Greengate Dispensary and Open Air School

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 133 MMC/9/33
  • Former Reference
      GB 133 J b 28
  • Dates of Creation
      1904-1927
  • Physical Description
      19 items

Scope and Content

Annual reports and notes about the Dispensary's history.

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1876, Dr Theodore Grimké established the Salford Medical Mission in Greengate, one of the poorest districts of Salford. After Grimké's death in 1886, his widow formed a group of trustees to carry on the work of the Mission. The Mission also provided accommodation for the Salford Day Nursery, which had been founded in 1883. The Dispensary was managed by Mrs Grimké until 1902, when administration passed to a committee. This probably is when it became known as the Greengate Dispensary. Greengate Dispensary was established as a voluntary general dispensary for the poor, no recommendation was required. A small in-patients department was opened, called the Grimké Ward. This Ward became a special institution for the treatment of paralysis and disablement by manual methods, exercise under supervision and education. The official title changed to 'The Greengate Dispensary and Institute for the Treatment of Nervous Diseases'. The Dispensary began admitting children with a variety of disabilities and cooperated closely with the Crippled Children's Help Society. While the Dispensary admitted adults, the Institute was limited in space and only ever admitted children. It soon built a small gymnasium. Grimké Ward was recognised by the Board of Education as a Special School in 1903. However, the Dispensary lacked space and facilities.

In 1912, a new wing was built with an out-patients department, new wards and a roof playground. With the Insurance Act of 1912, the numbers of adult out-patients decreased, and school inspections resulted in a rise in child admissions. By the 1920s most out-patients were children. In 1917, the Salford Day Nursery, which was on the same site, was formally incorporated with the Dispensary. Dr Montessori visited the Institute in 1919 and discussions took place concerning the opportunity to erect and open-air nursery school for potential and actual rickety children. An appeal was launched to enable this in 1918 and in 1920 a charity was established under the name 'The Greengate Dispensary Medical Mission and Salford Day Nursery Trust'. The old buildings of the Day Nursery were condemned as unfit for habitation, and the nursery closed in 1920 in anticipation of a move to a better site. After this closure, the charity was called 'Greengate Dispensary' and the Institute became known as the 'School for Rickets'. The children who were admitted were usually rickety, which was a change from the more varied causes of disability admitted in the early years. The children were also admitted at a younger age and many children went home at the weekend. In 1922, the School moved from the basement to a new Open Air Shed and Playground and a new school regime was established. In 1925 the charity changed its name to Greengate Hospital and Open-Air School. The general out-patients department continued, though tended to treat more children than adults. The Hospital and School probably closed in 1948.