - 00:06 GMT

Just found this site. Sorry to hear about Mr. Duffy I rememeber him from 1964 as charge nurse on John ward. I was a student OT just past my 18th birthday miles from home (Devon)never been further N than Bath and scared stiff. Soon grew to love the place and following qualification I went back there to work in the Vale industrial unit. I remember Eddie Mcgaffney and Noel Duffy Dr's Ekdowie and Freudenberg and the OT staff Dy Edmunds etc. I know Eddie Mc went to the US and we kept in contact for a while after I left. I gather he had a sad end has anyone any more info? My Email is

anon: Does anyone know the date for 2016 reunion?

S Othendee: 1st Dec 2015 - 19:43 GMT

Thank you Leo. Most appreciated. I'm sorry to have taken such a long time to acknowledge your response. I have not met both of them yet as I live and work in Brighton.

B Walker: 9th Dec 2015 - 18:32 GMT

I was an OT at Netherne for many happy years and then out in the community when Netherene closed it doors - have just found this site - so sad to find out that Noel Duffy & John Howley no longer around. I worked with Dr Ekdawi.

Helen Walsh (now Moreau): 7th Jan 2016 - 04:22 GMT

I was a student nurse at Netherne from 1960 to 1963, Maggie Naylor and Joe Dicker were the tutors. There was another male Tutor whose name escapes me. I recall the names of some of my fellow students, Anna Masterson, Sheila Byrne from Kilkenny, Angela? From Dublin, who later moved to the states; also during that time the Rainbirds from Yorkshire, Margaret Keenan Longford... Kathy Burns from Wexford, who moved to Yorkshire with her husband. Her sister also worked at Netherenr..I think her name was Betty.
Miss Nugent was home sister. I came across this site when I googled Miss Naylor's name, by tomorrow I will probably recall a few more names. Please contact me if you were in Netherne and Fairdene from mid 1959 to 1963, I would love to hear from you. Email:

Robert Burgess: 24th Jan 2016 - 20:55 GMT

Anne williamson (nee williams): 29th Aug 2015 - 00:06 GMT
Just read your comments about Eddie Mcgaffney and Noel Duffy Dr's Freudenberg. Eddie was a very good nurse to me and my Doc was Freudenberg. I was in Fairdene South at the time. I was also in Johns ward once and the doc in charge was doc Pain who later committed suicide. I was only 17teen.

Jackie: 19th Feb 2016 - 14:19 GMT

I came across this site last night and spent some time reading the various stories which took me back to my days as an O.T. student at Netherne in 1978. I was just 20 years old when I arrived and full of apprehension about the patients I might encounter within. I need not have worried. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and, for anyone concerned about relatives or friends who were patients at the time, I confirm reports above that people were treated well and with dignity. I lived in the nurses' quarters in a small private room. The Head of the O.T. Department was an Indian lady and she always wore a different and very colourful sari. I can't remember her name. She was easy to get along with and gave me a good report at the end of my rotation! I remember a woodworking shop, print shop, art room and a kitchen to assess and teach patients basic ADL skills. I think there was a garden too - so O.T. students could learn a lot of skills. Because patients weren't drugged to the eyeballs as they were in later decades, it was possible to learn a lot about their diagnoses through observation. I remember one evening, a group of us O.T. students hitch-hiked up to London where a new McDonalds had opened, ordered a burger and a milkshake and hitch-hiked back to our accommodation. It took hours but nobody missed us. One of my other memories is that a patient who developed a bit of a fixation on me admitted to stealing my American 'green card' and buried it in the grounds refusing to reveal where. This caused me a lot of trouble at the American Embassy (not to mention another hitch-hike to London) as they didn't really believe my story. I wonder if those developers ever dug that up?

Ex Netherne staff: 4th Mar 2016 - 20:29 GMT

Happy 70th Birthday to Dermot Hennessey

Adrian Falks: 6th Mar 2016 - 14:31 GMT

It is good to see that people are still corresponding and showing interest. Some contributors may not be aware that four years ago, Ms Wendy Mortimer, achieved great success in taking the case of the neglect of the cemetery to the Diocesan Chancellor for Southwark, the Worshipful Philip Petchey who acknowledged that it was the duty of the Consistory Court's Judges to ensure that these (177) asylum cemeteries are "Respectfully maintained" because they are consecrated ground. As a result, a firm of solicitors were instructed to put restoration work in hand. I have, of necessity over-simplified the situation, and should the readers be interested, would urge them to look for correspondence relating to another asylum cemetery, at Cane Hill, which was destroyed (in fact "Desecrated," as the work was done without a faculty and through a Private Members' Bill in Parliament.) It was a case, (to paraphrase the Prime Minster's term,) of "Religion trumping the rule of [Canon] Law"! As far as I can tell, the standard of restoration work at the Netherne Cemetery is of a very high order, as one would expect when one of the most senior figures within the Judiciary becomes involved! The Worshipful Judge's contact details can be found on the Southwark Diocese website for as long as he remains in office of Diocesan Chancellor.

Adrian Falks: 6th Mar 2016 - 14:34 GMT

Please does anyone remember Mrs Silcock, the senior pycho-geriatric social worker. I had a fieldwork placement under her supervision in 1973 and I think she was well past retirement age, even then. She was a very remarkable person

Christine Waring: 18th Mar 2016 - 14:48 GMT

I like to know if anyone knows HOW Maureen Barrett is.
She was a sister at Nethern Hospital and I used to see her and speak to her in the
shopping Centre in the Belfry, as I have not seen her for a long time I would like
to find out what happened to her thank you

Ex Nethernite: 18th Mar 2016 - 17:19 GMT

Christine ,sadly Maureen passed away some years ago .I think it was around 2011 or so but I am not sure.

Paul southon: 1st Apr 2016 - 18:55 GMT

Hello every one on here.. Some original netherene know me up to 2005..

Paul HEADLEY: David Wallace died in Feb of this year

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