Campaigners search for relatives of two of Royston Hospital’s founding trustees

13:35 25 January 2014

Royston Hospital

Royston Hospital

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Campaigners fighting to secure the future of Royston Hospital are appealing for help in tracing relatives of two of the hospital’s first trustees.

The Royston Hospital Action Group (RHAG) is working to ensure that health clinics remain at the hospital site, on London Road, which has been under threat of closure for the last two years.

As part of their work, they have been looking at the process which saw the site of the hospital gifted to the people of Royston in 1923, and would like to hear from any surviving relatives of two of the founding trustees, Percival Henry Grundy and Eric Charles Malcolm Phillips.

Sylvia Beamon, from RHAG, said: “In 1923, after the death of Thomas Goodman, his widow and other members of their family sold the land philanthropically at a considerably lower price for the proposed new hospital which was sorely needed for the whole area.

“Mr Grundy and Mr Phillips, who were members of the committee of management of the then former hospital, sited at the bottom Barkway Road, were to become the first two trustees of the newly acquired land and of the new hospital once it was built, but they did not give the actual land themselves.”

The hospital was then maintained by the people of Royston, who paid subscriptions until the advent of the National Health Service in 1948.

“There should have been another document drawn up to protect the land and buildings in perpetuity for Royston itself,” said Mrs Beamon.

“Personally, I think because the country was used to the action of authority requisitioning land and property during the war years, it seems such a legal document was overlooked.

“RHAG has been looking at the National Archives from which several documents are missing. Another file relating to the transfer of land at the time of the NHS take-over has not been found by the National Archives themselves. In fact, there is no trace.

“We have also tried to find descendants of the two hospital trustees named above in case some documents may have survived. If anyone could help us, from any quarter we would be most grateful.”

Anyone with any information should email saveroystonhospital@hotmail.com

NHS Property Services, which oversees the hospital site, is currently drawing up a ‘masterplan’ for its future. More details should be available later this year.

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