Thursday, 26 April 2012
A Cardiff health worker is setting sail on a journey to uncover the history of one of the city’s famous ships and is asking for help.
Steve Maddern, a Community Mental Health Nurse with Cardiff and Vale University Health Board’s Community Mental Health Team, is based in the Hamadryad Centre in Butetown.
The building is named after a 19th Century hospital ship, H.M.S. Hamadryad, which was berthed close to where it stands today. The ship treated the many sailors who came through the city’s port during the industrial revolution. When it was decommissioned a hospital was built which today serves as the Hamadryad Centre.
Steve, from Maesteg, is researching a book he intends to write on HMS Hamadryad and the Royal Hamadryad Hospital.
He said: “Cardiff in the middle 1800’s was a very interesting place. It was the centre of the coal industry that fired the Industrial Revolution, and its port served ships that traversed the whole world.
“With this came the problems of poverty, crime, and of course, disease. With hospital care being a valuable resource, there was concern expressed about the welfare of the sailors that came in and out of the port of Cardiff.”
Steve said that the HMS Hamadryad was drafted in to provide care before being abandoned and a hospital built nearby.
He said: “The hospital eventually became used for the general population, and only closed in the middle of the first decade of the 21st Century. Stories abound of the hospital, and staff who have worked there all recount the stories of the ‘ghosts’ that inhabited one of the wards.
“The building continues to serve the people of Cardiff, and now houses the Mental Health services serving the southern parts of Cardiff.
“I am currently researching for a book that I am writing and I would love to speak to any former members of staff at the hospital, or anyone with any memories or information about the hospital.”
Contact Steve on 07970 973929 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.