Brandesburton Hospital Oral History Project

Purple Patch Arts and University of Leeds have been awarded a grant of £40,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to gather the personal stories of people connected to Brandesburton Hospital in East Yorkshire. This includes past residents and staff, family members and those in the communities local to the hospital to share their memories. We will be working in partnership with the Treasure House in Beverley to archive the material that we collect during the course of the project

Why do this?

There is an increasing urgency to gather the oral histories of people who lived and worked in long stay institutions for people with learning disabilities. This is an increasing aging population whose lived experiences stand to be lost without immediate action. Existing oral history accounts of some institutions in the UK are testament to the power of preserving such memories. Projects such as this not only help people with learning disabilities come to terms with their past, but preserve them for generations to come.

Why Brandesburton Hospital?

Brandesburton was a hospital for people with learning disabilities based in the Hull and East Yorkshire region. It accommodated hundreds of people with learning disabilities over many decades. To date no attempt has been made to access the memories of those who lived and worked in this hospital or to preserve them in a format that would be accessible for generations to come. The aim of this oral history project is to address this deficit.

What will you do?

We will be using both individual and group interviews to carefully extract the memories of patients and their family members, workers at the hospitals and members of the local community in which this hospital was based. In addition to oral testimonies, other forms of archive material will be gathered including photographs and other personally owned written evidence. We hope to use the information and material collected during the project to be published in a book, an academic journal and eventually an interactive website. We also hope it will also be used to create a public exhibition.

How do I get involved?

We have a website where you can find further information: . We also have Facebook group ( and we’re also on Twitter: @Brandes_OH.

Link to our blog: We have all the participant information sheets in the ‘get involved’ section of the blog.