Princess Louise Hospital – a community history project

The Hospital on completion in 1928.

The entrance to the Hospital on Pangbourne Avenue on completion in 1928.

Princess louise book coverPrincess Louise Kensington, a Hospital’s Story 1924-1989, by John Cannon was published by Kensington & Chelsea Community History Group in 1989. Unfortunately,  the book is now out of print and the hospital has been demolished!

Photos gathered together for a community history project and for the publication of the book have come to light in the North Kensington Community Archive, stored in the RBK&C Local Studies Department. Some of the photos are shown here.

Included also are photographs taken as part of the project when children from a local school visited the hospital to talk to the older people. There was an exhibition at the the hospital in November 1989 showing the history which included the memories of those who remembered using the hospital.

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Welcoming Queen Elizabeth on her Royal Tour of Kensington, 1953

In 1989, elderly patients filled the wards where children had played.

In 1989, elderly patients filled the wards where children had played.

Children visit to talk to the older residents.

Children visit to talk to the older residents.

Exhibition celebrating the history of Princess Louise Hospital, November 1989.

Exhibition celebrating the history of Princess Louise Hospital, November 1989.

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Liz Bartlett, co-ordinator of Kensington & Chelsea Community History Group with John Cannon, author of the book

This was one of the early community history projects of Kensington & Chelsea Community History Group (KCCHG).

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10 Responses to Princess Louise Hospital – a community history project

  1. Jeltje Pollock-Heevel says:

    I can’t believe I have only just found this history site it’s absolutely fascinating.
    I did my nursing training in Princess Louise hospital and would love to be able to read John’s book.I still can’t believe they demolished the hospital and got away with building expensive housing.My understanding was always that the hospital was donated to the poor people of North Kensington and surely affordable housing for the poor should have been build!
    When I moved here we had an outside loo and no bath so we used to go to the beautifull old baths in Walmer road for baths and swimming. Later when I had my children I used to take my washing there and loved how friendly the woman were. There was always lots of laughter!
    I still live in the same house in the same street but sadly the community isn’t what it was!

    • glenys sellers says:

      Jeltje…..I did part of my Nurse training at PLK in the late 60’s…then going onto St Mary’s Paddington..We lived in the Nurses Home in St Quintin Ave…..LOVELY times at the hospital. xx

      • Jeltje Pollock-Heevel says:

        Hi Glenys I remember it well! I used to live in Putney so when I had a split shift you remember free from 2-6 or was it five? I often spend time in the nurses home in St. Quintin.I found the place I live in now by ringing on the doorbells in St Quintin in my nurses uniform
        and have been here 50 years it doesn’t seem possible! Did we meet I used to be Jellie Woudhuysen in those days and do you know Dolly Lavagno later Nnadi or Kumi?xx

      • Jeltje Pollock-Heevel says:

        I just noticed the date you posted in april 2015 I only read it today! Did you work in maternity in St Mary’s? Your name rings a bell wish we could meet up!

  2. I had to visit this hospital as a child, and remember, what was to me, a huge cold, “echo ee”, stone floored hall, with benches for the patients to sit on. There was a girl in a room to the left of the front entrance, and a side window was open. She was in a heart/lung machine. The hospital backed onto “The Little Park”, which had an entrance in St Mark’s Road. I had to stay one night in one of the Wards, and I remember being in one of the cots that are shown in the photograph taken in 1953, above. I also remember having an X-Ray. As one walked down Pangbourne Avenue, after turning right from St Quintins Avenue when walking approx. West, there was a small collection box on the fence to the right, in which one would put small change; usually farthings! The whole area has changed so much since the 1940’s and 1950’s!

  3. A. Meekins says:

    As a child I was a patient in Princess Louise Hospital several times between about 1956 and 1961. I remember one year watching from the window as doctors lit fireworks for the children on Guy Fawkse day. I remember the toys on the ward, I think there was a big table in the middle of the ward. One day when I was very poorly my parents came to see me but were sent home, and I didn’t know they had come. I watched the clock go round for an hour at visiting time waiting for them to come, very sad when they didn’t appear. In ?1961 I was sent to a convalescent home in Littlehampton for a few weeks. I knew some of the nurses there because they came from the hospital..

  4. Ann Barley. Nee Blizzard says:

    I arrived there aged 6 critically ill. The staff saved my life. I was sent on to Little Hampton to convalesce. Hard to be separated from parents at that age. Things were so different then.

  5. Peter Mills says:

    May I add my little contribution?
    Born in January, 1936, I was diagnosed as suffering from an enlarged pylorus, at the age of six weeks.
    The surgeon who operated on me was a very young New Zealand doctor – Dr. Arthur Porritt.
    He was also an Olympic medal winner in the 1924 Olympics.
    He went on to become Sir Arthur, and later Lord Porritt, also became New Zealand’s first native-born Governor-General.
    It is because of his expertise that I am alive today, and able to write this, – and I have the scar to prove it!

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