Life at the Loggerheads Sanatorium

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Loggerheads Sanitorium
Loggerheads Sanitorium

On Thursday evening members of the History Society and a number of visitors (several with memories to relate) were enthralled by a lively, amusing and, at times poignant illustrated talk on the subject of The Sanatorium at Loggerheads (known fondly by staff and patients as The Sannie).

The bacteria causing tuberculosis was first identified in 1882 — the main cause due to the Industrial Revolution which led to poor sanitary conditions and food for the working classes.

Together with other local authorities Cheshire County Council bought the land in Loggerheads because of the atmosphere (at the time Loggerheads had the lowest pollution in the UK) and also the land was cheap!

The Sanatorium opened in 1923 and was known as the Cheshire Joint Sanatorium. The only treatment available was rest/quiet/ good food/ sunshine and fresh air. There was no heating in the buildings and patients spent much of their time on beds that were wheeled outside.

The day was rigidly timetabled- men were allowed their first smoke at 7.55am. Strict rules were also applied and if patients disobeyed they were thrown out- no matter how ill they were!

The development of streptomycin in 1944 which enabled treatment by GPs led to the demise of the Sanatorium and it closed in 1969.

A patient from the 1930s campaigned long and hard to have a memorial stone commemorating the site and a plaque was installed in 2007.

Film from 1998 showing a reunion concert allowed everyone at the meeting the opportunity to join in with singing a 'hymn to a wheeze and a cough'!

The talk concluded with pictures of how the site looks today — it is now known as the Burntwood estate.

Dorothy Jones (secretary)

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