This is an article published in the Christmas 2018 edition of the Hayling Island U3A newsletter….
We continue to be amazed how many really interesting topics and places we can research and see in our local area.
Earlier in the year we learned of the sterling work of the Lord Mayor Treloar hospital, founded by Sir William Treloar in Alton as “Lord Mayor Treloar’s Cripples’ Home and College Trust” and the first children were received in 1908. Treloar’s was to provide education, care, therapy, medical support and independence training for disabled young people.
A new branch was opened at Sandy Point, Hayling in 1919 with 50 patients, these being mainly children with TB and polio, for treatment or to convalesce. Doctors had realised fully the beneficial power of the sun in maintaining health and in curing disease, and the location of this seaside branch was selected with great care after the whole of the south coast of England had been explored.
The site consisted of 2 wards for children under the age of 18 and was right on the pebbly beach overlooking the sea. Fine days were spent outside, to reap the benefits of open air and sunshine. Children were immersed in the sea to improve circulation and promote wellbeing, and they began to thrive and laugh again. This environment brought sunshine and joy into lives which had been filled with dreariness and pain and helped rehabilitate children to live as independently as possible. The hospital continued into the late 1950’s treating TB and polio patients and later treated children with mental health problems.
Sandy Point hospital, with its mile of beach continued to provide this unique environment to treat and transform children’s lives until it was demolished in 1988. The Treloar Estate which includes the Sandy Point nature reserve, is now a Site of Special Scientific Interest, taken over by Hampshire County Council and as a conservation area now has restricted access.
The group found this a very interesting subject, yes, many of us were aware of there being a hospital for many years at Sandy Point but did not know the significant role it had for decades, to improve so many children’s lives, just along our shoreline. This is what we find, there are so many things “just around the corner”, for a local history group to investigate.