Christmas at Three Counties Asylum

This Fantastic photograph was sent in by  Melanie Peterson the grand daughter of  Dr Edward Menzies, It shows her Mother Katherine Peterson (nee - Menzies) standing outside the main entrance to the  Three Counties Hospital in the snow in the 1940’s. Thank you Melanie for this lovely personal photo.

Christmas at the hospital was a big affair with party’s and celebrations starting early in December, The children of the workers who lived in houses in the hospital grounds had a fantastic time with  party’s  and panto’s and a visit from Father Christmas himself ! (see photo below circa 1965/66)


The children are:

back row - Bacon, Terry Babbage, Donald Babbage, - Berry, Patrick, Naughton, ?, - Downey, Duncan Mckenzie, Peter Naughton, Kevin Naughton. 3rd row: - Bacon, ?, -Berry, Vincent Jordan, Lois Castello, ?, ?, ?, Patrick Lyons, ?. 2nd r. ?,?, Rosemary Jordan,, Grace---,?,?, Micheal Jordan,?, Ann McKenzie,?. 1st r. ?,?,?,?,?,?,?, Paulo Martin,?,?,-  

Do you recognise yourself? Please get in touch if you do and tell us your story, Can anybody out there give the names of the children we can not identify?  * (see below)

A very big thank you to Mary Di Marco (nee Naughton)  for this wonderful photo. I will be dedicating a whole “ward” to Mary and her incredible story in the new year.

From the December 1970 issue of  FANTASIA

The in house Fairfield Hospital Magazine


Xmas arrangements from 13th December  to 7th January


13th – united carol service – Service of lessons and carols. The hospital choir will take part.


18th December Carol singing for patients and staff in the recreation hall accompanied by Stotfold Salvation army ban


20th Dec Carol singing in the main building wards at 3.30 by carol singers from the west view Baptist church Letchworth


21 Dec IT party in recreation hall at 2.30

Carols to be sung by the Belmont singers in the recreation hall at 7.30


22nd Dec Cinema patients 2.15 & 3.45 staff 8.15

 Carol singers from central Methodist church Letchworth will visit the C&D corridor starting at 6.45


23 Dec visiting day 2-4.30

Patients social evening in the recreation hall Dancing and bingo


24th Christmas Eve Darby and Joan Club in the Sports centre at 2.30 The hospital choir will sing carols in the A & B corridor starting at ward B1 at 6.45


25th Dec Christmas Day Christmas services as follows

8.30 holy communion

10.15 united morning service

(please note the earlier time)

There will be no afternoon service on Christmas day

Interward visiting from 2- 4.30

26th Dec visiting day 2- 4.30

Patients Christmas dance with a band and refreshments.

27th Dec 8.30 Holy communion

  9.00 R.C Mass

 10. Morning service

  2.30 United Service


28th December Bingo in the recreation hall 6.00(numerous Prizes)

30th Dec Visiting day 2-4.30

Social evening dancing and bingo in the recreational hall at 6pm


31st December derby and Joan club party in the sports centre at 2.30 Staff annual ball

1st Jan Patients New year ball (numerous prizes and refreshments)

2nd Jan visiting day 2-4.30

Concert by the Lily Danville entertainers in the recreational hall at 6pm


Money arrangements

There will be no pay out of patients personal cash on the 30th December Ward Staff are asked to double the normal amount when requisitioning for money for the 23rd December 1970.

Ward staff are also requested to requisition on separate pages the amount required for patient reward allowances on the 23rd and 30th December when the books are handed in on the 18th December 1970.


Fantasia food


Spicy fruit punch


4-6 oz caster sugar

1 pint of water

1 pint of fresh or canned orange juice

½ pint of canned pineapple juice

Juiced and thinly pared rind of 1 lemon

½ level teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ level teaspoon ground mixed spice

6 cloves

6 splits of Canada dry

Crushed ice

Lemon or orange peel twist for garnish



Dissolve the sugar in the water over a low heat and cool. Blend together the fruit juice lemon peel spices and add the sugar syrup chill strain and add the Canada dry and ice just before serving.


5 pints to make your party go with a zing

Recipe from the OT dept.


Film at cinema the beauty jungle Jeanette Scott  Ronald Frazier


December issue 15


New years Eve Ball 1971



viol au vents:-


 Beef and  Mushroom



 (Prawns, crab, salmon)


Pork chipolatas on sticks

Sausage rolls (Petite)

 Chicken in a spice

 Prawns in A spice

 Scotch Eggs

Danish open Sandwiches various

Carb, Liver pate, Pate de gascoigne

Salami cream cheese &pineapple etc all with appropriate garnish


Bridge rolls (petite) Egg

  Salmon & Cucumber





Selection of cheeses-

Celery pickled onions gherkins hotel biscuits

Fruit salad and fresh cream

Reception pastries



The two buffet tables will be laid with white linen silverware candelabras and table floral sprays

Staff in attendance will be dressed in black and white

Disposable plate sweet dishes and coffee cups will be used.

                   Service provided by Casino caterers ltd Ruallan Great Wymondly Hitchin Herts

Wards christmas 2