Mat Urbecks photograph analysis history in full
St Gerard’s Orthopaedic Hospital (also used for the treatment of TB) was part of Father Hudson’s Society buildings across the UK.
It provided services for locals and the neighbouring boys school, along with care for orphaned children of early to mid 1900’s.
The Birmingham Diocesan Rescue Society for the protection of homeless and friendless catholic children was established in 1902 with Father Hudson as its first secretary and administrator. Father Hudson remained in Coleshill from 1898 until 1934. During that time the work of the Rescue Society grew, in particular the children’s homes.
Its expansion included St. Vincent’s, a home for working boys in Moseley Road Birmingham, St. Edwards Boys Home, St George’s and St. James’ Cottage Homes for boys and St Gerard’s hospital for children in Coleshill.
St. Gerard’s was the result of Father Hudson’s vision for a purpose built infirmary, not just for the boys of St. Edwards but for those from all catholic homes in the diocese and the catholic children from the workhouse hospitals.
Two new schools were established in Coleshill through the Society.
Father Hudson’s devotion to the children, his patience, energy and great administrative skills guided this development and the Rescue Society became known colloquially as Father Hudson’s Homes…
Whilst plans were being made for a National Health Service there was considerable anxiety about the future of St. Gerard’s hospital.
When the 1948 National Health act was passed the Regional Board agreed to pay hospital expenses and the hospital undertook to take patients according to their disability, not their religion.
The chain of society buildings started to close in the 1980’s, due to changes in NHS funding and how orphaned children were dealt with as a whole.
St Gerard’s closed in 1988.
Photograph from here:http://www.28dayslater.co.uk/forums/asylums-hospitals/78969-father-hudson-society-st-gerards-hospital-birmingham-march-13-a.html
Information from here:http://www.28dayslater.co.uk/forums/asylums-hospitals/78208-st-gerards-orthopaedic-hospital-coleshill-warwickshire-january-2013-a.html