Saturday, 19 December 2015

A painting, a hospital and a story of a local building company ............. at Stretford Memorial Hospital

This is Stretford Memorial Hospital on Seymour Grove, or at least it was because it closed in October of this year.

And that closure ended a century of medical care which had begun with the Great War.

Now I am deep into researching its history as a Red Cross hospital which in time will yield how many beds it had, the number of patients it received during its first year of service and the names of its medical staff.

And judging by its size and location close to the railway it would have been welcomed by the Red Cross when it was handed over by its last owner who I am pretty sure was Mr James Nuttall who lived there with his wife Beatrice, five children and four servants.

The property was known as Basford House and contained fourteen rooms set in its own grounds.
James Nuttall was a public contractor, and in the space of a decade had risen from being an assistant in the family firm to running the business with his brother.

In 1911 Edmund Nuttall & Co was  based on Trafford Park Road.

"The company was founded by James Nuttall Snr in Manchester in 1865 to undertake engineering works associated with infrastructure developments, such as the Manchester Ship Canal, which opened in 1894 and the narrow gauge Lynton and Barnstaple Railway, which opened in 1898.

In the 1900s and 1910s James Nuttall Snr's two sons—Sir Edmund Nuttall, 1st Baronet (1870–1923), who was made a baronet in 1922, and James Nuttall (1877–1957)—built the company into a nationwide business.”*

In the 1920s and 1930s the company was run by Sir Edmund's son, Sir Keith Nuttall, 2nd Baronet (1901–1941), who served in the Royal Engineers in the Second World War."

And in the course of its long history was responsible for a shed load of civil and industrial projects including the Liver Building, tunnels under the Mersey, the Thames and the Tyne and during the Second World War were one of the contractors engaged in building the Mulberry harbour units.

All of which means that James Nuttall was no jobbing builder, but does not help me with the big question of where the family went in 1914 when they handed their home over to the Red Cross.

That and much more about the building will unfold, and when it does I rather think I will feature Peter’s painting of the hospital all over again.

Painting; Stretford Memorial Hospital © 2015 Peter Topping from an original photograph by Andy Robertson


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*BAM Nutall,

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