Grumpy old fart!!!

"If you talk to God you're religious. If God talks to you, you're psychotic."

Mary Ann Whitmarsh

Mary Ann Whitmarsh
Newspaper Seller, Shepton Mallet, Somerset.
Mary Ann was admitted to the Asylum on February 24th 1914, a widow aged 66, suffering with Dementia.
Her height was recorded as being 5ft.
She was described as “Disorientated and Demented”
Answers every question by saying; “I don’t know or I can’t”
She is somewhat deaf, both arms have bruises and she is very dirty.
Neighbours of Garston Street, Shepton Mallet say she has long been vacant in manner and expression and that she scours the streets collecting scraps of paper. Does not take any care of her person or her house and resists help.
Neighbours in Garston Street say she constantly talks of seeing her dead husband and had been very much affected by his death.
Mary’s husband, William, aged 77, one of the last Somerset Velvet Weavers, was knocked down and killed in September 1912, by an express train, while crossing the railway at Barren Down, Shepton Mallet.
July 24th 1914
She is dull and vacant when addressed. Potters aimlessly about and mutters to herself. Has to be washed and dressed and would spend her day in bed if she had access to the dormitories.
January 10th 1916
When addressed by staff she stares vacantly or mutters something unintelligible. Lost and bewildered. Has no knowledge of her position and pays no attention to what goes on around her.
Cardiac action is poor, health failing.
April 18th 1916
Impossible to examine her as she is resistive. In bed with a feverish cold. She is very difficult taking her food.
April 25th 1916
She gradually failed and died today in the presence of Nurse Rosina Williams.
Cause of death: Cerebral Hemorrhage.
Mary died aged 68 and is buried in the Mendip Hospital Cemetery F221
Rest in peace Mary

Graham Fagan

March 7, 2023 Posted by | Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

226 schoolchildren who lost their life to suicide in 2017 in the UK

These shoes represent the 226 schoolchildren who lost their life to suicide in 2017 in the UK – a pair for each school child and was created at the St George Hall in Liverpool.😞❤️

According to a recent YouGov survey carried out for the Prince’s Trust, the number of young people in the UK who say they don’t believe that life is worth living has doubled in the last decade.

With such shocking statistics and stories, there’s little doubt our younger generation are facing a mental health crisis. But why are children taking their own lives?

Maybe your child is merely having a bad day, but maybe it’s something more if this mood has been going on for a couple of weeks.
Fact: 9 in 10 teens who take their own lives met criteria for a diagnosis of psychiatric or mental health condition or disorder—more than half of them with a mood disorder such as depression or anxiety.

Depressed people often retreat into themselves, when secretly they’re crying out to be rescued from the storm they feel they are in. Many times, they’re too embarrassed to reveal their unhappiness to others, including parents or siblings as they may be in shame. Boys in particular, may try to hide their emotions, in the misguided belief that displaying the feeling is a of weakness of the highest proportions.

Let’s not wait for children or young people to come to us with their problems or concerns. Knock on the door, park yourself down on their bed, and say,
“There is something going on for you right now, and I want you to know I am here for you, you never know maybe I can help – maybe I cant – But the thing is I am here and I’m not going anywhere.”

Hugely powerful, hugely significant, and a lifeline to a young person, not in control and in crisis.

The smallest of gestures at these difficult times can have the largest impact.


Lucy’s Blue Day – Children’s Mental Health Book


February 6, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Be gentle with people you meet

December 24, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

And the moon said to me……………….

“And the moon said to me – my darling daughter, you do not have to be whole in order to shine.”

August 22, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Good management

Sometimes it only takes a little thought and consideration for HR and managers to think “outside the box”


Sharza Dethick

July 2, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

When you’re resting………….

Be good to yourself

April 24, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Daphne Willis – Somebody’s Someone


This song is for anyone who knows addiction, mental illness, homelessness, or all of the above. Let’s start the conversation and stop the stigma! Pass it on.

Daphne Wallis

March 18, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 4 Comments

The Black Dog

February 14, 2015 Posted by | Social History, Uncategorized | , , | 3 Comments

Gabrielle Ray (Rotary 4820 D)

Gabrielle Ray (Rotary 4820 D) 1908

For those who have visited this blog over the past few months it will be quite obvious that I love old pictures and postcards that give us a brief glimpse into a past and forgotten age.

My interests vary from Maids, Nuns, religious dress and the more risqué images of the French Maid. Often when searching for a particular subject the boundaries cross and as well as true Maids we find Edwardian actresses dressed as Nuns or Maids. During one of my searches I came across Gabrielle Ray dressed as a Maid and was instantly captivated by her.

Collecting the individual cards isn’t enough; I like to know more about the individual, which is easier when that person is an actress, although often the information is scares.

Searching for information about Miss Ray I discovered that she was one of the most photographed women of the time; but sadly her success, if measured by being visibly working or in the public eye was short lived. She struggled with depression and alcohol abuse, and her health declined. In 1936, she suffered a complete mental breakdown and was institutionalized for nearly forty years; dying  in 1973 at Holloway Sanatorium at the age of 90.

My collection of Miss Ray, although small is growing and this is my favourite picture of her.

The photographer is able to manipulate the image through lighting, dress and expression. However there are times when, perhaps in an unguarded moment the subject is caught and the image produced conveys more than possibly intended. It may be that having read the final chapter of Miss Ray’s life, the heros, villians, plot and ultimate ending is known and so our own interpretation of a particular image becomes coloured. For me this image shows Miss Ray as thoughtful, reflective but more than that, there is a sadness shown in her eyes. Has the photoprapher caught a prophetic image of the future, do her eyes give us a hint of her sad future? Hopefully not. When I saw this card I knew that I had to have it regardless of the cost.

The post date is June 1908, Miss Ray would have been 21.

March 13, 2010 Posted by | Deltiology, Gabrielle Ray, Maid, Maids, Servants, Social History | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment