I remember Blagrave, in Tilehurst, when I was there it was called a convalescent home or hospital. Aged sixteen and a half, I was rushed by ambulance to Battle Hospital one spring evening in 1962, our GP had diagnosed my feeling unwell as acute appendicitis. My appendix was removed that same day. I don't remember too much about Battle (I do remember being shaved though, just before the op!), and after just the one following day feeling more than a bit sore, I was removed to Blagrave to get better. I stayed there for about a fortnight on the men's ward until they discharged me.
I do remember it had french windows/doors onto the veranda, that sallyann described. All the other male patients on my ward, all of whom were older than me, had had various things done to them. For example, surgery for broken limbs after road accidents, things like that, so they couldn't easily get out of bed, but most were able to walk around like I was, or get around in a wheelchair.
I used the time to revise for the one remaining 'O' level I was due to take in June, but there was plenty of distraction from talking to the other patients, loitering on the veranda and so on, and I didn't get a lot of revision done. (I did just pass later, fortunately, grade 6 in Latin.) And I distinctly remember on one occasion being told off by a young student nurse, hardly any older than I was, she caught me having the temerity to pick up the medical notes on my appendicectomy which were hanging at the bottom of my bed, and reading them. She meant it, too.
Blagrave did me allright though. Two weeks later, I walked all the way up Snowdon. And because of my appendix, I was able to get out of taking part in the school's production of "Hamlet" that year, - I really didn't want to play Rosencrantz, and luckily for me, somebody else had to do it.
Blagrave, a happy memory. If you've read this far, well done