Saturday, February 9, 2013
For most people, the idea of being judged insane and held in a 1950s asylum is the stuff of nightmares. But to be locked up when you are sane would be regarded as an appalling injustice.
And yet a BBC investigation has revealed that nearly 50 women were locked in an isolation ward in a mental asylum in Surrey - not because they had a mental illness - but because they carried typhoid and were deemed a public health risk.
They were held at Long Grove Hospital - a mental asylum in Surrey - which started admitting carriers of typhoid as early as 1907 and continued through the 1940s and 1950s. Once admitted, those women never left.
One former nurse says that many of those women - admitted sane - deteriorated mentally, driven mad by the conditions they lived in. Others remained in full possession of their senses, despite enduring conditions such as solitary isolation.
It was 1992 when Long Grove finally closed.
The woman pictured above is Rosina Bryans, who was locked up for 60 years. SIXTY YEARS!
There's a twenty minute video at the BBC site that has a lot more information.