HOSPITAL – Coatham Convalescent Home Laying of Foundation Stone

Accreditation the Redcar and Saltburn-by-the-Sea Gazette 22/09/1876


            This ceremony took place on Saturday (16/09) afternoon last, when the religious service was conducted by the Rev. J. Postlethwaite, founder of the homes, and the formal act of laying the foundation stone by his eldest daughter, Miss Margaret Rosalie Postlethwaite. The day was very fine, and a considerable number of persons were assembled to witness the event. The Original House was opened in 1860, and it has had from the beginning and ever-increasing sphere of usefulness. Patients are received from any part of England, and as a matter of fact persons have been admitted from almost every county; annual subscribers of two guineas can send one patient for a month, who has bed, board, washing, and medical attendance (when needed), found free of charge. So excellent is the management of this Institution, that a surplus of subscriptions and donations has been annually laid aside, by means of which the Original House was enlarged in 1869, so as to hold one hundred patients. A Chapel has also been built, to provide more conveniently for Divine Worship, and to further the spiritual welfare of the patients. The work is conducted entirely on the voluntary system, the Sisters giving their services gratuitously; and Mr. Postlethwaite has not only worked the Institution voluntarily from the commencement, but at great personal sacrifice, and at serious cost to himself in travelling expenses. Ever regarding himself as the steward of the subscribers, he has, by a constant personal supervision, so economically laid out the funds committed to his charge, that he has not only secured the immediate end in view, of providing fully for the wants of patients, but has so laid out the surplus as to add very extensively to the usefulness of the Home. He has thus become the quiet and unostentatious benefactor of thousands of the suffering poor who have received new life and health at this Convalescent Home. It should be borne in mind that two Guineas, if expended by subscribers on individual cases apart from the Institution, could not possibly give board, lodging, washing, and medical attendance for a month; and therefore, far from Mr Postlethwaite being in debited to subscribers, as some person seem to suppose, they are largely in debited to him, for work voluntary undertaken and conscientiously carried out for the benefit of their nominees. The object building the New Children’s Hall is to provide accommodation for mothers and infants, the admission of the latter into the present Home being a source of annoyance to other patients. The building now commenced will, when fully completed, Ford room for ten mothers with infants, and fifty children; but owing to the lack of funds, the design will only be partially carried out at present. It would require £3600 to complete the design, and only £2000 is now in hand, consequently the matron’s portion will first be completed, at a cost of £2600. Doubtless the necessary funds will shortly be forthcoming, and the design carried out in its entirety. The plans have been prepared by Mr. R. Moore, architect, from a design by Mr. Norman Shaw, and the contract is Mr. J. H. Burton, builder, Coatham. The building is situated at the south-west corner of the Home, and contains on the ground floor mothers’ dining room, community room, nursing room, bathrooms, kitchen, scullery, and other offices with extensive cellarage underneath; on the first floor there will be 10 bedrooms, and children’s playroom; whilst on the second floor there is a large room 48ft. by 24ft., In addition to servants’ bedrooms. The style of architecture is simple Gothic, with mullioned windows and high roofs, the materials used being redbrick with free storm dressings. A special service was used for the occasion, consisting of appropriate prayers and the 149th Psalm. Immediately before the laying of the storm, Mr. Postlethwaite read the document prepared for insertion within the cavity of the foundation stone, which stated that the stone was laid by Miss Margaret Rosalie Postlethwaite, that the Rev. J. Postlethwaite was pastor, Mr. W. Walker medical officer, Mr. R. Moore architect, and Mr. J. H. Burton contractor. In addressing the assembly, Mr. Postlethwaite said that the new building would cost more than they had received inasmuch at the present contract was £2,600, and the funds in hand a little short of £2,000. By the addition of another £1,000 to other children’s wards could be added, and for which plans were prepared. It was a pleasure to him to see so many gathered together who were interested in that work, and he thought if they would only take the opportunity of seeing for themselves the wonderful results effected by the sea air, combine with medical attention, good nursing, and wholesome food, they would be more than ever anxious to assist in helping forward that good work. He believed that many a child had come to the seaside after suffering from a severe illness, and in a short visit of from four to eight weeks had received, as it were a new lease of life. Alluding to the question of funds, the pastor said that if it was their endeavour to spend the money received to the best advantage. For the satisfaction of those present, he might state that the work was now carried on in the same spirit and on the same principles as those in which it was commenced, and that this would continue to be the case during his lifetime, and he had also taken legal steps to ensure the continuance of the work for future generations, after he had been called away. The storm having been adjusted, was Julie led by Miss Postlethwaite, “In the Name of the Father and of the, and of the Holy Ghost.” Prayers were then offered for the success of the undertaking, and the preservation from accident of those engaged in its erection. The following him was heartily sign by the patients and visitors, to the well known to “Rockingham,” Mr. R. H. Atkinson presiding at the harmonium.

“When like a stranger on our sphere”

T he service closed with the benediction. Beef all and after the above proceedings and organ recital was given in the Chapel, by Mr, William Walker, a surgeon for the Home, the programme of sacred music from Handle, Haydn, Mozart, Mendelssohn, and other great masters.



Lol Hansom October 21, 2014 Coatham, Hospitals