subsubseries RET/1/5/5/12 - 150th Anniversary Celebrations

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150th Anniversary Celebrations


  • 1945-1949 (Creation)

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12 files, 1 booklet, 2 documents

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The Retreat celebrated its 150th anniversary in 1946 in a variety of high profile events and publications.

The main celebration was held at the Retreat on 11 May 1946, with a programme of tree planting, and celebratory speeches which were later reproduced in a souvenir brochure. Descendants of the Tuke founders were present and American Friends were represented.

In addition there was a special commemorative meeting at Friends House, Euston Road, London on 21 May 1946. There was also a BBC broadcast service from the Friends Meeting House in York, on Sunday 12 May, and a broadcast BBC play, ‘The Walls are Down’, on the topic of mental illness on 5 July 1946. A special commemorative book, Light through the Cloud, by L.A.G. Strong was commissioned and issued by the Retreat, and there were two special articles to commemorate the 150th anniversary written by Marjorie Garrod and Gwendoline Knight, and by E.E. Taylor published in The Friends Quarterly Examiner. A major illustrated article also appeared in Picture Post entitled ‘Life in a Mental Hospital’, describing the experiences of a journalist and a photographer from the magazine who visited the Retreat during 1946.

As well as the meetings and publications, the Retreat also issued a special Appeal for funds.


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Much of the Retreat Archive has been digitised with funding from the Wellcome Collection. Copies of digitised records can be viewed online where available by following links provided within the catalogue.

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For copies of the book by Strong and the articles in The Friends Quarterly Examiner and Picture Post see RET 1/6/1/13-15 and /17

Photographs of the 150th anniversary celebration at the Retreat are at RET 1/8/7/7. Addresses given at the Retreat celebration were printed and are at RET 1/6/1/16. See also press cuttings book at RET 1/6/2/4

The Annual Report of the Physician Superintendent for 1945 (see RET 1/2/1/17) contained, in commemoration of the anniversary, a brief historical sketch and outline of future developments for The Retreat

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