The Leavesden Hospital History Association (LHHA) was formally founded in 2011 by Martin T Brooks, former Park Ranger at Leaveden Country Park, for the purpose of preserving the history, heritage, memorabilia and memories of the doctors, nurses, staff, volunteers and residents who worked and lived at the Leavesden Asylum/Hospital (1870-1995), St. Pancras Orphanage (1870-1930), Canadian Hospital (1939-1947), Abbots Langley General Hospital (1947 to 1985) and the Springfield Special Needs School (1976 to 1985).
All of these facilities occupied at one time an area of approximately 147 acres on the north and south sides of College Road (formerly Asylum Road, 1870 to 1949) in Leavesden/Abbots Langley, Hertfordshire and what is now the award winning Leavesden Country Park.
To find out more about the history of these institutions, just click on the tabs to your left.
Martin T Brooks
The Leavesden Hospital History Association is proud to announce that they were awarded two top prizes during the Community Archives and Heritage Group's "Community Archives and Heritage Awards ceremony held on the 27th of October, 2021.
The LHHA won the Gathering and Preserving Heritage category with top scores from all the judges.
In assessing the Leavesden Hospitals History Association project, the judges were very impressed with the scale of work and the effort provided by volunteer participants in particular their work in restoring the old cemetery and in creating the “Register of Names”.
Alongside this, however, was the sheer range of activities and platforms designed to ensure the local history was gathered and made available to all. It was clear audiences had a wide range of ways in which they could engage with the local history and heritage.
In addition, the Leavesden Hospital History Association received the highest scores across all 3 categories and was recognized as the “Best Community Archives and Heritage Group, 2021”.
This award recognizes the volunteer work that the Leavesden Hospital History Association, in partnership with Three Rivers district Council’s Leisure Department, contributed to the gathering, preserving, and making their archives available and accessible to the public, academics, and local schools. Some of their archive, which contains over 400 artefacts dating back to 1870, is on display in the HIVE Heritage Centre, located in Leavesden Country Park, Abbots Langley/Leavesden, Herefordshire with more being accessible online at their website, www.leavesdenhospital.org, with plans to preserve, catalogued, and display more in 2022.
Martin T Brooks, Founder of the Leavesden Hospital History Association, acknowledged all the volunteers whose work resulted in these recognitions. “None of us got into this for the recognition, but for the shared interest we have in finding, studying, preserving and promoting our local history and heritage. Without all the passionate volunteers we have, along with the support of Three Rivers District Council and the National Heritage Lottery Fund, none of this would have happened. So, all the recognition of these awards is shared with everyone involved”.
The Community Archives and Heritage Group (CAHG) has a membership of over 716 groups, associations, and organisations and is a special interest group within the Archives and Records Association (ARA). The ARA is the lead professional body for archives, conservation, records management and information governance (‘the record-keeping sector’ in the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, and internationally.
It brings together bodies and organisations concerned with community archives and provides a forum for the regular exchange of views and information. Their belief and vision is that collecting, preserving, and making accessible documents, photographs, oral histories, artifacts and memorabilia, these community archives and heritage collections, will make an invaluable contribution to the preservation of a more inclusive and diverse local and national heritage.
The Community Archives & Heritage Awards are held each year and groups can be nominated in one of 3 categories: Community Engagement, Gathering and Preserving Heritage and Contribution to Wellbeing, plus the overall winning group is recognized as the Best Community Archive and Heritage Group of the year. If you would like to find out more about how the CAHG can support your local history group, they can be found at www.communityarchives.org.uk.
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