Event to explore diet, mental health and Whittingham Asylum

Posted on - 25th July, 2018 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Grimsargh, Preston News, What's On in Preston
Whittingham Asylum in years gone by Pic: George Speight
Whittingham Asylum in years gone by Pic: George Speight

An event is taking place in Preston to explore the relationship between diet, mental health and Whittingham Asylum in the 1920s.

Organised by the Whittingham Lives Association, the Food for Thought event is being held at Whittingham and Goosnargh Social Club on Saturday 11 August.

A free family-friendly afternoon event will run from 12pm to 4pm. It will offer the chance to look at original archives and artefacts from the Asylum, participate in arts activities, and sample local produce from a selection of stalls.

Former staff, patients, visitors and local residents are encouraged to attend to share their memories and photos of Whittingham, Goosnargh and the Asylum.

Read more: How Ribblesdale Ward at Royal Preston Hospital may look after revamp

The afternoon event will be followed by a free evening of nostalgic entertainment at the social club from 6pm to 10.30pm. It will be inspired by memories, food, music and the heritage of Whittingham Asylum in the 1920s.

The evening will include a dance band and music entertainment, and 1920s dress is encouraged. A traditional meal from the era will be served using produce grown by the Grow Your Own group at Guild Lodge, a secure mental health facility in Preston.

Tickets are required, and are available from Whittingham and Goosnargh Social Club or by emailing

The event is part of Whittingham Lives, a two-year project that is researching, exploring and celebrating the culture and legacy of Whittingham Asylum, which was open from 1873 to 2016. The project has received nearly £70,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England.

Read more: Latest dates for Winckley Square history walking tours

Jacquie Crosby, Archives Service Manager at Lancashire Archives, said: “The archives of Whittingham Asylum are of national significance in recording the care and treatment of mental ill health since 1873.

“I am delighted that Whittingham Lives is making them better known, and helping us to preserve this important collection. Original documents relating to the hospital diet and Whittingham farms, which produced fresh food for the patients, will be on display at the event.”

Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust is one of a series of community organisations involved in Whittingham Lives. Chief Executive Heather Tierney-Moore said: “Celebrating the NHS’s 70th birthday this year has given us the perfect opportunity to delve into our history, share our hospital records, and reflect on the changes in healthcare.

“Events such as Food for Thought are significant in preserving the history of Asylum life, and give the local community an opportunity to explore and understand issues around mental health in society, nutrition and wellbeing.”

To get involved with the Whittingham Lives project, email or visit the Whittingham Lives website.

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