When I tell folk even older than me that I was in Bangour three or four times as a boy, they usually find something Very Important to do elsewhere. See, it used to be the loony bin. But honest guv, by the time I got there it was being used for recuperative medical purposes.
Bangour Hospital was where I went for many (many) eye operations when I was a wean, back in the sixties. It was in the back of beyond, which meant I rarely got to see any family as it was two buses fae Edinburgh then a big walk up the hill unless you were lucky enough to catch the wee shuttle bus. I mind I was in one winter and it snowed so heavily that I saw no-one for 6 weeks. I think I was 8 at the time and all I really remember from all the stays were white buildings, nice nurses and ice cream. So, apart from the pain and the temporary blindness, it was alright.
The original Bangour goes back to 1902 when the Edinburgh Lunancy Board purchased the 960 acre Bangour site, and by 1906 Bangour Village was offically opened by the Right Honourable Earl of Roseberry. Bangour General was built in 1939 to cope with wounded soldiers from the second world war. Originally built as prefabricated huts Bangour General was only meant to last 10 years, but it outlived it’s expectancy and eventually closed in 1990.
The site is derelict now, although George Clooney and Keira Knightley turned up in 2005 to film “The Jacket”.
Fast forward many years and the charity I volunteer at – VOCAL Treasure Tree – had some items handed in which I listed on Ebay including a bottle of liquid soap fae Bangour. Some deluded soul in Uphall paid £15 for it and came to collect it so the the soap would still be in the bottle!
Anyway here’s some pictures of a bottle and Bangour now and then.