On the 7 June 1965 I was born at Heathfield Road Maternity Hospital, 134 Heathfield Road, Handsworth, Birmingham B19. During my search to find out information on the hospital I was amazed at what little information was recorded on it. At Central Library I found a scrapbook on hospitals, compiled mainly from old newspaper cuttings. In this I was able to find out the following information:
The hospital was at first a private concern and opened in 1920. It later became owned by Birmingham Health Authority from 1953 until it closed, on 29 June 1968. (Reference from Victoria County History, minutes of Dudley Road hospital management committee-MS 702/2, Revenue estimates year ending 31 March 1970, Birmingham Archives.) It closed because more modern facilities became available at Good Hope Hospital, Sutton Coldfield, and at Dudley Road Hospital, Winson Green. The article quoted as having in 1961 - 942 births, and 1967 - 1,617 births. - Birmingham Mail 29 June 1968. Another source of information I thought I would get some information about the hospital was to go to the school that is now built on the land. On 20 June 2000 I visited the school. Here the only remains of the hospital I was able to find, that exists to this day are the bricked up fireplaces along the red brick wall that divides the school to the building next door.
During the time I have been doing the project I have been surprised at the amount of people who did not know Handsworth had a hospital - maternity hospital. In total I have met about 12 people who have said they were born there or had a brother or sister who was born there.
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