Every now and then we have cause to complain about services received or a situation we find ourselves in. While doing some research for someone I came across a letter of complaint copied into the Minutes of the Board of Governors dated 5 June 1886:
‘I have been informed by a person who was very lately a patient in Victoria Ward that considerable inconvenience was felt by many of the patients from the presence of some birds in the ward… My informant said that two canaries, a blackbird and a jackdaw were kept in the ward and began every morning before 4am such a chorus of song that further sleep was impossible for her and some other patients’.
Two members of the Board were sent to investigate. They found ‘that the patients unanimously approved of the birds and that the nurse, when any patient complained, ordered the birds to be removed’.
I do not have any photographs of the birds, but this photo is of Victoria Ward in about 1925. I am sure the ward doesn’t looks very much different to how it was in 1886.