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Unlocking the Asylum

Denbighshire Archive Service has recently been awarded 130,000 by Wellcome to catalogue and preserve historic hospital records relating to the former North Wales Hospital.
The Research Resources Award will fund the cataloguing of the largest hospital collection held at Denbighshire Archives; the records of The North Wales Hospital.
The North Wales Hospital, Denbigh, was the main institution in North Wales for the care of the mentally ill. The institution opened in October 1848 serving the whole of North Wales and the borders.A century later, its patients numbered in excess of 1,500.It was by far the biggest employer in the area and activities recorded in its voluminous archives reflect its importance in the social and economic life of the area, with its farm, sporting activities, community events and cultural festivals.
The hospital finally closed its doors in 1995.The resulting archive is unique in its completeness including: patient records; annual reports and committee minutes; financial records; plans; and staff records. Although most of the collection is closed to researchers to adhere to data protection legislation and respect patient confidentiality it is important the collection is preserved to enable access to those interested in tracing developments in treatments of mental health patients in the future.


After standing for election to St. Asaph City Council in May this year, two of those who were appointed have resigned their seats without ever attending a meeting of the new Council.
Dr.Paul Mitchell, 1 Bryn Elwy, St. Asaph resigned his seat at the first meeting of the new Council in May due to pressure of work and John Wynne Jones, 10 Roe Parc, resigned his seat at the June meeting after failing to win a seat on Denbighshire County Council.
As a result the Council, which was already one member short of its full complement of fourteen, now has three vacancies which have been advertised according with electoral rules. If more than three nominations are received, or a candidate secures ten signatures calling for an election, a local election will have to be called but, if just three or less expressions of interest are received, the council could proceed to a process of co-option.
At their meeting in June members expressed disappointment in accepting the resignations on the grounds of the expense in having to fill vacancies so soon after the May elections.
An election could cost the City Council a significant amount.