Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Friendship Abides At Victoria Hospital, Keighley

The 5th of Fowler Beanland’s old picture postcard provides us with a view of the old Keighley Victoria Hospital. The message on the reverse doesn’t advance our understanding of Fowler Beanland all that much, other than to remind us that friendship abides if distance divides.

We have reached the fifth of Fowler Beanland’s postcards and we have also reached the Victoria Hospital in Keighley. This is one of several postcards in the collection which has not been sent through the post, and therefore we lack the usual dating evidence. There is every chance, however, it dates from the time Fowler was living in Longtown, thus somewhere in the period 1905-1910. Equally, we can surmise that it was given to Fowler by a friend he had left behind in Keighley (LP), and the phrase “friendship abides if distance divides” was a popular saying during the Edwardian era. As to the identity of LP - or, indeed their gender - we must wait for further evidence to emerge.

We are on slightly firmer ground when we examine the picture on the postcard, although it is ground that has long since been cleared of the building depicted on the postcard. Keighley Victoria Hospital started life as the private residence of a local draper, Aaron Iveson, and was then converted into Keighley Cottage Hospital. It was later expanded and upgraded to become the Victoria Hospital which served the town until the construction of the new Airedale Hospital in the 1970s.

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