Unveiling of Blue Plaque commemorating Stansfield View Hospital in Todmorden
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The unveiling coincided with the 30th anniversary of the hospital's closure, an event reflecting the move from segregated care of those with learning disabilities to integrated care within the community.
The blue plaque is part of a broader legacy project dedicated to preserving the heritage and stories of this significant site.
Behind this initiative is Gerard Wainwright, a Learning Disability Nurse whose passion for preserving the memories of Stansfield View was sparked during his student placement at the hospital in the 1990s.
Gerard's vision encompasses the creation of the Stansfield View Archive, which will find its home at the University of Huddersfield, and the production of a documentary titled 'Remembering Stansfield View'.
This documentary, available on YouTube, captures the recollections of those who lived and worked at Stansfield View.
It sheds light on the residents' journey from segregated care to community living, charting the changing values and attitudes towards people with learning disabilities.
The plaque unveiling ceremony was attended by those connected to Stansfield View.
Among them were Gerard Wainwright, Mark Fennelly, Julie Robinson, Tony Zimnoch, and Roy Brett. Additionally, Stoodley Ward Councillors Denis Skelton, Pat Taylor, and Ben Jancovich were present.
Coun Skelton, Chair of the Resources Committee, said: "Stansfield View Hospital represents a significant chapter in the history of Todmorden. Recognising the people who lived and worked there was very important for us.
"The Town Council was delighted to fund the Blue Plaque and contribute to the film 'Remembering Stansfield View' alongside the National Heritage Lottery Fund.
Gerard underlined the necessity of preserving the hospital's legacy and said: “The siting of the blue plaque is a significant event in acknowledging the place of people with learning disabilities in the rich social and cultural heritage of Todmorden and Calderdale.
"Although the physical building no longer survives, we now have a place we can visit and commemorate the people who lived and worked there”.