Convalescent Homes

Co-operative societies sought to look after their members and workers and one way in which they did this was to set up convalescent homes. Sick employees and members could visit these homes to rest and recover. The Natioanl Co-operative Archive holds records of some of these convalescent homes.

NWCH – North West Convalescent Homes

The Association was established in June 1901 with the aim to set up co-operative convalescent homes in order that retail societies in the north-west could send sick employees and members of the society to recover from illness. Two homes were planned to begin with, one in Yorkshire and one in Lancashire. The first home of the North West Convalescent Homes Association was Chevin Hall in Otley and was opened in August 1904. Two further homes were later established, Glenroyd in Blackpool opened in 1906 and Thorpe Dene in Scarborough opened in 1921. Glenroyd was used as an emergency maternity home during the Second World War as a place for evacuees to have their babies in a safe and secure environment. The North West Convalescent Homes Association was dissolved in 1978 after the sale of their last property, Glenroyd in Blackpool.

The collection consists of minute books of the North-West Co-operative Convalescent Homes Association and house meetings minute books of the three convalescent homes established by the Association. There are also Annual Reports and a visitor book as well as correspondence and inventories.

SCCF – Southern Co-operative Convalescent Fund

The Southern Co-operative Convalescent Fund was inaugurated in 1902 at a conference of the Southern Section of the Co-operative Union and the committee set to work in 1904. The aim was to restore to health co-operative employees and their families to enable them to continue working by providing accommodation in approved convalescent homes and expenses to cover the cost of travel to such homes. The first cases submitted were those suffering from tuberculosis.

By 1989 it was increasingly difficult to meet both the growing numbers of applications for optical and dental grants and the increasing cost of convalescent home fees. The fund was therefore dissolved in April 1990.

The collection consists of minute books and account books covering the period 1904-1990.

GIL - Gilsland Convalescent Home

Gilsland Spa Convalescent Home was opened by the CWS in 1901.
Although the Co-operative Wholesale Society continued to own the home since 1972, the property has been established as the Gilsland Spa Hotel and functioning largely as a family holiday centre.

The collection consists of a file rule books, financial documents, postcard, annual reports and correspondence.

SWCF - South Western Section Co-operative Convalescent Fund

The first meeting of representatives of subscribing societies to The South Western Co-operative Convalescent Fund was held in June 1914. Thirty-three societies joined at this time including Bristol, Taunton, Exeter, Exmouth and Torquay. The aim was to restore to health co-operative employees and their families to enable them to continue working by providing accommodation in approved convalescent homes and expenses to cover the cost of travel to such homes. The fund was dissolved in the mid 1970s.

The collection consists of minute books and account ledgers.

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