In 1999 I worked for Equal Say.  Equal Say had an office in Lennox Castle Hospital providing advocacy for people who were living or had lived in Lennox Castle.

What are your memories of Lenox Castle Hospital?
It seemed was very, very remote.  Although only a short distance from Glasgow it was very isolated even from Lennoxtown itself.  There was a very long drive in off the main road.

It was surreal.  It was manicured and lush but it didn’t feel like a real place with real buildings and real people.  It was like a set and, it always seemed really quiet. 

People were kept indoors on their wards.  On a first visit it was difficult to comprehend how many people lived there.  There were some well-known faces, a lot of people made it their business to be up and about and take part in whatever way with the life of the hospital but many more people had a very small life and lived in their ward.

The Lomond Centre and the coffee shop always had a buzz about them and you felt there was some activity going on but often it seemed like it was always the same people who were involved.

The residents were always keen to meet people and were friendly and welcoming so you would have a trail of people around you as went about your business.  But there could sometimes be hostility from ward staff to advocates or volunteers coming into the hospital. 

It was a very negative place and people were cowed by their environment.