fonds NHS/TAD - Tadcaster Hostel Archive

Identity area

Reference code



Tadcaster Hostel Archive


  • 1955-1960s (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.04 cubic metres

2 box and 2 rolls

Context area

Name of creator


Administrative history

Tadcaster Hostel was built during the Second World War, for war-time use, and was probably used as a Women’s Land Army Hostel. It subsequently became one of the national group of hostels jointly controlled by county agricultural executive committees and the National Association for Mental Health, offering sheltered employment for mentally defective men working in agriculture.

On 1 April 1951, Tadcaster Hostel, along with the similar hostels at Bubwith and Ripon, became part of the National Health Service (NHS) under the administration of York B Group Hospital Management Committee. 57 men were already resident at the three combined hostels on 1 April 1951, and all three premises were initially designated annexes to Whixley Colony. Tadcaster Hostel continued to serve Whixley until it was realigned with Claypenny Hospital in the early 1980s.

There were 28 beds and residents in Tadcaster Hostel in 1953, and this figure altered little through the 1950s and 1960s. The hostel was supervised by a warden, and social activities, holidays and evening classes were organised for residents. The buildings were renovated and the gardens were improved during the 1950s in order to try and shed the temporary war-time appearance.

By the mid-1950s, Tadcaster was being used as much as possible for men who were able to work, while those unable to work were concentrated at Bubwith. Many Tadcaster men went out to work for the Leeds Highway Authority. However, it was noted in 1959 that even at Tadcaster Hostel there were some who were unsuitable for employment, and as a result of the need for increased care an additional nursing assistant was appointed that year. Some men were discharged after living and working for a period at the hostel, but others continued to reside there for many years.

When Whixley Hospital became a Regional Psychiatric Rehabilitation Unit in 1962, Tadcaster Hostel took on the role of a training unit, with patients being moved from Whixley to Tadcaster Hostel for the second half of their rehabilitation programme and going out daily, working for wages, as a preliminary training before discharge. An Employment Liaison Officer at Whixley Hospital supervised the finding of jobs and new homes after discharge.

However, the hostel population had become static by 1973, and a new pre-discharge unit at Whixley took over the function previously played by the hostel. There were 21 resident men in 1982, and with the transfer of Whixley Hospital and Ripon Hostel to Harrogate Health Authority in 1983, Tadcaster Hostel became an annexe of Claypenny Hostel. Numbers of patients were dropping and there were only 14 patients in 1984.

As part of the changes in policy and as a result of the York Health Authority Strategic Review in 1987, institutional accommodation was gradually wound down in the 1980s. As part of these developments, Tadcaster Hostel was closed in October 1987.

The hostel was demolished but part of the site was retained as the location for one of York Health Authority's Special Needs Units (ie community facilities for people with learning disorders): at 2 and 4 Wighill Garth, opened in 1990.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The archive was deposited at the Borthwick Institute in 1995 as part of the transfer of York Health Archives to the Institute from their temporary home at Clifton Hospital.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Administrative records, comprising photographs, c.1960s; land and building records, comprising plans of proposed toilet alteration, 1961, and papers and correspondence relating to alterations, repairs and refurbishment, 1955-1960s.


Further accruals are not expected.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Records are open to the public, subject to the overriding provisions of relevant legislation, including data protection laws. 24 hours' notice is required to access photographic material.

Conditions governing reproduction

A reprographics service is available to researchers subject to the access restrictions outlined above. Copying will not be undertaken if there is any risk of damage to the document. Copies are supplied in accordance with the Borthwick Institute for Archives' terms and conditions for the supply of copies, and under provisions of any relevant copyright legislation. Permission to reproduce images of documents in the custody of the Borthwick Institute must be sought.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

A typescript finding aid, to file level, is available for consultation in the searchroom of the Borthwick Institute.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

For related material held by the Borthwick Institute, see the archive of Claypenny Hospital, for which Tadcaster served as an annexe, and the archive of York B Group Hospital Management Committee and its successors, particularly its biennial reports (GB 193 YBG 1/2/4, 7, 12).

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

GB 193

Rules and/or conventions used

ISAD (G): General International Standard Archival Description, International Council on Archives (2nd edition, 2000); Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names, National Council on Archives (1997).

Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion



  • English



Accession area